Foot Locker has announced a $100 million strategic investment in GOAT Group, which operates secondary sneaker market brands GOAT and Flight Club. It is the retailer's largest investment in its history. GOAT, the sports acronym for Greatest of All Time, was founded in 2015 by college friends Eddy Lu and Daishin Sugano. Sneaker listings on the GOAT platform have tripled over the past 12 months to 750,000. The 35,000 unique styles available for sale range from decades-old shoes to ones that haven’t been released yet.
Total Retail's Take: With this move, Foot Locker taps into the online secondary sneaker marketplace, a segment of commerce that has seen explosive growth in recent years. Estimates range from $3 billion to $10 billion on its total size. Part and parcel of its investment in GOAT is Foot Locker's ambition to "inspire and empower youth culture." And like other traditional brick-and-mortar retailers that are turning to acquisitions and investments to grow their digital footprints and knowledge (see Walmart), Foot Locker is targeting GOAT as much for its younger customer demographic as it is for its digital capabilities. Engaging younger consumers in the channels they prefer, which are increasingly digital, is evident in Foot Locker's growth strategy. The retailer has recently invested a combined $20 million in three digital-first companies: women’s luxury activewear brand Carbon38, children’s lifestyle brand Super Heroic, and footwear design academy Pensole.