Foot Locker pays US$100m for Goat Group stake

Specialty athletic retailer Foot Locker is making a US$100 million strategic minority investment in Goat Group, a managed marketplace for authentic sneakers operating the Goat and Flight Club brands.

The partners expect to make joint efforts across digital and physical retail platforms to create exclusive experiences for their customers in an attempt to elevate customer engagement. The investment is also expected to help accelerate Goat Group’s global operations, expanding its omnichannel experience and innovative technologies.

“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”, said Foot Locker’s chairman and CEO Richard Johnson. “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,” said Johnson.

“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,” said Goat Group’s co-founder and CEO Eddy Lu. “With more than 3000 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.”

Scott Martin, Foot Locker’s senior VP for strategy and store development, will join Goat Group’s board of directors.

The Goat Group deal follows Foot Locker’s recent investments in innovative, 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.

Foot Locker’s investment will bring the total raised by Goat Group to $197.6 million since it was founded in 2015.

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