Sporting goods retailer Decathlon has purchased Bergfreunde, a German online retailer of mountain sports, climbing and outdoor equipment.

The online retailer offers 40,000 items from 900 brands and has a presence in 11 European countries including Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and the UK.

Bergfreunde runs an administrative location in Kirchentellinsfurt, Germany, where it employs 600 people, and a logistics location in Ergenzingen near Tübingen.

The acquisition provides Decathlon with an opportunity to reach new customers in the outdoor-premium market segment through a fully digital business model, and expand its presence in major European markets.

The new owner plans to support Bergfreunde’s leadership in their development and growth journey.

Decathlon chief executive officer Barbara Martin Coppola stated: “This strategic partnership will enable Decathlon to strengthen our global outdoor offering with a recognised and valued premium pure-player.

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“With a strong presence in several European markets, including Germany, Europe’s biggest outdoor market, Bergfreunde will add to our ecosystem, alongside Alltricks. We are determined to accompany Bergfreunde’s teams as they continue to accelerate their development to the benefit of their customers and partners, to move people through the wonders of sport.”

The announcement follows a purchase agreement signed on 24 November 2023.

Bergfreunde will continue to operate as an autonomous and independent subsidiary under its namesake brand.

The company’s management team will also remain in their current roles.

The deal is subject to regulatory approval and financial terms have not been disclosed.

Bergfreunde managing director Matthias Gebhard stated: “Decathlon is a financially strong and long-term operating partner, and we are confident they are the right partner for us as we enter this next phase of growth. We look forward to benefiting from Decathlon’s leadership in sustainability, internationalisation and scaling.”