* Under Armour is partnering with Kohl’s and DSW
* Collaboration will include exclusive designs for DSW
* Strategy seeks to recoup lost revenues from Sports Authority’s bankruptcy
In response to slowed growth and lowered stock prices, Under Armour has announced two new partnership deals with retailers. A partnership with Kohl’s launched early this year, and a second deal with DSW will roll out during back to school season.
The brand is expected to produce several shoe styles unique to DSW, which, considering the early stages of Under Armour’s footwear business, is one of several concerns facing investors. “Under Armour’s footwear business is smaller and still developing, so they need to be careful there,” Susquehanna Financial Group LLP analyst Sam Poser told Footwear News.
Another key area of concern, says Poser, is the segmentation of men’s and women’s apparel. He says that at least half of the styles selling at Kohl’s are also available at Dick’s Sporting Goods.
Under Armour was one of the hardest hit brands when Sports Authority filed for bankruptcy in 2016. Having originally expected $163 million in revenues from Sports Authority last year, the brand squeezed out a mere $43 million.
Poser believes that the partnerships are part of a larger strategy to make up for the lost income from Sports Authority. Additional partnerships with Shoe Carnival, Famous Footwear and other retailers are expected in the future.
“I think for Under Armour, it’s tough because they need to find new points of distribution,” says B. Riley & Co. analyst Jeff Van Sinderen. “It is a bit of a double-edged sword, they need to grow, but in doing so, they may risk compromising brand image.”
The Under Armour collection for Kohl’s includes men’s, women’s and kids’s apparel, as well as shoes. Under Armour is currently only selling socks, accessories and a few basic slides for men and women at DSW.