Why Sneaker Marketplace GOAT Is Ready to Bet Big on Female Shoppers

GOAT is getting serious about its women’s business. The sneaker marketplace just hired its first-ever chief operating officer to ramp up its retail and e-commerce efforts, particularly for its female user base, which it said is growing at twice the pace of its male users.

Lizzie Francis, the incoming COO, joins the company from Brilliant Ventures, the e-commerce-focused venture capital firm she co-founded; she was previously chief marketing officer at Gilt Groupe and, earlier, JustFab.com (now TechStyle Fashion Group).

In February, GOAT merged with Flight Club, the sneaker consignment mecca with brick-and-mortar stores in New York City and Los Angeles, and closed a $60 million round of funding from Index Ventures.

Today, the marketplace serves more than eight million users, 100,000 sellers (several of whom have crossed the $1 million mark in annual sales), and 500,000 sneaker listings, including reams of rare styles authenticated by its in-house experts, a valuable service it touts in a resale world riddled with counterfeits. As it expands, it plans to explore both pop-up and traditional retail formats, branch into the international market, and incorporate features that specifically serve female sneakerheads, like a size conversion tool that makes it easier to find the right size in men’s styles.

“GOAT has done a remarkable job of scaling into the largest marketplace for authentic sneakers,” Francis said in a statement. “I admire the impact both of its brands have made in the space — pioneering a service that uniquely addresses the demands and needs of sneaker shoppers and sellers — with a model that points to what the future of commerce can be. I’m excited to help continue innovating on the way we discover, buy and sell sneakers.”

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