Best Transaction Management Solution Highly Commended: Decathlon Italia, SRL

Published: Aug 2023
Photo of Davide Bertuzzi, Decathlon Italia SRL.

Photo of Davide Bertuzzi, Decathlon Italia SRL.

Davide Bertuzzi

Decathlon logo

Decathlon Italia is Italy’s biggest omni channel retailer of the sporting goods market with a turnover of almost €2bn. In the last 30 years based on a true sense of “moving people through the wonder of sports” the company welcomes roughly 50 million Italian customers every year in more than 140 stores. Customers are mainly consumers (B2C) but also coming from BTB business such as sport associations and public administration.

Decathlon belongs to a French company, born in 1976 in Lille with net sales reaching €15.4bn and relying on a workforce of nearly 105,000 teammates with a presence in 72 territories globally.

Decathlon’s virtual account solution transforms legacy payments process

The challenge

Decathlon Italia’s B2B clients typically paid for their products with a SEPA Credit Transfer (SCT) on a specific and unique bank account. It was a time-consuming and inefficient process because of the complexity and bureaucracy of the reconciliation of the unique bank account dedicated to this cash in process. Customers had to fulfil an identification code on the SEPA Credit transfer payment in order to allow a manual reconciliation from the finance department for every payment and for every store.

Indeed, many payments were sent without any store identification code, triggering multiple treasury challenges. Decathlon was not able to identify the store and to quickly manage the accounting; each SCT needed to be manually managed, with consequent high risk of error. The supply chain management was not automatic and store replenishment was not immediate.

The solution

Decathlon Italia’s clients are both consumers (B2C) and sport associations (B2B) with around 94% of turnover deriving from B2C and 6% from B2B. Moreover, most of the company’s turnover comes from in-store shopping and each cluster of customers typically uses specific payment methods.

Decathlon has been deeply engaged in rolling out digitalisation solutions across its stores, including introducing automated self-checkout options that allow the store to manage the warehouse in real time. A new virtual account solution offered another step in the company’s digitisation journey. A virtual account solution supplied by Intesa Sanpaolo now allows the company to have as many virtual accounts as it has stores, each with a specific identification number and all referred to a unique bank account.

Thanks to the virtual account solution, Decathlon has been able to solve its key challenges.

For example, clients can make the SCT vs the virtual account of the store without entering any identification code and Intesa Sanpaolo will credit the ‘real’ account.

Benefits of the virtual account project include:

  • Pro-business solution saving time for customer and teammates in the store.

  • Cost savings connected to a drastically reduced manual intervention and a higher efficiency; risk mitigation strictly connected to the reduction of errors.

  • Increased automation coherently with the ongoing automation process.

  • More efficient supply chain management.

  • All Decathlon’s 140 stores in Italy now have their own virtual account.

“It is a great pleasure and honour to receive the award from Treasury Today.

For 30 years Decathlon has been playing hard every day in Italy to improve our standard and offer the best solution for our customers and our teammates.

Our digital transformation aims to push us to become more and more excellent in our services, serving Decathlon scope and project to ‘move people through the wonder of sport.’ It is also moving towards exploring new innovation paths digitising our financial process. I’m really proud about this great project and the job done by the team in collaboration with our partner Intesa Sanpaolo!”

Davide Bertuzzi, CFO

Best practice and innovation

As soon as the virtual account solution was adopted by the company, the number of SCTs requiring an intervention that needed reconciliation has fallen to nearly zero. The concrete benefits are in terms of cost, time and effort as well as more efficient store and supply chain management.

Key benefits

  • Time for business and for the customers.

  • Cost savings.

  • Process efficiency.

  • Increased automation.

  • Risk mitigated increasing reliability of process and controls.

  • Manual intervention reduced.

The Adam Smith Awards is the industry benchmark for best practice and innovation in corporate treasury. The 2023 awards attracted 320 nominations spanning 34 countries. To find out more please visit: treasurytoday.com/adam-smith-awards.

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