Why the Kohl’s, Under Armour Partnership May Not Be As Successful As Experts Had Hoped

While many investors had cheered Under Armour’s decision — announced last July — to launch in Kohl’s stores this year, at least one analyst now says that a visit to check out the department stores’ UA offerings has left him with several new concerns.Poser said he was concerned that Dick’s merchants “will not tolerate overlap with Kohl’s” and that “Under Armour will be at risk of losing even more share.”

After a successful run in 2015 and early 2016 — spurred by superstar athlete partnev rships, most notably Stephen Curry’s signature line — Under Armour’s growth spurt appears to be tapering with its stock also seeing significant pullback.

Despite Under Armour’s insistence that the Kohl’s deal would help boost growth — UA founder and CEO Kevin Plank said last year that he saw the partnership as an evolution for the brand and a means to reach more female consumers — Poser said he found minimal advantages to the partnership.

“Selling Kohl’s does little to enhance the Under Armour brand, especially when there’s the need to build a lifestyle business,” Poser wrote.

On the positive side, the analyst noted limited overlap with styles at Kohl’s and Dick’s Sporting Goods within total footwear and kids’ apparel.

When Under Armour announced the Kohl’s deal last summer, some analysts suggested that a move to Kohl’s would take the label down market, but Plank assured investors that the brand would “continue to have elevated product there.”

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