Macy’s Taps Fanatics to Expand Licensed Sports Assortment

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Count Macy’s Inc. as the latest retailer to team up with Fanatics to supply its sports merchandise.

On Tuesday, the department store said it has signed a long-term partnership with the licensed sports merchandiser and digital sports platform that is intended to significantly expand its assortment of fan gear, apparel and hard goods for customers shopping on its website and mobile app.

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Through what Macy’s calls a “progressive connected inventory model,” Fanatics will make available the largest selection of licensed sports products ever offered to Macy’s shoppers, growing the current fan apparel offering by nearly 20 times. Under the terms of the deal, Macy’s will continue to operate the front end of the e-commerce business, but Fanatics will fulfill and ship the orders.

The expanded assortment will include officially licensed men’s, women’s and children’s apparel, jerseys, hats, collectibles tailgating and novelty products from all major sports leagues — NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, MLS, NASCAR and others — as well as hundreds of professional and college teams. It will encompass product from brands including Fanatics, Top of the World, Under Armour, Adidas, New Era, Nike and WinCraft.

A selection of Fanatics’ Better Brands portfolio, which includes more upscale merchandise from Tommy Bahama, Vineyard Vines, Wear by Erin Andrews and others, will be offered along with championship merchandise and other real-time products that is designed and manufactured on-demand by Fanatics. As a result of the deal, the women’s assortment will now be five times larger, according to Macy’s.

Macy’s said that its assortment was one of the smaller ones in the digital space and this will allow the retailer to offer a more-robust assortment of core team apparel and seasonal gifts, from pajamas to beer mugs, as well as memorabilia. It includes more lifestyle brands and a much larger assortment in fashion silhouettes and NCAA merchandise.

Fanatics got its start within entrepreneur Michael Rubin’s Global Sports Inc. and now has a valuation of around $18 billion. It has similar arrangements with retailers including Walmart Inc. and Kohl’s Corp. and has also begun working with Amazon Inc. In addition to its online presence, Fanatics operates around 50 retail stores in sports venues around the country as well as the flagships for the NBA and NHL in New York City.

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