Decathlon, the French sports apparel brand, has decided to reverse its name for one month in an effort to promote reverse shopping. Now, stores in three Belgium cities will display a sign that reads “NOLHTACED”!

Decathlon shops in three Belgian towns – Evere, Namur, and Ghent—have changed their names. The company announced the change in name on Instagram and wrote, “This month Decathlon becomes nolhtaceD… because a Buyback action, is like shopping in reverse, right?”

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Decathlon is read “NOLHTACED” when written backwards, and the company believes that this marketing strategy would encourage people to indulge in reverse shopping.

Reverse shopping allows customers to resell old or unused sporting goods to Decathlon so that they can be repaired and resold with a warranty. If the goods cannot be repaired or reused, they will be sent to a recycling hub. The action is aimed to increase public awareness of environmentally beneficial activities.

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“The goal is to reuse as much equipment as possible to reduce the impact on our environment and avoid waste. Decathlon’s second-hand product range will also allow less fortunate consumers to buy quality sports equipment at a lower price,” Decathlon Belgium wrote in the press release.

Decathlon is taking all sporting goods (excluding safety articles, hygiene products, food products, medical products, and personalized items), even the ones that were not purchased from them, in exchange for vouchers valid for two years.

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The reversed name “NOLHTACED” now appears on the website logo, social media accounts, and above the entrances of three Decathlon stores in Belgium’s Namur, Ghent, and Evere.

Arnaud de Coster, head of second-hand products at Nolhtaced Belgium, said, “At first glance, this name change might look like a mere marketing initiative, but our goal is primarily to make our buy-back service known to as many people as possible.”

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Joeri Moons, country sustainability leader at Nolhtaced Belgium, added that it is less about owning and more about using. “This also means that we need to design our products so that they can last as long as possible,” he added.

Decathlon is the largest sporting goods retailer in the world, with more than 1697 outlets in 60 countries and regions. It was founded by Michel Leclercq in 1976 with the first store in Lille, France. Within a decade, it expanded its footprints to other parts of Europe including Germany, Spain, Italy, and Belgium.

Decathlon opened its first store in India in 2009 and now has over 100 stores spread across the country.

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Many international companies abandoned Russia after the Russian invasion of Ukraine began in February this year. Decathlon decided to continue with business as normal, which prompted strong criticism and a boycott from customers. On March 29, Decathlon announced that it had stopped doing business and shut down all of its stores in Russia.