• WWD / By Jean E. Palmieri

Kohl’s Expands Relationship With Fanatics for Online Sports Gear

The retailer will now be able to offer hundreds of thousands of pieces of professional and collegiate merchandise.

Kohl’s has inked an exclusive, long-term partnership with Fanatics, the largest retailer of licensed sports merchandise, to significantly expand its assortment of fan gear beginning this fall.

Hundreds of thousands of items of team apparel, jerseys and other items from major professional sports leagues and colleges — including the NFL, NCAA, NBA, MLB, NHL and MLS — will now be available through the Kohl’s web site. Kohl’s will operate the online store, but Fanatics will fulfill the orders and ship the products to customers. Fanatics had previously had a wholesale-only relationship with Kohl’s.

“We are continually seeking opportunities to evolve our product offerings in order to give our customers even more of what they’re looking for, and this expanded partnership with Fanatics conveniently brings more officially licensed products across more favorite sports teams to kohls.com,” said chief merchandising officer Doug Howe. “Furthermore, we’re able to offer the same convenience and value that customers have come to know and love from Kohl’s — including the capability to buy via the Kohl’s app, as well as the value of earning and redeeming Kohl’s Cash.”

The assortment will include officially licensed men’s, women’s and children’s apparel, jerseys, hats, collectibles, and tailgating and novelty products from brands including Nike, Under Armour, Adidas, Majestic, Fanatics and New Era.

Jack Boyle, Fanatics copresident of direct-to-consumer retail, said the deal will enable the company “to elevate our existing wholesale relationship through this unique new offering which gives Kohl’s customers access to a broader online assortment of fan gear across all sports and teams, including specialty hot market and championship gear.”

Kohl’s operates more than 1,100 stores in 49 states. It has recently been going through a transformation to enhance its position as the department store for America’s families. Activewear is among the company’s most successful categories and accounts for around 20 percent of its overall sales, which are in excess of $20 billion.

Fanatics has deals with other retailers including Walmart, where it runs a “shop-in-shop” site on the company’s web site.

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