Foot Locker Pushes Back Long-Term Sales Growth Plan; Shares Fall


Foot Locker Inc. pushed back a plan to expand its sales to $9.5 billion by two years and now looks to hit that goal by 2028.

The retailer’s strategic plan, unveiled a year ago, involves diversifying brand offerings, opening new store formats and bolstering loyalty programmes. The company posted about $8.2 billion in annual sales in the fiscal year ended Feb. 3, down nearly 7 percent from the prior period.

The retailer predicted adjusted earnings of $1.50 to $1.70 a share for the full year, falling short of analysts’ expectations. The shares fell 8.9 percent in trading before US markets opened.

“We’re still committed,” CEO Mary Dillon said in an interview. “We believe that continuing to invest in these strategies are what is required to help us to make sure that we’ll be a modern, vibrant retailer.”

Comparable store sales — a key retail metric — were down 0.7 percent for the quarter, the company said in a statement, a much smaller drop than analysts anticipated. Management expects to return to positive comparable store sales, projecting a 1 percent to 3 percent rise in 2024.

New York-based Foot Locker’s performance last year heightened concerns that shoppers were reining in discretionary spending as costs of living soared, with the company leaning on heavy discounts to clear excess merchandise throughout 2023. Inventories fell 8.2 percent last quarter.

“Our consumers, they’ve been exposed to prolonged inflation, food costs, rents — those kinds of things reduce savings,” said Dillon. “But we do see that they are coming out for the right products at the right time.”

Foot Locker has “proactively reinvested in markdowns” to end the year with leaner inventory levels compared to company expectations, said Dillon.

Expanding Foot Locker’s reach in sneaker culture is a top priority and the retailer has been broadening its offerings to be less dependent on Nike Inc. shoes, said Dillon. Last quarter, Foot Locker reached its goal of having 40 percent of its business in brands other than Nike, she said.

By Kim Bhasin

Learn more:

Foot Locker Raises Forecast on Strong Thanksgiving Week

The athletic retailer now expects a full-year comparable sales decline of 8.5 percent to 9 percent, compared with a previous forecast for a decrease of as much as 10 percent.

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