Hafid, Karate Sport leader (France)
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Hafid, Karate Sport leader (France)

January 19, 2020

Hi ! My name’s Hafid and I’m fitness leader at the Decathlon Campus. I’ve been with Decathlon for 19 years. We had a full range of cardio training products for women. Then we split everything up, the footwear, the sports bras, and during fifteen days, I, or rather we, because we are a team, we listened to our sports enthusiasts who said how complicated it was to find the right shoes, the right bra, to cover 23 meters to try on a pair of shoes was not a good thing, so we listened and decided to reverse the process. We told the brand that at the Campus the system didn’t work. Locally, I want to do what I want to do and I want it to continue like that! Locally, what is important for us is that we can do what we want for the sports enthusiasts. We sent a message to the signed sports explaining what worked and what didn’t work, which they understood. In some stores it works to break up and disperse the range. There are some small stores with just 15 or 12 meters of shelf space to display the full product line to display the full product line while in larger stores like ours with 23 or 24 meters it’s difficult for users to discover the complete product line in one go. So, they got the message, about what didn’t work with us, but can of course work elsewhere. The second issue concerns us as a pathfinder store. We are progressively reducing the number of different brands we have on our shelves to attain 100% or 99% passion brand products only within two years. So what happens with our sportsmen and women is that initially when they came here and asked for a pair of Nike shoes we would say we didn’t stock them and one customer in two would immediately leave the store for the competition. So with my team we changed our strategy throughout the store to try and keep them and now when they ask for a pair of Nike shoes I invite them to follow me without saying either yes or no and show them something I present as being equivalent to a pair of Nike shoes. They can try them, and if they’re not happy they can return them whenever they want, so at least I have tried to keep them and present them with a new or alternative product. Before we simply said no we don’t have that product and they would leave immediately. The message I want to send out is that if you don’t fight a little, you can’t evolve. We have a trajectory or path to follow. Everyone advances at their own pace. Locally, for example, I am not ready to remove all the Nike stuff from my department yet, because the brand isn’t ready, so I’m going at my own rhythm. We all have our own rhythms and that’s not a problem. We exchange with other stores and it’s not a question of who gets there first, not at all, it happens locally, store by store.
It’s not a race, this is why we will eventually win. If I’m still working in the store it’s because I enjoy my work. And why do I enjoy my work, it’s because I have a power. An enormous power! The power to say no! One example from the store. We were supposed to change the area and I was asked to remove all the different brands from the shelves. I said no because it’s not what the sports enthusiasts want and because the brand isn’t ready yet. This is my power, the power to say no! Another example, if they ask me to halve the size of my department, why? I have the right to refuse. The power to say no is not simply for the sake of saying no again and again. With my blue jacket I am close to my users, I listen to them, I get their feedback, so it’s not Hafid who says no, I’m just a spokesman for my users.

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