Decathlon Toes a Blurry Line, Seeks Govt Nod to Retail Online

French single brand retailer Decathlon may soon start selling its products via its online store. Decathlon has written to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) for the go-ahead for the move (via).

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It has asked the DIPP to allow “captive e-retail trading” and said that online selling would only be a “marginal extension” to its retail sales. It currently sells to wholesalers from its online store, and not to individuals.

The sporting goods chain currently runs physical retail stores in India. It operates online and sells goods via e-commerce sites like SnapDeal and Sports365. The company that operates more than 500 stores worldwide, has 11 in India.

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Decathlon justified its request to sell products online to be able to distribute to remote areas and said that it would not cause any displacement to traders.

A DIPP official said that the request was under review, even as the country debates allowing FDI in e-commerce.

Currently, FDI in e-commerce is strictly prohibited, while FDI in multi-brand retail was permitted in 2012. Decathlon’s request will put the issue in limelight again.

FDI in e-commerce may be brought in by the end of the year, according to a report.

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