Decathlon to begin circular economy drive with second life options

Sports retail giant Decathlon will later this year launch a scheme that seeks to deliver a circular economy for bike sales, with various new incentives for customers to recycle or repair their bikes.

In conversation with CI.N, UK Cycling Leader Peter Lazarus alluded to a series of incentives to encourage customers to consider that a recycled or re-used bike may be just as good as a brand new bike.

“The Decathlon Second Life Marketplace is due this year across Europe and it will apply to adult and kids’ bikes. The idea is to generate more of a circular economy and various options will be available to customers who may wish to cycle but also not buy new every time,” said Lazarus.

The move, though not prompted by the industry’s general supply difficulties, will assist the business in offering more stock options in the near future, we’re told. Decathlon, like most others, has faced pressures in supply despite having some of its own supply chain under its control.

“We as a company are looking to recycle parts where possible. If we get a defective bike it’s an option to strip it down and re-use the working parts. For the customer, it’s an option to participate in upcycling work and save money. There will be a much bigger effort to repair over replacement where possible.”

For the customer the deal may very well work out to be a benefit. Not only might they save money in some instances, but there’s actually a chance of a better bike, says Lazarus.

“Sometimes wheels, for example, may be buckled in transit. These will be switched out, perhaps even with better wheels and the old ones will be repaired. The key is that nothing will go to waste and the bikes sold will be given a full PDI and safety check before they’re displayed and they’ll carry a warranty.”

Another option aligned to the circular economy policy set to be offered to existing customers is a buy back option on a client’s old Decathlon bike, which may be in exchange for either money or vouchers to spend in store.

For others in the bike industry interested in assessing how their business could benefit from circular economy practices authors Matthijs Gerrits and Erik Bronsvoort have written a book on the subject, which you can read about here.