Foot Locker invests in teen-oriented e-commerce and content platform NTWRK
The athletic footwear and apparel giant announced a $3 million investment in a new start-up, NTWRK, a youth-oriented e-commerce and content platform that offers live video shopping and programming via its mobile app or web store. The company, whose content focuses on licensed and non-licensed collaborations, brings top brands such as Nike and pop culture celebrities together in shoppable shows, “or “merchandise drops.” A chat feature allows viewers to connect with others during the show.
Foot Locker’s partnership with NTWRK Goat Group is the latest in a string of recent investments in digital-first companies including women’s luxury activewear brand Carbon38, tactical play and children’s lifestyle brand Super Heroic and footwear design academy Pensole. In February, the chain made a $100 million minority investment in Goat Group, operator of an online platform for the sale and resale of classic sneakers.
With the $3 million investment, Foot Locker and NTWRK will bring together the world’s best brands utilizing NTWRK’s episodic format to release exclusive products, original content and access to the biggest names in youth culture, the retailer said. Many of NTWRK’s recent and current partnerships include brands that are complementary to Foot Locker’s offerings, including Nike, Jordan, adidas, Puma, Champion and New Balance.
“NTWRK’s innovating and engaging content platform is pioneering the way brands tell their stories and the way youth culture shops,” said Richard Johnson, chairman and CEO, Foot Locker. “At Foot Locker, we are focused on continuing to elevate the customer experience and investing for growth, and our partnership with NTWRK reflects our commitment to driving our business in new and exciting ways. We look forward to working closely with Aaron and the NTWRK team to deliver exclusive products and experiences for our customers and extend our reach in youth culture.”
Founded in 2018, NTWRK drives e-commerce sales through a combination of content creation, episodic programming, experiential activations and exclusive launches. Its platform gives brands and artists the ability to tell stories behind their products. Based in Los Angeles, the company is led by CEO Aaron Levant, who previously served as senior VP at Reed Exhibitions, where he founded The Agenda Show, the industry’s largest streetwear trade show, and spearheaded the launch of ComplexCon, a cultural event attracting consumers and pop culture celebrities across fashion, arts and sports.
“We are excited to partner with Foot Locker on this journey, further enhancing what experiential commerce means to the consumer,” said Levant. “Given Foot Locker’s strong, global track record for retail leadership, we collectively aim to exceed the expectations of the next wave of consumers.”