Shanghai's First Financial Daily reported that French firm Decathlon Group, one of Europe's biggest sporting goods chains, "plans to increase its market share and accelerate its expansion in mainland China," according to the WANT CHINA TIMES. The company's planned expansion "will add to the current woes of domestic sports brands as they continue to suffer at the hands of overseas rivals." Decathlon "has an estimated 500 megastores around the world, with a total of 57 in China after opening 16 new stores last year." The French firm "is expected to open a further 100 shops in the next three years, with a total 150 stores across the country" by '15. The company "is unique in its business model as it controls almost the whole chain of production from design, material procurement, logistics, brand marketing and retail" (WANT CHINA TIMES, 4/8).
STAYING ON TOP: WANT CHINA TIMES also reported that many businesses in Jinjiang in the Fujian province "are struggling to stay afloat owing to the heavy burden of excess inventory." Six leading sportswear producers, including Anta, 361 Degrees, Xtep, Peak, Li Ning and Dxsport "have been forced to close more than 3,000 outlets across the country since last year, with heavy losses arising from their excess stock" worth more than 3.72B yuan ($594M). The situation among the city's other garment producers "was not much better in the first half" of '12, with 17.7% of clothing companies "suffering losses." The industry overall "has unsold inventory" worth 38.2B yuan ($6B), which accounts for three years of total sales revenue (WANT CHINA TIMES, 4/8).