Licensed sports apparel site Fanatics is the latest addition to the expanding Walmart portfolio. The Jan. 29 debut of the Walmart Fan Shop provides access to NFL jerseys, NBA T-shirts and other apparel and merchandise from all the major sports leagues, including collectibles, tailgating items and novelty products. In addition to its own licensed products, Fanatics carries items from well-known brands including Nike, New Era and Majestic.
The “long-term” Fanatics deal “will enable us to quickly give customers access to the latest and greatest items for sports’ biggest moments, including official fan gear for this weekend’s Super Bowl and the recent NFL Conference Championships,” wrote Eric O’Toole, General Manager, Sports and Fitness, Walmart U.S. eCommerce in a blog post.
Walmart has been expanding its online offerings, particularly in apparel, through a combination of partnerships (such as Lord & Taylor’s deal for dedicated space on the Walmart.com site) and acquisitions. Last year, Walmart launched the Lord & Taylor marketplace as part of its site overhaul, and then later opened its Premium Outdoor Store for recently acquired Moosejaw.
The retail giant’s e-Commerce buying spree began with Jet.com in August 2016 and has continued with brands including ModCloth, Bonobos, Bare Necessities, Eloquii and most recently Art.com. These brands get access to the immense potential audience that Walmart can deliver, while Walmart takes the opportunity to attract new customer groups, such as younger shoppers and sports fans.