Hibbett Aims to Pick-Up Athletic, Fashion Business from Penney’s, Stage Stores

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The Hibbett business, both the Hibbett Sports and City Gear banners, is benefitting from temporary closures by competitors, accelerating customer adoption of its e-commerce segment and a consumer rotation away from travel/leisure/entertainment spending into sports and lifestyle purchases. Additionally, Hibbett is beginning to capture fashion and athletic footwear sales from closed J.C. Penney and all Stage Stores. Company President and CEO Mike Longo thinks the changes in the retailer’s competitive landscape will result in $20-40 million in incremental sales opportunities.

In the third quarter, Hibbett’s total sales rose 20.3 percent to $331.4 million as consolidated comps increased 21.2 percent. While brick-and-mortar comps gained 17.5 percent; e-commerce comps grew more than 50 percent to account for 13.2 percent of sales versus 10.5 percent in the year-ago quarter.

Footwear sales were up in the “low 20s,” driven by strong gains from performance, lifestyle, basketball, sandals and boots. Within performance, investments in the technical running category performed well. Lifestyle and basketball sales were said to be “robust” during the period.

Beyond sales trends and inventory position, Hibbett senior management says it’s confident heading into the fiscal year’s final period due to in-store visual merchandising improvements that have been made. An estimated 25 City Gear doors and 54 Hibbett stores will be remodeled to a new prototype by fiscal year end. During the fourth quarter, the retailer is implementing a store refresh plan—complete with new tables and mannequins, new sneaker walls and new walls systems for the remainder of the selling space—that will cost substantially less than a full remodel.