The Weekly Closeout: Fanatics Acquires Mitchell & Ness and Brooks Surpasses $1 Billion in Revenue

It’s been another week with a lot more retail news than there is time in the day. Below, we outline some things you may have missed during the week, and what we’re still thinking about.

From the CVS-branded line of healthcare products to Hostess Brands’ new caffeinated donut, here’s our closeout of the week.

What you may have missed

Fanatics acquires Mitchell & Ness with Jay-Z, others

Sporting goods retailer Fanatics – along with Jay-Z, Maverick Carter, Meek Mill, Lil Baby and the D’Amelio family – has acquired lifestyle brand Mitchell & Ness from Juggernaut Capital Partners for an undisclosed sum. The strategic investment group, made up of “some of the most recognized names in sports, entertainment and culture”, will own 25% of the company, according to an announcement emailed to Retail Dive.

Mitchell & Ness was founded in 1904 and has become known for its authentic nostalgic swimwear, licensed merchandise, street fashion and headwear. The brand has signed agreements with the NBA, NFL, MLB, MLS and several NCAA schools.

Fanatics acquired Mitchell & Ness, known for their nostalgic jerseys.


The company will operate as a separate entity under the Fanatics Commerce division, according to the announcement. Fanatics plans to expand the company’s distribution network by adding Mitchell & Ness products to new retailers.

“Mitchell & Ness is an iconic brand and a pioneer in our industry. I am extremely pleased that Fanatics is partnering with this incredible group of innovative owners to build on the company’s already strong businesses that have enabled the brand to remain culturally relevant for over 100 years,” Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin said in a statement. “Growing up in Philadelphia, we considered Mitchell & Ness a sign of pride, and I truly believe that this legendary brand knows no bounds.”

The agreement follows Acquisition by fanatics of trading card company Topps earlier this year.

Brooks and Puma hit records

It’s been a big week for Brooks. The running brand surpassed $1 billion in annual revenue for the first time in its historygrowing sales 31% to $1.1 billion in 2021. Brooks was again the specialty running channel’s leading brand last year and also clinched the top market share spot in running shoes. adult racing in the athletic specialty and sporting goods channel, according to data from the NDP Group.

Around the same time, Brooks promoted his chief operating officer Dan Sheridan to president of the company, in addition to his current role. Sheridan has been with Brooks for 24 years, and CEO Jim Weber has touted his “growth in leadership, ability, and track record in strategy and execution” as valuable assets for Brooks’ future growth.

Brooks hit $1 billion in revenue for the first time this year.

Courtesy of Brooks Running

Brooks isn’t the only athleisure brand to do well this week: Puma recorded the highest sales and EBIT in his story on Wednesday. Sales rose 32% in 2021 to 6.8 million euros ($7.6 million on Thursday). Sales of footwear, apparel and accessories were all up more than 25% year over year, with footwear up 36%.

“Compared to the pre-pandemic level in 2019, our sales even increased by 30%. The continued momentum of our brand combined with great operational flexibility are the main reasons for these achievements,” said the CEO. bjørn Gulden said in a statement. “Our strategy of working closely with our suppliers and retail partners to overcome any short-term issues and obstacles without hampering our medium-term momentum has paid off.”

The company has partnered with celebrities like Dua Lipa and also established itself in niche markets that its rivals are not in, GlobalData Apparel analyst Louise Deglise-Favre said in email comments. . “These marketing strategies will allow the brand to remain relevant in a post-pandemic world, where performance sportswear has regained prominence with the resumption of team sports and major events such as the Olympics in Beijing winter, but athleisure will remain crucial due to long-term precariousness trends,” Ms Deglise-Favre said.

CVS develops its own range of health products

CVS Pharmacy on Tuesday announced the launch of six new private label health products as an extension of its CVS Health line. Items include comfort-grip canes, travel walkers, convertible shower chairs, and comfortable 3-in-1 dressers.

