Under Armour Partners with Kohl’s in Push to Reach Broader Market

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Under Armour Partners with Kohl’s in Push to Reach Broader Market

07/26/2016
Under Armour and Kohl’s have announced a partnership in which Under Armour apparel, accessories and footwear will be made available in all of Kohl’s more than 1,100 U.S. stores starting in March 2017. Under Armour is also testing its HealthBox fitness tracker at the retailer.
 
Since 2014, Kohl’s has made a sizable investment in the active and wellness category by enhancing and expanding key national and private brands, acquiring new, notable brands and partners, and providing customers with an expanded assortment of products for the entire family. Kohl’s has been struggling to sell apparel recently, but it is seeing success in the active and wellness category, which today comprises 15 percent of the business, or $3 billion in sales. This new partnership should enable the department store to continue to grow that business. There’s no doubt its customers are fans of the brand: the company has seen more than 400,000 searches for Under Armour on Kohls.com in just the past year.
 
The partnership, more than two years in the making, comes at a time when both companies could use a boost. In Apparel’s rankings of apparel companies and department stores, respectively, both companies saw profit margins decline in the most recent fiscal year vs. the prior year, from 6.74 percent to 5.87 percent at Under Armour, and from 4.56 percent to 3.5 percent at Kohl’s. Under Armour is already popular with Kohl’s suburban, middle-class customer base and this will broaden Kohl’s selection of national brands and increase its efforts to become a destination for athletic apparel.
 
For Under Armour, the partnership will broaden its reach and comes at a particularly good time given the loss of its business with Sports Authority, which declared bankruptcy this past spring. The company has been trying to expand beyond traditional sporting-goods stores for some time, partnering with Macy’s in 2012, and also recently adding designer Tim Coppens as executive creative director to design a more fashionable line, Under Armour Sportswear, that will debut this fall.
                 
“I am absolutely thrilled to announce our new partnership with Under Armour. This is a memorable and significant moment for Kohl’s as we bring this incredible brand to our customers nationwide,” said Michelle Gass, Kohl’s chief merchandising and customer officer. “We greatly admire what Under Armour has accomplished in creating a powerful and successful brand that has really changed the Active industry. This brand launch builds on other notable investments we’ve already made in our Active business. We believe Kohl’s is uniquely positioned to celebrate the athletes and wellness enthusiasts in every family.”