Fanatics Inc., the leading online retailer of licensed sportswear, sports equipment, and merchandise, and headquartered in Jacksonville, recently shared in an article for the Financial News & Daily Record about Fanatics’ tremendous growth since it operated its online business out of two mall stores and now has revenue exceeding $2 billion a year.
Fanatics executive Jack Boyle, co-president of Fanatics direct-to-consumer/omni-channel business, discusses how the Jacksonville-based online sports merchandising giant started with one single retail store and now employs 1,000 people year-round at four Jacksonville facilities and up to 2,500 people during the current peak holiday season.
Fanatics has relationships with every major professional sports league in the U.S. and a number of college sports and international teams.
Boyle said Fanatics is now a “V-commerce” business, meaning it’s “vertical,” not only selling merchandise, but designing and manufacturing it so it can respond quickly to consumer demand.
“It’s the future of e-commerce,” he said. Boyle said retailers would normally have to make merchandise decisions nine or 10 months in advance, but the ups and downs of sports teams and personalities force Fanatics to move a lot quicker.
“In our business, it’s tough to predict what’s going on,” he said. “You don’t know what’s going to happen, who’s going to win, who’s going to lose.”
Boyle said rapid response is a key to Fanatics’ success.
“You have to disrupt. You have to move fast,” he said.