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Could Sports Fans Save Barnes & Noble Education?

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Could Sports Fans Save Barnes & Noble Education?

Barnes & Noble Education Inc (NYSE: BNED) shares got a lift Monday on the heels of a partnership with leading sports retailers Fanatics and Lids.

What Happened: Leading sports retailers Fanatics and Lids signed a partnership that will see Barnes & Noble Education gain access to product assortment to help with its omnichannel merchandising strategy.

Fanatics and Lids are investing $15 million in Barnes & Noble Education with an equity investment that will see the two companies own 2.31 million shares.

Related Link: Insider Buys Barnes & Noble Education’s Shares

Why It’s Important: Barnes & Noble gains access to a product assortment of sports and licensed items from Fanatics and Lids.

Fanatics is the top ranked provider of collegiate merchandise and has more than 150 partnerships with universities for e-commerce. Lids operates over 1,200 retail locations.

The deals could help Barnes & Noble Education with its e-commerce growth. The company plans to roll out its next-generation e-commerce platform in 2021, which it believes will be high margin.

“This partnership has tremendous potential to improve the customer experience, increase selection and accelerate BNED’s growth across our high-margin general merchandise business, particularly in e-commerce,” said Barnes & Noble Education CEO Michael P. Huseby.

The company reported revenue down 23% in the second quarter and down 27% year to date due to a limited number of students on campus.

E-commerce partnerships like this could be key for the company that has seen shares decline 59% over the last five years.

BNED Price Action: At the time of publication, Barnes & Noble Education shares are trading up 7.2% to $4.43.

 

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