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Kohl’s Expands Licensed Sports Assortment with Exclusive Fanatics Partnership

Kohl’s will add “hundreds of thousands” of items to its sports merchandise assortment this fall thanks to a new long-term agreement with Fanatics.

Beginning in Fall 2019, the partnership will give Kohl’s shoppers access to Fanatics’ wide selection of team apparel, official jerseys and accessories from the NFL, NBA, MLB, NCAA and more. Apparel for men, women and children will be part of the assortment, which also includes gear for gameday tailgating and collectibles.

Kohl’s said the partnership is part of a larger plan to expand its product offering and reach out to new shoppers, touting the improvements it has made in the omnichannel space. The partners will be sharing responsibility in the new venture, with Kohl’s marketing and distributing the product, leaving Fanatics to fulfill and ship orders directly.

“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,” Doug Howe, Kohl’s CMO, explained. “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 new gear from Fanatics will appear alongside other brands in the Kohl’s Fan Shop, a section found in-store and on the retailer’s website. Kohl’s said it will join Nike, Under Armour and Adidas gear to create “a broad assortment of products from top national sports brands,” giving it one of the most comprehensive selections of sports merchandise among its competitors.

Jack Boyle, Fanatics co-president of DTC retail, said the partnership will also give Kohl’s shoppers access to exclusive items, like gear printed for specific markets and championship runs.

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“Kohl’s is a best-in-class retailer, and we’re thrilled 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,” Boyle said. “We’re excited to offer more products directly to customers through the platform—which their loyal customer base is already familiar with—making this a win-win for everyone.”

Typically a wholesaler, Fanatics has previously worked with retailers to help them expand their team merchandise selection, like in its deal with J.C. Penney in 2014. In 2016, the brand paired with Under Armour to become producers of uniforms and apparel for Major League Baseball (MLB) and it tapped Jakprints in 2018 to help with the domestic manufacturing of its products.