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  • Published on: 14th September 2019
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ABSTRACT

The aim of this paper is to evaluate the consumer buying behaviour towards branded sports goods. The buyer's ultimate goal is to buy the product of qualitative, quantitative with lowest/best affordable price. In order to identify different kinds of consumer preference towards buying sports goods with special reference towards Decathlon Sports India . Thus, the study titled that “A Study on consumer perception towards Decathlon, Sarjapur”. We analyzed the buying behavior of youth and different kind of consumer behavior models, literature and theory of consumer behavior. At the end, we concluded with research based on questionnaire of Decathlon Sports India. In this research data has been collected from 100 consumers of the Descriptive research of methodology has been used for the study; I have used two tools of the research report, Percentage analysis, One way Anova and Correlation. A questionnaire was designed and that data was collected from the customers who has visited Decathlon Sports India outlet in Sarjapur, Bangalore. Secondary data was also collected and it is used in the research.

After the collection of data, it helps to analyze the consumer behaviour towards Decathlon Sarjapur This questionnaire was administrated to the limited customers of Bangalore district. This study is very important to know about the customer preference and satisfactory level of customers towards Decathlon, Sarjapur.

CHAPTER-I

1.1.INTRODUCTION OF THE STUDY

Today's society is warm with urbanization and demonstration effect. With a view towards it, there are drastic changes coming up in all sectors even in the sports goods industry. The following information gives an insight about it.

In the present context the companies operate on the principle of natural selection–“Survival Of The Fittest”. Only those companies will succeed which at best match to the current environmental imperatives – those who can deliver what people are ready to buy. But real marketing does not involve the art of selling what the manufacturers make. Organizations gain the market leadership by understanding the consumer needs and finding solutions that delight consumers. If customers value and satisfaction are absent, no amount of promotion or selling can be compensating. Hence the aim of marketing is to build and manage profitable customer relationship.

This is a part of the strategic marketing done by every company to achieve its objectives and goals. To maximize the profits and long term plans every organization has to follow a strategic planning.

   Marketing is much more than just an isolated business function – it is a philosophy that guides the entire organization towards sensing, serving and satisfying consumer needs. The marketing department cannot accomplish the company's customer relationship-building goals by itself. It must partner closely with other departments in the company and with other organization throughout its entire value – delivery network to provide superior customer value and satisfaction. Thus marketing calls upon everyone in the organization to “think customer” and to do all they will help to build and to manage profitable customer relationship.

Consumer perception of a product or service influences their behavior. Usually, consumer perception is used by marketers when designing a campaign for a product or brand. In general psychological terms, perception is the ability to make some kind of sense of reality from the external sensory stimuli to which we are exposed. Several factors can influence our perception, causing it to change in certain ways. For example, repeated exposure to one kind of stimuli can either make us oversensitive or desensitized to it. Additionally, the amount of attention we focus on something can cause a change in our perception of it.

A brand, or a brand name, is the attempt to impose some kind of identifying feature on a product or service so that it is easily recognized by the general public. A brand is oftentimes associated with an image, a set of expectations or recognizable logo. The goal of a brand is to set a product or service apart from others, and influence the consumers to choose the product over similar products simply because of its associations.

Time tested concepts on Brand loyalty and Mass Marketing, are being turned on their heads as they fail to gauge the behaviour of new generation customers. The perception is characterized by the uniqueness of individual expectations, the preference for multiple options, propensity to abandon Brand loyalty and switch to competition Brands that gives higher (perceived) value. It is difficult to classify this generation by conventional Demographic factors and unless their thought process and buying behavior are fully understood, decisions on product designs and packaging, Branding and Distribution channels are likely to be misplaced. With the inevitability of change looming large over the horizon, Indian companies must learn from their western counterparts; not only to identify the sources, timing and direction of the changes likely to affect India, but also the new competencies and perspective that will enable them to respond to these changes, comprehensively and effectively. Companies offering Product or Services will need to understand this new face of the customers. The changing Demographic profile of the population in terms of education, income, size of family and so on. Marketers will have to constantly monitor and understand the underlying Psychographics to map their respective industries are moving and decide what needs to be done, by way of adding value that motivates customers to buy the company's products and influence the future industry structure.

1.2.INDUSTRY PROFILE

(i) Introduction

The words 'sports goods' have become synonymous with the passion that India has for sports. The sports goods industry in India is nearly a century old and has flourished due to the skills of its workforce. Being labour-intensive in nature, the industry provides employment to more than 500,000 people. The nucleus of this industry in India is in and around the states of Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.

