Walmart brings Fanatics to its website to sell sportswear

Walmart has reached an agreement with sportswear marketplace Fanatics to sell NFL jerseys, NBA t-shirts and other sports-related items on Walmart.com.

The deal shows how serious Walmart is about rivalry with Amazon on the internet and builds on its partnerships and acquisitions with other apparel retailers. Walmart already has a marketplace on its website selling Lord & Taylor dresses, for example, and late last year Moosejaw, an outdoor clothing brand it had previously acquired, was added to its website.

Walmart has signed a long-term partnership with Fanatics, said Eric O’Toole, general manager of retail merchandising for Walmart’s U.S. e-commerce business. Thousands of Fanatics items will now be available on Walmart.com, starting Tuesday, including products from brands like Nike and New Era, O’Toole added. This includes licensed apparel, jerseys, hats, and tailgating items. Fanatics will now be the exclusive supplier of all licensed sporting goods on Walmart.com.

Walmart did not disclose the financial terms or duration of this agreement.

In addition to developing its own brand, Fanatics operates websites such as NFLShop.com, NBAStore.com, MLBShop.com, NASCARShop.com and MLSStore.com. The company holds exclusive licensing rights to produce and distribute merchandise for all major professional sports leagues, according to its website. This means Walmart will now be able to get the latest ventilator gear to shoppers faster, according to O’Toole.

In expanding Walmart’s website, O’Toole said the retailer has “focused on adding harder-to-find specialty items and premium products.”

In many ways, Walmart, with its latest offerings, is targeting young shoppers who haven’t traditionally thought about shopping at its stores. The big-box retailer wants millennials and Gen Z shoppers to see Walmart.com as a destination for everything they need: clothing, bedding, home decor, groceries and other everyday essentials like deodorant and makeup. Walmart made it clear it was embarking on this plan when it bought Jet.com in 2016.

Since then Walmart has acquired ModCloth, Moosejaw, Bonobos, Eloquii, Bare Necessities and more recently Art.com. Marc Lore, head of Walmart’s U.S. e-commerce business, said the company could one day own more than 40 digital-native brands, those that start online without stores.

Speaking earlier this month at the National Retail Federation’s Big Show in New York, Fanatics founder Michael Rubin said the company will generate up to $2.8 billion in revenue in 2019. He hinted that Fanatics’ next move would be to sell on another online marketplace. .

About William G. Patrick

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