The deal reflects Nordstrom's ‘Closer to You’ agenda involving massively expanding the digital assortment from 300,000 items to 1.5 million within three to five years. Nordstrom.com, seeking to capture a greater share of wallet from current customers and a new audience of sports fans, for the first time is offering thousands of licensed sports products through a long-term partnership with Fanatics. Nordstrom.com is now offering a significant portion of Fanatics’ array of professional and college sports team merchandise from NASCAR, PGA, NFL, NCAA, NBA, MLB and other leagues. The selection includes men’s, women’s and kids apparel and accessories under the Fanatics label and brands such as Nike, Adidas and Mitchell & Ness that work with Fanatics to sell apparel products bearing team logos, emblems and numbers worn by athletes on their uniforms.
Nordstrom will power the front-end digital customer experience, meaning customers view and order products on nordstrom.com. The orders get fulfilled and shipped by Fanatics. At least initially, it’s purely a drop shipping arrangement; no wholesaling is involved and only nordstrom.com will carry the products, not any of the Nordstrom stores. Down the road, it’s possible Nordstrom brings its Fanatics assortment to Nordstrom stores and possibly rack.com.
Fanatics will make championship products and other real-time items available on nordstrom.com that are designed and manufactured on-demand through Fanatics vertically integrated supply chain. For example, after the last out in the last game of a World Series, or after the last second of a Super Bowl, shoppers will be able to immediately order merchandise bearing the graphics of the championship team, and receive their orders within a normal delivery period. The $3bn Fanatics has similar arrangements with Walmart, Kohl’s, Amazon, and as of a month ago, Macy’s, though Nordstrom is the most upscale retail partner for Fanatics. However, each deal is different in terms of what products are available. Home products, including smaller electronics and smaller furniture and some active areas like golf shoes, tennis racquets and outdoor gear are among the opportunities Nordstrom sees for further expanding its dot-com business. Nordstrom just launched & Other Stories, a subsidiary of H&M.