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Rebel looks to grow through brand partnerships

image of rebel store doncaster
image of rebel store doncaster
The sporting goods chain has teamed up with Fanatics to offer a huge range of global fan gear to customers.

Rebel has announced two major brand partnerships after revealing an increase in both sales and profit in parent company Super Retail Group’s FY20 results on Monday.

The sporting goods chain has secured the rights to be Under Armour’s exclusive retail partner in Australia until 2025, an extension of the arrangement it has enjoyed since the US-based fitness brand launched in the Australian market six years ago.

Rebel is one of Under Armour’s biggest wholesale partners in the Asia Pacific region, and the extension of the partnership will see it continue to bring the latest Under Armour innovations to market.

At the same time, Rebel has announced a new 10-year partnership with Fanatics, the leading online retailer of licensed sports merchandise that was recently valued at US$6 billion.

Starting in the first half of FY21, customers will be able to buy a huge range of official merchandise from their favourite leagues, teams and players in Rebel stores and on the Rebel website. Online orders will be fulfilled through Fanatics’ international warehouse and logistics.

The American company sells official merchandise for the NFL, Major League Baseball, National Hockey League and NBA, as well as some of Europe’s biggest football teams, including Manchester United, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City, Barcelona, Juventus, Bayern Munich and Liverpool. It also stocks items related to global sporting events, such as the Ryder Cup, Tour De France and Formula One.

Rebel’s managing director Gary Williams said Australians’ love of sport made Fanatics a good fit for a partnership.

“Given the growing popularity of international sports in Australia and increased exposure from pay television and digital subscriptions, this is a really exciting opportunity to grow the business in a considered way,” he said in a statement.

Sales and profit grow in FY20

As part of Super Retail Group, Rebel on Monday reported a 3.3 per cent sales increase to $1.04 billion in FY20, and like for like sales growth of 2.7 per cent, driven by higher average transaction value.

Sales declined in April due to social distancing restrictions which came into force after the arrival of Covid-19 in Australia, but rebounded in May and June.

Rebel’s online sales increased 49 per cent to $141.2 million, approximately 14 per cent of total sales, reflecting the strong channel shift during Covid. Click and collect accounted for approximately 30 per cent of online sales.

The retailer’s gross margin was higher in FY20 due to a decline in promotional activity off the back of robust demand for athleisure and at-home exercise equipment during lockdown, but was partially offset by an increase in operating expenses due in part to the online expansion.

EBITDA increased by 3.3 per cent to $126.6 million, and EBIT was up 3 per cent to $96.6 million.

However, Rebel’s NPS score was lower than the group’s overall score, due to inventory issues caused by the cyber attack that its logistics partner Toll suffered in February.

Rebel closed one store and had 160 stores at the end of the FY20.

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