Asda's George brand has partnered with Umbro, an English sportswear and football equipment supplier, to sell the latter's products at its stores and online. The deal which is expected to give a boost to the George brand is valid for three years and will allow the Walmart subsidiary to sell Umbro's range of sportswear, leisure wear, footwear and accessories.
Nick Jones, managing director for Asda's George brand, said: "Umbro is the perfect partner for George – both brands have longstanding heritages built on innovation, but we also share the same values, and are passionate about delivering quality affordable products."
While 20 Asda stores, primarily the bigger ones, will have dedicated space for selling Umbro products, the George department of all Asda stores will also sell them. The deal follows Asda's 'Project Renewal', its 18-month plan aimed at improving the financial health of the company by introducing measures such as revamping its 95 biggest stores and invest in price cuts. Asda hopes that the deal which is expected to strengthen its George brand will help in turning around the under-performing company.
While the supermarket chain will launch Umbro's first collection on 26 May, its second collection will be available from 2 June. Being ahead of the Euro 2016 and the Rio Olympics, the timing of the launch will allow Asda to target people interested in sportswear shopping ahead of what is expected to be a busy summer with regards to sporting events.
"Now, as we prepare to get behind our nations for some huge sporting events this summer, our partnership will mean that customers can get great sportswear, whatever their budget," Jones added.
This is not Asda's first association with a sports company. It already has a deal with Decathlon, the retailer of sports equipment and sportswear. Other supermarkets too have such deals with sports companies. For instance, Tesco is known for having signed a third-party deal with Sports Direct.
Michael Scholz, general manager for Umbro UK, said: "This partnership gives us immediate scale with one of Britain's most well-loved retailers. The product offering will be tailored to the George consumer – relevant lifestyle and sport product at affordable prices."