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Foot Locker invests in online marketplace Goat.com

Trainer retailer Foot Locker has announced it will invest $100 million into GOAT Group, the business which runs secondary sneaker online marketplace Goat.com.

The two companies also plan to work together to find ways of digitising Foot Locker's expansive brick and mortar estate.

With Foot Locker’s 2,500+ stores around the world, the partnership is also set to help GOAT internationalise its operations. The cash injection is expected to help the marketplace group expand its technology and omnichannel credentials, and it now means Goat Group has raised $197.6 million since it was founded in 2015.

Foot Locker has recently invested in a range of innovative, digital-first companies, including women's luxury activewear brand Carbon38, children's lifestyle brand Super Heroic, and footwear design academy Pensole.

The business has closed around 250 stores over the last two years, mainly as a necessity due to the slowing – and failing – retail mall market in the US, where it has such a strong presence. It has replaced these outlets with over 100 stores in new locations, and is developing ways it can raise its profile in local communities by hosting events and sports games.

As part of the new collaboration, Scott Martin, Foot Locker’s senior vice president ­­for strategy & store development, will join GOAT Group's board of directors.

Richard Johnson, Foot Locker's chairman and CEO, said: "We are excited to leverage GOAT Group's technology to further innovate the sneaker buying experience and utilise their best-in-class online marketplace to help meet the ever-growing global demand for the latest product.

Eddy Lu, co-founder and CEO of GOAT Group, added: "In 2015, we pioneered the ship-to-verify model with a mission to bring a seamless and safe customer experience to the secondary sneaker market.

"With over 3,000 retail locations, Foot Locker will support our primarily digital presence with physical access points worldwide, bringing more value to our community of buyers and sellers. Having Foot Locker as a strategic partner will also expand our business as we continue to scale our operations both domestically and internationally."

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