Translated by
Nicola Mira
Oct 12, 2022
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Decathlon changes name to Nolhtaced in Belgium to promote pre-owned products

Translated by
Nicola Mira
Oct 12, 2022

Belgium is a fertile ground for experimentation for Decathlon. The sport retailer has carried out several tests in the subsidiary closest to its French domestic market, with the goal of gauging how its business model can evolve. An example is the subscription-based sports equipment rental service launched on a large scale in Belgium this year. In October, Decathlon is going even further, staging a communication initiative in Belgium in which the retailer has renamed itself 'Nolhtaced' (‘Decathlon’ in reverse), in order to raise the general public’s awareness about the possibility of retailing in the ‘opposite direction’, with the chain buying from its customers products they no longer use.

A Decathlon store in Belgium with the temporary new name - Decathlon Belgique

For a month, the name displayed on the retailer’s e-shop, social media channels and above the entrance to three of its Belgian branches (in Namur, Ghent and Evere) is ‘Nolhtaced’. A way for Decathlon to promote its policy of buying back products from customers to give them a new life. After being bought, the products are either reconditioned and sold second-hand in-store, with a warranty, or directed to a recycling hub if they cannot be repaired or reused.

“The goal is to reuse as much equipment as possible to reduce the impact on our environment and avoid waste. Decathlon's second-hand product range will also allow less fortunate consumers to buy quality sports equipment at a lower price,” said Decathlon Belgium in a press release.

Decathlon is collecting sporting goods by all brands from its customers (excluding underwear, swimwear, socks and helmets), in exchange for vouchers valid for two years. The retailer said it has already collected 26,000 items in Belgium in 2022, swapping them for a total voucher value of €593,220.

“At first glance, this name change might look like a mere marketing initiative, but our goal is primarily to make our buy-back service known to as many people as possible,” said Arnaud de Coster, head of second-hand products at Nolhtaced Belgium.

Decathlon’s best-selling second-hand products are children’s bikes, mountain bikes and fitness equipment, while apparel and footwear are also popular. “It's less about owning and more about using,” said Joeri Moons, the retailer's development director in Belgium. “This also means that we need to design our products so that they can last as long as possible,” he added.

In 2021, Decathlon's global turnover was €13.8 billion, equivalent to a 21% increase over 2020, with net income also well up, at €913 million compared to €550 million last year.

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