Nordstrom has teamed up with online sports merchandise retailer and manufacturer Fanatics to bring a range of licensed sports gear to its customers for the first time.
The new long-term partnership will give Nordstrom.com customers access to thousands of Fanatics’ exclusive products, including men’s, women’s and kids gear from top leagues including the NFL, NCAA, NBA, MLB and more. Nordstrom will power the front-end digital customer experience — the Nordstrom.com Sports Fan Shop — while orders will be fulfilled and shipped by Fanatics. Fanatics will also design and manufacture championship products and other real-time items on demand through Fanatics’ vertical commerce business model.
Macy’s launched a similar partnership with Fanatics in October 2021. Nordstrom said the partnership with Fanatics was part of its “long-term ambition for growth through increased non-wholesale models to offer customers more choices,” which raises the question — is Nordstrom perhaps also eyeing the addition of a third-party marketplace? An increasing number of retailers are expanding their product assortments and reducing inventory risk by adding a marketplace to their existing ecommerce platforms. In fact, Macy’s just debuted its own third-party marketplace last week.
“We are thrilled to partner with Fanatics to serve both current and new customers, just in time for the gifting season,” said Teri Bariquit, Chief Merchandising Officer at Nordstrom in a statement. “Through this innovative partnership model and new product category, we can now meet the needs of sports enthusiasts and the people who shop for them. Since Fanatics is the industry leader in this category and a digital-first company with strong investments in technology, they made the perfect fit for us to differentiate our offer and give customers increased selection to discover.”