French sporting goods retailer Decathlon has 214 stores in China, more than any country except France, the company said.
Decathlon's Chinese customers grew by 34 percent in 2016, as the retailer opened 48 new stores. In 2017, it plans to expand into provincial capitals like Haikou, Taiyuan and Kunming. Its fifth logistics center, located in the northeastern city of Shenyang, will also open.
In China, Decathlon releases more than 3,000 new products every year, covering more than 80 categories of sports. The company aims to double its China workforce to 30,000 in the next five years.
Decathlon said China occupied an important position in its global businesses. Its revenue topped 10 billion euros in 2016. More than 67 percent were contributed by markets outside France.
Its business boom in China coincides with the rising enthusiasm among Chinese for fitness and sports as they are wealthier and pay more attention to health.