Banner, Assortment, Exec Changes Underway at Foot Locker
Much is on the move at Foot Locker, and all of it will bring noticeable change in 2022 for the global athletic specialty retailer. Ahead of its Q3 earnings’ announcement Friday, Foot Locker disclosed several changes within its executive suite, including the promotion of Frank R. Bracken to COO of North America and the creation of a Chief Strategy, Innovation and Development Officer position that has yet to be filled.
On the store front, FL continues transitioning its Footaction banner as it welcomes WSS and atmos into its retail portfolio and launches a new format for its combined Champs Sports x Eastbay segment in South Florida in January that will be 35,000 gross square feet and feature an athlete fuel station, a yoga workout area and space for coaching clinics.
Meanwhile, plans are moving ahead to convert and rebrand 900 Footaction doors to either Foot Locker (50%), Champs Sports (40%) or Kids Foot Locker (10%). With the 18 Footaction locations already converted Foot Locker has been able to transfer inventory and some merchandising concepts to its go-forward banners. As for WSS, FL senior execs are bullish on the format and its strong connection with Hispanic consumers. The banner will grow in Texas with stores in Dallas, Houston and unspecified fill-in markets as doors continue opening in Northern California.
A big, noticeable change in FL-owned banners in 2022 will be more private-label brands from the company, including Cozy apparel for female consumers, and a likely shift in the overall branded presentation.
Foot Locker Chairman and CEO Dick Johnson said the latter isn’t a direct response to availability issues but rather is “more reflective on consumer taste and mixing in the best products available.”
In Q3, Foot Locker realized an approximate 30 percent increase in year-over-year store traffic. Digital sales penetration was 19.8 percent versus 15.3 percent in Q3/19. Kids Foot Locker, Champs Sports and Foot Locker Canada paced the North American business with low single-digit comp sales gains in the period. Foot Locker U.S. was down low-single digits on a comp basis, Eastbay was off high single-digits.
Citing benefits from the WSS and atmos acquisitions but also headwinds from global supply chain constraints, Foot Locker is currently forecasting annual sales growth in the high teens with comparable sales up in the mid-teens.