Foot Locker (FL) is now in the toy business.
The sneaker retailer has teamed up with pop culture toymaker Funko (FNKO) to open stores. Funko CEO Brian Mariotti told Yahoo Finance the store base has quickly hit 61, up from the 20 original ones opened in the third quarter. The companies announced the partnership in late November.
Unlike typical Foot Locker stores, the Funko branded locations — dubbed ‘POP by Foot Locker’ — do not sell a single pair of sneakers. Instead, Foot Looker hawks Funko dolls, T-shirts and other swag inspired from sports stars such as LeBron James. The goal with the stores is likely to keep Foot Locker as plugged into the sneakerhead/pop culture scene as possible.
Mariotti said sales at the stores have been strong and Foot Locker plans to move forward with additional locations.
Meanwhile, Mariotti told Yahoo Finance that with U.S. trade relations with China on the wane the company is focused on diversifying its supplier base beyond China. By the end of 2019, Mariotti expects to have 75% of its supplier base outside of China.
“The tariffs are not affecting us right now,” Mariotti said, but the trade tensions have led the company to scrutinize where it’s making Funko products.
Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter @BrianSozzi
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