• Jalandhar in the state of Punjab and Meerut in the state of Uttar Pradesh account for nearly 75 per cent of total production.

• Together, the two towns house more than 3,000 manufacturing units and 130 exporters.

• About 60 per cent of the sports goods manufactured in Jalandhar consist of different kinds of inflatable balls.

• The Indian sports goods industry also has a presence in the cities of Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai, albeit at a lower scale.

(ii) Exports - A Momentous Growth

India's share of the global sports goods export market is expected to grow manifold, with the country establishing the credibility of its goods in the international market. Indian sporting goods are well known around the world and have made a mark in the global sports goods market. The industry exports nearly 60 per cent of its total output to sports-loving people the world over.

• The sports goods market in India was valued at US$ 2 billion in 2012-13. The market is growing as 35-40 per cent a year and is expected to reach US$ 3.6 billion by 2015. The growth is expected on account of increasing awareness about health and fitness in the country.

• India exported sports goods worth around US$ 256 million in 2013-14 as compared to US$ 214.95 million in 2012-13 and registering a growth of about 19 per cent.

• The major items to be exported during 2013-14 includes inflatable balls, cricket bats general exercise equipments, sports nets and protective equipment for cricket.

Retailing is one of the largest industries in India and one of the biggest sources of employment in the country. In India retail sales amount is to US$180 billion and account for 10-11% of gross domestic product. The Indian retail market has around 14 million outlets and has the largest retail outlet possibilities in the world. The retail industry in India is largely unorganized and predominantly consists of small, independent, self-managed shops. However the retail sector in India is witnessing a huge revamping exercise as the traditional retailers are making way for new formats. These modern retail formats provide a wide variety of products and services to customers and offer an ideal shopping experience with an amalgamation of product, entertainment and service all under a single roof. The emerging retail formats that are considered in the present study are.

i. Malls: Malls range from 60,000 sq ft to 7, 00,000 sq ft, are the largest form of organized retailing today. These lend an ideal shopping experience with an amalgamation of product, service and entertainment; all under a common roof.

ii. Convenience Stores: These are relatively small stores located near residential areas and open for long hours for all seven days a week. These carry a limited line of high-turnover convenience products and fill an important consumer need. People are willing to pay for the convenience.

iii. Department Stores: Department Stores are another type of emerging formats and these carry several product lines- typically clothing, home furnishings and house-hold goods- with each line operated as a separate department managed by specialist buyers or merchandisers.

iv. Hypermarkets/Supermarkets: Hypermarkets and supermarkets are the latest formats located in or near residential high streets. Hypermarkets carries a product range varying from foods, home-ware, appliances, furniture, sports, toys and clothing and supermarkets are large self service outlets, catering to varied shopper needs and mainly focus on food and grocery and personal sales.

v. Discount Stores: Consumers preferring to pay a low price can visit the discount stores or factory outlets, which offer discounts on the MRP, as they sell in bulk and have higher economies of scale.

vi. Specialty Stores: These stores especially cater to consumers who are looking for assorted brands at one store for instance: apparel stores, sporting goods stores, furniture stores and book stores are some of the examples of specialty stores.

The modern Indian consumer is seeking more value in the forms of consistent availability, improved quality, pleasant shopping environment, financing options, trial rooms for clothing products, return and exchange policies and competitive pricing. This has created a rapid growing opportunity for organized, modern retail formats to emerge in recent years and grow at a fast pace.

i) Rapid income growth: consumers have a greater ability to spend,

ii) Increasing Urbanization: larger urban population that value convenience, coupled with the higher propensity of the urban consumers to spend,

iii) Growing young population: growth of the post-liberalization maturing population, with the attitude and willingness to spend and

iv) Spend now vs. save earlier: consumers are willing to borrow for present consumption.

India has witnessed a fast pace of retail development over the last few years. Customer taste and preferences are changing leading to radical transformation in lifestyles and spending patterns which in turn is giving rise to new business opportunities. There is a change being observed in the shopping pattern of customers, which has resulted in the emergence of big retail chains in most metros; mini metros and towns. India still faces alarming issues that pose a serious hurdle to the growth opportunity that the retail industry promises for the country's economic progress. These issues include: underdeveloped supply chain capabilities, inadequate utilities, infrastructure, real estate, taxation challenges, and limited consumer insight. These issues are somewhat universally experienced by retailers in India and need to be addressed to enable prosperity in this sector. In the changing retail environment, understanding the psyche of customer is critical to success in retailing. In India, there is a need to go in for a study to identify the winning format suited to different segments.

