Innovation lovers

Staying alive

Innovation Lovers for the Happiness of Sportspeople, that is the purpose that drives Decathlon’s teammates and the key to making sport accessible to the many. Innovation is therefore omni-present as part of Decathlon’s strategy. To encourage and promote innovation culture both internally and externally, a 400m2 space dedicated to exploration and innovation, ALIVE, was opened on October 1st 2015.

Alive couture
Open to everyone, ALIVE is a catalyst for innovation

There is a real ‘people’ purpose about Alive (which means ‘All Living Innovation Values Everyday’) as it was co-created to answer the company’s needs in terms of innovation. ALIVE is focused on people. It’s an area where people can dare to be themselves and turn their ideas into reality.

The objective of ALIVE is to accelerate the potential of innovation by giving team mates the right methods and tools to transform their ideas into reality.

Vincent Ventenat, Innovation Leader at Decathlon
Alive team
What is ALIVE all about? Vincent Ventenat, Innovation Leader at Decathlon, outlines the concept…
  • Tell us the story of ALIVE at Decathlon

    In 2014, we launched an internal survey to identify the weaknesses and strengths of our current organization. Through this, we identified 5 strategic themes for development: connected objects, big data, sport for well-being/health, low-tech innovation (Jugaad) and additive manufacturing (3D printing).

    We needed a physical environment to bring these themes to life. This is how ALIVE was born. It is an open space, where team mates, customers, partners and suppliers can all come together to experiment and express their creative energy.

    The objective of ALIVE is to accelerate the potential of innovation by giving team mates the right methods and tools to transform their ideas into reality and to strengthen the company’s innovation culture. ALIVE is a totally modular space, where you can work alone or in teams. We have created several different areas to cater for different needs (inspiration, co-working, exploration, relaxation, advanced creativity, incubation), that are all going on simultaneously.

KEY FIGURES for 2015

  • 4000 people took part in Innovation workshops
  • 50 people dedicated to working on Innovation full-time in Decathlon
  • 3 innovation workshops per Passion brand during 2015
  • 500 people active on the ALIVE G+ community after 3 months

EXAMPLE of Co-Innovation : Arpenaz 10 litre back-pack

An example of using Co-Innovation to get different industrial processes to work together in order to render our products more accessible is the Arpenaz 10 litre back-pack. By using this method, we were able to reduce the number of stitched panels from 21 to 8. By doing so, we need less materials and assembly lines to make the bag, and we increased the number of articles per box for shipping.

  • Time to produce: – 25 %
  • Number of quantities in a box: from 40 to 70
  • Price in store: – 40 %
  • Quantities sold: + 75 %
  • The new Arpenaz 10 backpack was Decathlon’s best selling product of 2015.
The Arpenaz 10L Bag

Innovation Awards

As it does every year, Decathlon celebrates its Innovation Awards, a awards ceremony where team mates and customers can vote for the most innovative product of the year. It was the double use bottle by Aptonia that won the 2015 edition.
Here are customer review scores for the 7 products out of 10 are already in the store.

The next edition of the Innovation Awards will be on October 6th 2016.

Average score of innovative products Average score of products presented at the Decathlon Innovation Awards
4.27/5 vs 4.23/5

The average score for the innovative products presented at the 2015 Innovation Awards, attributed by our customers, is greater than the average score given for all our products. We strive to innovate in order to satisfy our customers even more !

  • kiprun cardio homme
    Kalenji - Kiprun men's HRM running T-shirt, average score : 4.36/5
  • cardio femme
    Kalenji - Kiprun women's HRM running T-shirt, average score : 4.29/5
  • step carrier oxelo
    Oxelo - Scooter Child Carrier, average score : 4.3/5
  • harnais
    Simond - SPIDER KID Climbing Harness, average score : 4.59/5
  • homepool
    Geologic - Homepool Modular Billiard Set, average score: 3.74/5
  • tarmak
    Kipsta - Tarmak 500 Adult Basketball, Magic Jam, average score : 4.29/5
  • 2warm
    Wedze - Men's 2warm Wed'ze Ski Underwear, average score : 4.44/5

Decathlon Creation

On April 1st 2015, Decathlon opened its crowd-sourcing platform,simply named ‘Decathlon Creation’. The idea is simple: anyone can submit their creative idea to the community, and if the idea is popular amongst members, the goal is then to transform the idea into an innovative sports product. Since the platform was launched, 28 individual projects have been proposed for our Passion brands to work on.

Since the idea took off, the community already numbers 10,000 members. Two-thirds of members are men, 60% are French, the remaining 40% are from one of ten countries that have opened the Decathlon Creation platform outside of France. The goal is to increase the number of members that are not from Decathlon, and to open the platform in China.

When they start out, members start as users, then they become testers, then we hire them !

Vincent Textoris, Decathlon Creation Leader
VINCENT format carré
Vincent Textoris, Decathlon Creation Leader

Indeed, two out of the five people from the Decathlon Creation team were recruited after having been members of the community first.

Ball maxence
Maxence with his ball

« We had run a competition to design a football. A local 9 year old boy called Maxence took part. He was really motivated, and had designed a football with a very colourful logo. We decided to invite him into Kipsta’s labs to show him how we make footballs. As a surprise, we had made his football just for him, a limited edition of 1 unique ball, the ball Maxence had designed, just for him. » Vincent Textoris

JUGAAD – Innovation frugale

The Indian term of ‘Jugaad’ is all about finding smart, straightforward and innovative solutions using as few resources as possible.
Indeed, for many populations around the world, when you don’t have much at your disposal, you have to make do with what you have. For today’s multinational companies like Decathlon, it can be very complicated, difficult, uncertain and expensive to innovate. Therefore, one solution could be ‘Jugaad’, which targets simplicity.

anne sophie
On a Jugaad Mission Anne-Sophie Pierre, Innovation Leader, Heavy Stitching
  • Can you explain us what Jugaad is?

    “Above all, this is a state of mind. At Decathlon, ‘doing more with less’ has always been one of our mottos, so this is not unknown to us. Innovation is often centred around costs, but with this process we aim to create value, so we concentrate on people who are at the bottom of the pyramid, those who focus on life's basics.

    It’s a first step towards becoming more of a social business, of having a more human approach. By taking the Jugaad road, we can reduce our impact on the planet, harness our expertise, and therefore develop our products in a different way. Jugaad is more than a theory, it has to be lived to be of any use. We will have to work out how to apply the concept within our company. It’s a great opportunity for Decathlon to use its experience in design and engineering in a brand new way.”

jugaad notes
Explaining the principles of Jugaad

The perspective looks bright for the future. Several projects are already underway for 2016 including an origami-style sleeping bag. During the year 2016, creative sessions will be organised in collaboration with customers so they can transform their old sporting products into new ones, and possibly, completely different ones.