In a move indicative of many retailers’ increasing desire to modernize operations, the National Basketball Association has hired online sports apparel retailer Fanatics to operate its new 25,000-square-foot flagship store in Midtown.
Terms of the multi-year deal with were not disclosed. The NBA signed a lease for the new flagship store, at the Moinian Group’s 545 Fifth Avenue, late last year. Adidas currently operates the current, smaller NBA Store at 590 Fifth Avenue, which will close later this summer.
Fanatics already runs the online store for the NBA as well as other major sports leagues, according to Re/code. The company hopes to use that platform to create an “integrated shopping experience,” making it easier for in-store shoppers to buy merchandise online when apparel is out of stock.
The store will feature employees outfitted with handheld devices that will allow customers to check out without waiting in line or order products from the NBA’s online store if they can’t find them on the shelves. [Re/code] – Rey Mashayekhi