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Foot Locker to eliminate Footaction banner; will close, convert stores

Foot Locker reported a strong first quarter that beat estimates and said it is repositioning its store fleet to focus on its iconic banners.

The specialty athletic retailer will convert approximately one-third of its 231 Footaction stores to its other existing banners this year. It will close most of the remaining Footaction locations as leases expire during the next years. Foot Locker said the move will “enable it to better serve its consumers in a post-COVID marketplace.”

Foot Locker swung to net income of $202 million, or $1.93 a share, for the quarter ended May 1, from a loss of $110 million, or $1.06 a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings per share came to $1.96, beating estimates of $1.12. 

Sales rose 83.1% to $2.15 billion from last year’s pandemic-impacted quarter, easily beating expectations of $1.90 billion. As compared to the first quarter of 2019, total sales increased 3.6%. Same-store sales rose 80.3%.

“Against the ongoing challenges of pandemic-related store closures in Europe and Canada and U.S. ports congestion, our top and bottom-line results were nothing short of exemplary,” said Foot Locker chairman and CEO Richard Johnson. “Our merchandise offering resonated very well with our customers, driving strength in our stores and continued momentum in our digital business.”

As of May 1, 2021, the retailer, whose banners include Foot Locker, Champs Sports and Footaction, operated 2,952 stores in 27 countries in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. In addition, 131 franchised Foot Locker stores were operating in the Middle East.

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