The new two-floor store has opened in London’s Foubert’s Place and will be followed by three additional stores around the world.
The National Basketball Association has opened its first official store in the UK.
The new two-floor store – which is located in Foubert’s Place, in the Carnaby shopping area of London’s Soho – is being operated by Lids, the largest licensed sports retailer in the US, which is partly owned by Fanatics.
The London opening marks the first official NBA store operated by Lids as part of the NBA’s partnership with Fanatics, reported Fashion United. It will be followed up with three further stores around the world in the next 18 months.
The outlet will offer a wide range of official NBA and WNBA merchandise including exclusive NBA products, apparel, jerseys, toys, sporting goods, headwear and collectables from brands such as New Era and Nike among others.
There will also be a customisation service.
“Ahead of our 75th anniversary season, we are excited to welcome fans to the first NBA Store in the UK,” said Steve Griffiths, NBA EME director of global partnerships. “UK fans are true connoisseurs of the game, and through our partnership with Fanatics, fans of all ages will be able to celebrate their love of the NBA with an extensive range of official and exclusive merchandise.”
Zohar Ravid, general manager of Fanatics’ international business, added: “The NBA is becoming increasingly popular in the UK, and we have seen some really strong growth across our online sites, with UK sales on NBAStore.eu growing significantly in the last five years.
“Opening the first-ever physical NBA retail store in London, combining our vertical product and e-commerce strengths with Lids’ high street execution, is a logical step and clearly within Fanatics’ strategy of expanding teams’ and leagues’ omni-channel presence so fans globally are served in the best way.”
NBA also has official stores in Brazil, China, Italy, Mexico and Qatar, in addition to the flagship NBA Store in the US in New York City and 400 NBA-branded retail stores and attractions worldwide.