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  • Roger Yao

Roger's Column: Lessons from Decathlon's Buyback Policy

decathlon

As global consumers increasingly embrace environmental awareness and pursue sustainable lifestyles, the fitness equipment industry is presented with a golden opportunity for transformation. Decathlon’s innovative buyback policy in the UK sets an exemplary standard for the entire sector.


Decathlon's Buyback and Refurbishment Policy


According to a report by the UK's Retail Gazette, Decathlon stores in UK have expanded its buyback scheme to include not only old bicycles but all sports equipment. This policy now encompasses fitness equipment, racket sports gear, camping equipment, and water sports items such as kayaks and paddleboards.

fitness equipment buy back policy

Customers interested in participating in this buyback program must first complete a quick online assessment to register the products they no longer need and then deliver them to any Decathlon store across the country. In exchange, they receive a voucher worth up to 40% of the product’s value.

Decathlon then refurbishes and resells these products, ensuring each piece of equipment is given a new lease on life. Moreover, as part of the service, customers can also use original parts from Decathlon’s inventory of over 5,000 spare parts to repair their sports equipment.


Environmental Responsibility and Corporate Duty


Decathlon's buyback initiative is part of its broader sustainability strategy aimed at enhancing the circular economy benefits for all its products. Chris Allen, Decathlon UK’s Head of Sustainability, stated, "At Decathlon, we are committed to encouraging people to engage in sports and want to do so in the most sustainable way possible."


Commentary by Roger Yao


As a columnist with over 20 years of experience in fitness equipment product development and quality management, serving multiple well-known fitness equipment brands, Roger Yao views Decathlon's old sports equipment buyback and refurbishment plan as an outstanding example of sustainable development. This initiative not only significantly reduces waste generation but also greatly enhances resource reuse. At a time when environmental protection is gaining global attention, fitness equipment brands in China and around the world should take note of such eco-friendly policies and focus on managing the entire lifecycle of their products.

Currently, many brands focus on creating selling points and launching hit products quickly and in large volumes. However, whether consumers truly use these products or derive maximum value from them, and the waste generated from underutilized products, are often overlooked.

By implementing a buyback plan similar to Decathlon's, fitness equipment brands can not only lessen environmental impact but also enhance consumer brand loyalty, tap new market opportunities, and build a corporate image of social responsibility. Such a strategy represents a proactive investment in the brand's long-term development and market competitiveness, and is a wise choice for future generations.

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