Most items are currently available on the company’s website, and products will be available in more than 6,000 stores in March.

“There will be more than 70 million Americans age 65 and older by 2030, along with millions of caregivers and other customers who will need these types of products due to illness or during recovering from an accident,” Brenda Lord, vice president of store brands, said in a statement. “By filling an unmet need for functional yet beautifully designed products, we aim to help improve the daily lives of those who rely on these tools and are looking for a more premium and personalized market offering.”

Macellum continues to needle Kohl’s

Macellum Advisors, which owns 5% of Kohl’s, continued its rhetorical confrontation with Kohl’s board, hit retailer executives for not getting deeper into a sales process. The financial company said in a statement that “it appears the board still hasn’t allowed its bankers to aggressively probe the market and engage in substantive conversations with a broader set of logics pretenders.”

Earlier in the year Kohl’s recognized interest of potential financial buyers, one of which would be the private equity firm Sycamore Partners. Kohls rejected offers and adopted a poison pill to avoid the possibility of a takeover, something else Macellum took issue with.

In January, Macellum called for a reshuffle of the board and announced its own selections for the company’s board of directors. Along with a sale, the fund suggested Kohl sell real estate, accelerate share buybacks and consider getting into his e-commerce business. Kohl’s said at the time that he was “disappointed with the path” Macellum was following. Kohl a previously said that he believes”Macellum’s efforts to take control of the Council are unwarranted and counterproductive.”

retail therapy

I don’t know what to think about this

Hostess Marks recently announced the roll-out of its caffeinated Hostess Boost Jumbo Donettes. That’s right, folks, these things are caffeinated and energized and come in two different flavors – Chocolate Mocha and Caramel Macchiato.

“For adults who are increasingly looking for alternative sources of caffeine, our new Hostess Boost Jumbo Donettes offer a tasty, energizing, on-the-go way to start the day,” said Christopher Balach, Managing Director of Hostess Brands, in A declaration.

Hostess Brands now lets you grab your morning coffee.

Hostess Marks

But don’t worry too much about the new product – each contains between 50 and 70 milligrams of caffeine, which is slightly less caffeine than a cup of coffee. They’re also three times larger than the company’s mini donuts, are injected with coffee bean extract, and lightly glazed. Each single-serving pack costs about $2.49 and will soon be available in convenience stores nationwide.

Because sometimes eating a donut and dunking it in a hot drink is just too much work.

What we still think about


That’s about how much a large brewed coffee will cost you at Starbucks. But now shoppers can have their Starbucks delivered to their car while they pick up their Drive Up orders. at the target. The mass marketer announced the new feature earlier this week, which it said was a top request from customers surveyed. Target will also accept returns through its drive up service.


That’s how many years Bath & Body Works CEO Andrew Meslow has been resign in May this year for health reasons, has been with the company. Prior to taking on the CEO role, Meslow was the COO of Bath & Body Works. Analysts called his departure a “significant loss” for Bath & Body Works, but also called the retailer a “well-oiled machine” poised for further growth.

what we watch

Allbirds goes into wholesale

Allbirds announced this week its plans to go into wholesale business in the second quarter of this year. Footwear brand DTC will be selective in the retailers it partners with and co-CEO Joey Zwillinger on Wednesday called the strategy “proactive and deliberate.”

The decision to expand into wholesale follows that of many DTC brands in recent years, as the limits of direct sale only to the consumer are becoming more and more apparent. Last year, Coresight Research predicted that brands would take a “Hybrid wholesale-DTC” approach over the next three years. Partnerships between traditional retailers and DTC brands generally benefit both parties: popular brands drive traffic, especially from younger consumers, to traditional retailers, while retailers offer brands an expanded distribution network both by online and in store.

Allbirds itself already operates 35 stores globally and plans to add even more this year, but expanding into wholesale will help it increase brand awareness, Zwillinger said.

Neal T. Doss