June 22, 2011, 1:02 PM

Dreams Inc. goes back to school

FansEdge.com operator announces plans to develop school-branded online stores.

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Dreams Inc. which owns and operates sports apparel site FansEdge.com and other niche sites, plans to develop online stores focusing on school-spirit merchandise.

Dreams is partnering with Beyond Graduation, an e-commerce company that sells college-branded T-shirts and other apparel, to develop the stores for schools with grades kindergarten through 12th as well as colleges and universities. For example, customers interested in grade school apparel will be able to go to BeyondGraduation.com, select the K-12 category, pick the state and look up their school from a menu of schools. Once they identify their school, they’ll be able to purchase apparel such as T-shirts or sweat shirts.

Dreams, No. 181 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, will handle the logistics, customer service and operations for the school stores. The companies didn’t disclose other details of their relationship.

“We are excited to partner with Beyond Graduation, who will work with us to connect academic institutions to their customized online stores,” said Kevin Bates, Dreams’ retail president and FansEdge founder. “Together, we believe that we can benefit schools and help alumni find the best ways to show their school spirit, all with the ease of online shopping.”

The companies will offer stores to more than 130,000 schools and colleges, says Beyond Graduation president and CEO Michael Fischler. There are 54 million students in the U.S. attending elementary, middle and high schools, in addition to 19 million post-secondary students, he says.

“We’ll be working with Dreams to reach out to schools, connecting the dots between students, alumni, institutions and these eStores. Our goal is to provide Dreams with a new channel and our plans include providing affinity programs to non-traditional schools, those schools without bookstores or the traditional brick and mortar campuses,” says Fischler.

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