US sportswear retailer Foot Locker has announced a US$12.5m investment in children’s apparel company Rockets of Awesome – its third deal in 2019 alone.
Rockets of Awesome offers both online shopping and apparel subscription services to its customers. Clothing is priced between US$16-38 and targets the three to 12-year-old market.
In a statement, Footlocker said the investment, which is made through its subsidiary, will enable it to delve further into the kids’ apparel segment while further diversifying its customer base and expanding its product offerings.
As part of Foot Locker’s strategic partnership, Kids Foot Locker will create exclusive Rockets of Awesome shop-in-shop destinations and be the largest retailer of Rockets of Awesome products in the US. Rockets of Awesome merchandise will also be available on kidsfootlocker.com.
“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, chairman and CEO. “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 realise additional growth for both companies.”
The move follows a US$100m strategic investment in Goat, a second-hand sneaker marketplace, last month which, Footlocker said, would enable the two companies to provide an “unmatched” customer experience and elevate engagement across the entire trainer industry.
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A month previously, the group made a $2m investment in a leading footwear design academy, Pensole, which it said would give it new access to collaborative design and manufacturing talent.
Meanwhile, Footlocker’s board of directors last week authorised three capital allocation initiatives “to both sustain meaningful investment in the business and reward long-term shareholders.”
As part of the plans, the board approved a three-year $1.2bn common share repurchase programme and a first quarter dividend of $0.38 per share, a 10% increase. It also approved a $275m capital expenditure programme for all regions and its digital initiatives. Foot Locker said it will continue to spend capital to build out its supply chain and other infrastructure capabilities.