1.3 COMPANY PROFILE

DECATHLON SPORTS INDIA PVT LTD:

Decathlon is a major French sporting goods chain store, with stores located throughout the world. It started with a shop near Lille, France in 1976. It expanded to Germany in 1986, Spain in 1992 and the United Kingdom in 1999. It entered the American market by purchasing the New England 20-store MVP Sports chain in 1999, re-branding them as Decathlon USA. In September 2006, Decathlon announced its decision to exit the US Market by year end .The retailer stocks a wide range of sporting goods, from tennis racquets to advanced scuba diving equipment, usually in large superstores. Decathlon Group also owns the Toboggan and Decathlon stores, the former sells sporting goods at discount prices, while the latter is a smaller high street sized version of the larger Decathlon superstores

.

DECATHLON IN INDIA:

The local arm of French sports goods retailer Decathlon will add over 60 stores to its existing 13 in India over the next five years. It will also double its sourcing for local operations in the country over the next few years, Steve Dykes, the newly appointed chief executive officer of Decathlon Sports India. Decathlon became the first sports goods retailer to invest in single-brand retail trading in India last year after it got approval for 100% foreign direct investment (FDI) in the format. It has committed Rs.700 corer to open stores in the next five years at a time when latent demand for local and international sporting goods is seen to be picking up in the country. Corporate spending on sports tournaments, such as Indian Premier League, the Hockey India League and the Indian Badminton League (IBL), have surged over the past five years, creating latent demand among consumers, which will stimulate these sports at home. “India is an exciting time for us and for sports there is a huge potential. Cricket is a classic sport, but other sports such as precision sports are also very developed,” said Dykes, adding that the younger consumer's knowledge and interest in international sporting events football, for instance is pretty encouraging. Serving goods to a sports-savvy nation, Decathlon has had to make modifications along the way increasing its inventory of cricket equipment, for instance. However, for the French retailer, which is present in 20 countries with over 720 stores, demand for non-cricket sporting goods such as cycling, archery, fishing, tennis, rollerblading and running equipment is significantly high, said Dykes, a former professional soccer player. “We see Indian consumers are willing to try new sports.”

The company will open seven stores in the current financial year in cities such as Mohali and Amritsar, and add another store in Bangalore. Dykes estimate the company will create a total of 60-70 stores across the country over the next five years. As for the company's Rs.700 corer investment, Dykes said that investments were on track. Consumers are increasingly aspiring for active and healthy lifestyles, he added, so for a company like this to be present in the top urban catchments is a good start. The retailer opened its first store in Bangalore in 2009 in the wholesale cash-and-carry format (where the government allows 100% FDI). After getting approval for a single-brand entity in 2013, the company has converted its existing cash-and-carry stores to large-format single-brand stores sprawling across 2,000-4,000 sq. m.

Dykes also indicated that sourcing from India is set to double over the next two years. At present, the firm sources 21% of goods sold locally, apart from exporting them to other European markets. “We are actually selling a lot outside of India than forecasted. Our sourcing will definitely go beyond the 30% mark. The way it's going, there is no doubt that it will double very quickly,” Dykes said. According to the FDI policy for single-brand retailers, for FDI beyond 51%, at least 30% of the value of goods purchased should be sourced from India, preferably from small and medium enterprises. With Indian consumers increasingly shopping online, Decathlon has also sought the government's permission to allow online operations. Currently, the government doesn't permit single-brand foreign retailers to sell online.

Range of products and services

• Workshop: sporting goods customization, maintenance and repair of cycles, skiing / snowboarding, tennis, fitness, rollerblading, embroidery, marking.

• Mountain: hiking, vertical sports, skiing.

• Cycle: bike, bicycle accessories, cycle equipment, spare parts.

• Roller: roller skates, inline skating, quad, skate and scooter.

• Form: fitness equipment, fitness for men and fitness for women, junior fitness, baby, combat sports, judo karate, gym and dance.

• Nature: hunting, fishing, precision sports.

• Team sports: football, rugby, basketball, handball, volleyball.

• Running: running, walking.

• Water: swimming, slide sports, boating, diving.

• Racket sports / golf: tennis equipment, tennis shoes, clothes for racket sports, golf, table tennis, badminton and squash.

• Health / discovery: health, discovery.

