Foot Locker has announced it will make a $100m (£77.3m) strategic minority investment in Goat – a managed marketplace for trainers operating the Goat and Flight Club brands.
Foot Locker said the companies will combine efforts across digital and physical retail platforms to create “exclusive customer experiences”. It added the power of Foot Locker’s global footprint and Goat Group’s digital capabilities will enable the two companies to provide an “unmatched experience” and “elevate customer engagement across the entire industry”.
The investment is also expected to be used to help accelerate the online marketplace’s global operations, expanding its omnichannel experience and innovative technologies.
Richard Johnson, Foot Locker chairman and CEO, said: “At Foot Locker we are constantly looking at new ways to elevate our customer experience and bring sneaker and youth culture to people around the world.”
“We are excited to leverage Goat Group’s technology to further innovate the sneaker buying experience and utilise their best-in-class online marketplace to help meet the ever-growing global demand for the latest product. Together, Foot Locker and Goat Group’s shared commitment to trust and authenticity in the sneaker industry will provide consumers with unparalleled experiences and diversified offerings.”
Eddy Lu, co-founder and CEO Goat Group added: “In 2015, we pioneered the ship-to-verify model with a mission to bring a seamless and safe customer experience to the secondary sneaker market.
“With over 3,000 retail locations, Foot Locker will support our primarily digital presence with physical access points worldwide, bringing more value to our community of buyers and sellers. Having Foot Locker as a strategic partner will also expand our business as we continue to scale our operations both domestically and internationally.”
Following the deal, Scott Martin, Foot Locker’s senior VP – strategy and store development will join Goat Group’s board of directors.
The news comes after Foot Locker’s recent investments in digital-first companies including leading women’s luxury activewear brand Carbon38, tactical play and children’s lifestyle brand Super Heroic, and footwear design academy Pensole.