Foot Locker Inc. (NYSE: FL) announced on Tuesday a USD 12.5 Million investment in kids clothing retailer Rockets of Awesome. Foot Lockers partnership with the children's apparel company becomes just one of its many recent investments in online retailers.
The specialty athletic retailer best known for populating American malls appears to be taking on a new role similar to that of a Venture Capital fund for innovative new startups. The Company invested USD 100 Million in Goat Group a sneaker resaler platform earlier in the year. Carbon38 a women's activewear site also saw a generous investment of USD 15 Million from Footlocker. Now the Company’s investment in Rockets of Awesome will make Foot Locker the lead investor in a larger USD 19.5 Million Series C round.
Rockets of Awesome will be opening up mini-stores within Foot Locker locations as part of the partnership. You can also expect to see Rockets of Awesome’s clothing selling on Foot Locker’s children's website as well. The USD 12.5 Million funds are expected to help Rockets of Awesome open its first stand-alone store just before the school shopping season this year. Rachel Blumenthal, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Rockets of Awesome said, "With Foot Locker's support, we look forward to bringing our unique, high-quality merchandise and convenient shopping experience to even more families everywhere."
Footlocker deals with Goat Group, Carbon 38, and Rockets of Awesome have further enhanced their commitment to the kid's apparel segment. These younger brands have a great presence on social media and influence on millennials. Considering Footlocker is more concentrated in brick-and-mortar stores, help from these brands can allow the Company to build relationships with younger consumers.
"Rockets of Awesome is advancing the way parents shop for their kids and Foot Locker is committed to evolving with the ever-changing retail landscape and adjusting to the speed of our customers," said Richard Johnson, Foot Locker, Inc.'s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "We are excited that our partnership with Rockets of Awesome will enable Kids Foot Locker to deliver new, innovative products and experiences. We look forward to collaborating with them on brand development, product collections, and go-to-market plans to help realize additional growth for both companies."