LOCATION:

Stores are located globally, in the following countries: Table 1.1

S.NO COUNTRY TOTAL STORES

1. Belgium

014

2. Brazil

014

3. Bulgaria

002

4. Czech Republic

007

5. China

041

6. France

251

7. Germany

015

8. Hungary

016

9. India

015

10. Italy

085

11. Kuwait

001

12. Netherlands

003

13. Poland

025

14. Portugal

022

15. Romania

013

16. Russia

010

17. Spain

098

18. Sweden

002

19. Turkey

005

20. Taiwan

004

21. United Kingdom

014

22. United States

(closed 2006)

23. Lebanon

001

24. 1 United Arab Emirates

001

BRANDING: The chain develops and sells its own brands. Each group of activities has a separate brand name: Table 2.1

S.NO BRAND NAME CATEGORY

1. APTONIA Nutrition and health care

2. ARTENGO Racket sports

3. B'TWIN Cycling

4. CAPERLAN

Fishing

5. QUECHUA Fitness, dance, martial arts and contact sports

6. FLX Cricket

7. FOUGANZA

Horse riding

8. GEOLOGIC

Outdoor sports, archery, darts and petanque

9. GEONAUTE Sports & Electronics

10. INESIS Golf

11. KALENJI Running

12. KIPSTA Team sports

13. NABAIJI Swimming

14. NEWFEEL Walking

15. OXELO Roller, skate and ice sports

16. QUECHUA

Mountain and outdoor sports

17. ROCKRIDER Mountain biking

18. SIMOND Mountaineering

19. SOLOGNAC Hunting

20. TRIBORD

Water sports

21. WED'ZE Skiing, snowboarding

22. MYSPORTEEZY Event organization (birthday, corporate day)

23. EQUAREA Clothing designed for the active removal of sweat

24. ESSENSOLE Shoe soles and insoles

25. NOVADRY waterproof and breathable clothes

26. OUTCHOC Sport protection

27. STRATERMIC Warm and light clothes

28. STRENFIT Light and Robust Synthetic fabrics (non-garment)

27. SUPPORTIV Support and compression

QUECHUA:

Quechua is a big brand for Decathlon Group, specializing in the sale of Mountain and outdoor sports. Quechua is the name of a people of the central Andes of South America and their languages.

ECONOMIC REVIEW:

Its success has greatly contributed to the decline in selling prices in France and the concentration of the sector, while its own brands more innovative start sometimes great difficulties of traditional manufacturers. As for WalMart in food distribution, some manufacturers and not others are referenced in global supply distributor. In 2008, the brand Decathlon beat all its competitors on three points: margin, market share, highest turnover per square meter of retail space. It is up to the third at a world level. A 2008 survey ofgo 774 catchment areas at the request of the Ministry of Economy and Finance shows that "for sporting goods, Decathlon is dominant in 92.8% of zones".

COMPETITION:

October 30, 2009, the eternal and historic rivals Go Sport and Sport 2000 combine themselves to create outside Europe and therefore in Switzerland a common central purchasing. Weapon of war anti-Decathlon, "this Swiss entity is intended to pressurize the most of our major international suppliers", says François Neukirsh DG GO Sport newspaper in Les Echos. Like the other groups of supermarkets, Decathlon sells in its stores a large number of products manufactured in Asian countries with low salaries. The store staff is not spared by the profitability race.

PARENT COMPANY: OXYLANE:

VALUES

All over the world, we share a strong and unique company culture reinforced by our four values: Vitality, Sincerity, Responsibility and Generosity.

VITALITY:

Vitality is Life, intense activity, energy, drive and vigor. Our employees are full of vitality as they are first and foremost positive and full of energy. They are enthusiastic, they love creating and innovating, and relentlessly strive to improve and make things around them change.

SINCERITY:

Sincerity is transparency in our actions, amongst ourselves, with our customers and with our suppliers. We want there to be a great deal of coherence between ‘what we say' and ‘what we do'.

RESPONSIBILITY:

Being responsible is about making decisions and making sure they are acted upon. Our employees assume the consequences of their decisions, both in terms of their team and their customers. Responsibility is also about anticipating the challenges facing society and orienting our actions towards sustainable development. And it is also our responsibility to guarantee the safety of our customers and employees all over the world.

GENEROSITY:

Generosity is closely related to Responsibility. Within a group, supporting, helping and listening to each other, without necessarily expecting anything in return, is fundamental. This mindset leads us to be demanding and make the best choices when designing our products.

MISSION:

Decathlon is a French sports equipment and sportswear company founded in 1976. We sell sports products in more than 700+ stores in 18 countries around the world and develop our own products under the flagship brand “Oxylane”, with one goal in mind: make the pleasure and benefits of sports accessible to all.

