France’s favourite brands in 2021: Decathlon, Peugeot, and Leclerc

The third annual ranking saw the sports brand top the poll again but online Covid appointment booking app Doctolib rose up the charts in a sign of the pandemic times

A sign with the Decathlon logo; a Peugeot dealership sign; and sign with the Leclerc logo; the Doctolib app on a phone screen
Decathlon came out on top for the third year running, but former French start-up Doctolib climbed higher in the rankings, and Peugeot knocked Renault off the podium
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Sports giant Decathlon has again come out on top as France’s favourite French company, in a new annual poll that also saw vaccination appointment booking platform Doctolib race ahead in the ranking.

The third annual Top 50 poll of French companies and brands was carried out by Ifop for the Eight Advisory cabinet, and le Journal du Dimanche.

First place: Decathlon

Decathlon topped the ranking for the third consecutive year, and particularly appreciated its innovative products and services, and said it seemed like a good place to work. It was the only company on the list that scored higher than 12 out of the maximum 20 points available.

Second place: Peugeot

The French car brand came in second place with 11.75 out of 20. The manufacturer has greatly refreshed its range over the past few years.

Third place: E. Leclerc

The hypermarché giant took third place this year with a score of 11.67, knocking car manufacturer Renault from the podium. This has been attributed to supermarkets’ growth in use and popularity during the successive Covid lockdowns.

Top 5-10

In fourth and fifth place were homeware and DIY store Leroy-Merlin, and cosmetics and beauty brand Yves Rocher.

The Top 10 was completed by electricity firm EDF, vehicle brands Renault, and Michelin, food manufacturer Danone, and cosmetics giant L'Oréal.

Highest climber

The brand with the most spectacular rise in the rankings was Doctolib, which began as a French start-up to help people in France to book GP appointments.

It just missed the top 10 in the ranking, coming in at number 11. It also took the top spot for the company considered most likely to "have capacity to improve the daily life of the public".

It has been used by tens of millions of people to book Covid-19 vaccination appointments during the pandemic.

Ranking method

The ranking was drawn up using six major criteria, to determine the top 50 out of 77 businesses suggested by the 3,005 people who took part in the poll.

The criteria were:

  • Performance
  • Environmental responsibility
  • Innovation
  • Whether they give a good image of France internationally
  • The daily contribution made to the public’s lives
  • Whether the public feels they would be a good company to work for.

Romain Bendavid, company director at Ifop, commented: "We can see that the public [this year] has attached more importance to companies that people want to work for.

"This could be analysed as a change in the balance of power between employer and employee, in view of the current labour shortage in certain sectors."

Top 50

Just making it into the Top 50 were tourism staple Club Med, water giant Suez, airport group Aéroports de Paris (ADP), telecoms provider Free, motorway group Vinci, and the perfume shop brand Marionnaud.

Only one bank made it into the top 50: Crédit Agricole, in 43rd place.

A number of supermarkets did well, including Carrefour (18), and Système U (40).

Beauty, cosmetic and fashion brands also featured, including L'Oréal (10), Chanel (22), Christian Dior (30), Louis Vuitton (33), Sephora (36) Galeries Lafayette (41), and Hermès (44).

Electronics and telecoms brands Fnac (13), Orange (16), Darty (17) and Free (48) also featured highly, while in the transport and travel sector, Airbus (15), SNCF (19), and Veolia (32) did well, with ride-sharing app BlaBlaCar coming in 42nd place.

The full ranking

  • Decathlon (Also: Company most wanted to work for, and most innovative)
  • Peugeot
  • E. Leclerc (Also: Best impact on the French economy)
  • Leroy Merlin
  • Yves Rocher (Also: Most environmentally-friendly)
  • EDF
  • Renault
  • Michelin
  • Danone
  • L'Oréal
  • Doctolib
  • Citroën
  • Fnac
  • Intermarché
  • Airbus
  • Orange
  • Darty
  • Carrefour
  • SNCF
  • Picard
  • Yoplait
  • Chanel (Also: Capacity to give best international image of France)
  • La Poste
  • Air France
  • Engie
  • Auchan
  • Bic
  • Boulanger
  • Le Bon Coin
  • Christian Dior
  • Total Energies
  • Veolia
  • Louis Vuitton
  • Rungis (market)
  • Grand Frais
  • Sephora
  • Andros
  • Groupe Bouygues
  • Cdiscount
  • Système U
  • Galeries Lafayette
  • BlaBlaCar
  • Crédit Agricole
  • Hermès
  • Club Med
  • Suez
  • ADP
  • Free
  • Vinci
  • Marionnaud
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