- Aiming to fill the gap Nike left behind, Foot Locker has expanded its partnership with Puma to focus on basketball products and introduce exclusive collections, according to a Monday press release. Foot Locker will maintain exclusive access to Puma’s LaMelo Ball Signature program through the deal.
- The pair are teaming up on product aimed at Gen Z and Gen Alpha consumers, including a Puma x Paw Patrol collection, a Puma x Pokemon collection and a Puma x CoComelon collaboration, all of which are exclusive to Foot Locker. Hip-hop artist Cordae, and social media influencer and music artist Dixie D’Amelio will launch exclusive product programs at Foot Locker in the coming months.
- The two companies will also work together on product drops, marketing initiatives and an improved in-store and online shopping experience.
Foot Locker has deepened its relationship with Puma as Nike pivots away from the sportswear retailer. In February, Foot Locker disclosed that Nike, the retailer’s largest supplier, was scaling back its presence with the store chain and concentrating on its direct-to-consumer strategy, but Foot Locker’s then-CEO Dick Johnson said the two companies would maintain a strong relationship and that the shift would give Foot Locker a chance to diversify its assortment.
Since then, Foot Locker has signed deals with Reebok and Adidas to bring more products from those brands into stores. The more robust Adidas partnership included a long-term deal to expand women's, children's and apparel products sold through Foot Locker stores. Johnson in May said the efforts to diversify were going “exceptionally well.”
“We are very excited to build on our already strong partnership with Puma,” Andrew Gray, executive vice president of global lockers and Champs Sports at Foot Locker, Inc, said in a statement. “By expanding and strengthening our collaboration with Puma, we continue to advance our strategy to diversify our product selection and bring new and innovative products to our consumers.”
The collaboration is kicking off with an emphasis on the Pokemon collection: The retailers turned the Puma New York City flagship, as well as 400 Foot Locker, Kids Foot Locker and Champs Sports stores across the U.S., into Pokemon Go Gyms and PokeStops to promote Puma's Pokemon-themed merchandise.