Figure 2.2

The way Decathlon makes the pleasure and benefits of sports accessible to all is to produce ourselves and sell under one roof high quality sporting products, with prices so low that a maximum number of people can afford them.

VISION:

We are a team of 650 members who share the same dream and we plan to be 2,700 people at the end of 2017.Globally we have over 700+ stores in 18 countries and counting. In India, we currently have 15 stores across different states and our dream is to open 1,000 stores.

EVERYDAY LOW PRICE

Customers will always find low prices in Decathlon stores, not just during sales season. It finds simple solutions and saves on non-essential costs, from production facilities to their retail points, in order to provide the best technology at the lowest price.

PROMISES TO CUSTOMERS:

Decathlon provides products for more than 40 sports, an extensive range of more than 4,000 products to address the needs of beginners, intermediate and professionals. Globally, the  range of products is close to 10,000, so the availability of products in India will increase over time.

A UNIQUE SPORTS EXPERIENCE:

They believe the joy of sport should be experienced without any delay. Customers can try bikes, skates, apparel products, etc. in the store and on the playground located next to each store. Customers can also participate in events and workshops we organize.

Decathlon became the first sports goods retailer to invest in single-brand retail trading in India last year after it got approval for 100% foreign direct investment (FDI) in the format. It has committed Rs.700 crore to open stores in the next five years—this at a time when latent demand for local and international sporting goods is seen to be picking up in the country.

Corporate spending on sports tournaments, such as Indian Premier League, the Hockey India League and the Indian Badminton League (IBL), have surged over the past five years, creating latent demand among consumers, which will stimulate these sports at home. “India is an exciting time for us and for sports there is a huge potential. Cricket is a classic sport, but other sports such as precision sports are also very developed,” said Dykes, adding that the younger consumer's knowledge and interest in international sporting events—football, for instance—is pretty encouraging.

Serving goods to a sports-savvy nation, Decathlon has had to make modifications along the way—increasing its inventory of cricket equipment, for instance. However, for the French retailer, which is present in 20 countries with over 720 stores, demand for non-cricket sporting goods such as cycling, archery, fishing, tennis, rollerblading and running equipment is significantly high, said Dykes, a former professional soccer player.

“We see Indian consumers are willing to try new sports.” The company will open seven stores in the current financial year in cities such as Mohali and Amritsar, and add another store in Bangalore. Dykes estimates the company will create a total of 60-70 stores across the country over the next five years. In North India alone, he anticipates 20 stores over the same period. As for the company's Rs.700 crore investment, Dykes said that investments were on track.

The sports goods market is highly underserviced by organized retailers and brands, said Anand Ramanathan, an associate director at consulting firm KPMG. Consumers are increasingly aspiring for active and healthy lifestyles, he added, so for a company like this to be present in the top urban catchments is a good start. The retailer opened its first store in Bangalore in 2009 in the wholesale cash-and-carry format (where the government allows 100% FDI).

After getting approval for a single-brand entity in 2013, the company has converted its existing cash-and-carry stores to large-format single-brand stores sprawling across 2,000-4,000 sq. m. Dykes also indicated that sourcing from India is set to double over the next two years. At present, the firm sources 21% of goods sold locally, apart from exporting them to other European markets. “We are actually selling a lot outside of India than forecasted.

Our sourcing will definitely go beyond the 30% mark. The way it's going, there is no doubt that it will double very quickly,” Dykes said. According to the FDI policy for single-brand retailers, for FDI beyond 51%, at least 30% of the value of goods purchased should be sourced from India, preferably from small and medium enterprises. With Indian consumers increasingly shopping online, Decathlon has also sought the government's permission to allow online operations. Currently, the government doesn't permit single-brand foreign retailers to sell online.

Services provided in Decathlon Sarjapur  is

 Home delivery the sport goods

 Cycle servicing and repairs of B-Twin sub labelled cycles (no other cycles).

 Stringing of tennis ,squash &badminton Artengo sub labelled rackets (no other rackets).

 Play ground rental(Rs 800/h on week days and RS 1000/h on weekends and national holidays).

 Conduct events and tournament

1.4 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Retail industry is found to have continuous growth in the past days due to the growing competition; a retail outlet needs to undertake many steps to remain in the industry and being profitable. One of such measures is that conducting a survey is to understand the consumer preference. It helps the service to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the outlet from the customers' perspective. This study aims to reveal the consumer preference towards the services offered by various sports goods and also the buyer behavior. This study is mainly to focus on different attributes that contribute to the consumer preference and to provide suggestions to improve the quality of service been rendered and to focus on building market share.

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