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Dick’s CEO Lauren Hobart Says Supply Chain Issues ‘Just Keep Going’ — Here’s How the Retailer Is Coming Up With Solutions

Few retailers navigated the pandemic as adeptly as Dick’s Sporting Goods — and the company continues to fire on all cylinders.

“We made more in Q1 of this year than we made in all of 2019. [Our] categories are surging, but our team is just unbelievably knocking it out of the park,” said Dick’s CEO Lauren Hobart at today’s CNBC Evolve Global Summit. “They are so pumped, so excited and just really working on the service aspects and conversion, and so things are good.”

Even as momentum continues to build, there’s one sizable obstacle Dick’s is facing.

“Supply chain issues — the challenges that we’ve had, the whole world has had — never cease to amaze me. But it just keeps going, where we think we’ve got things back in stock and under control and then there’s new issues. [We’re seeing] challenges in Vietnam right now and a few other places,” Hobart said.

While Dick’s has worked through most pandemic issues, the supply chain situation continues to dominate. Still, Hobart noted that the company managed to drive stellar comps through all of last year even though inventory was constrained. “So we’ve developed a pretty good muscle at this. It keeps me up at night, but not for very long,” she quipped.

So how has the retailer overcome the complicated challenges? For one thing, Dick’s has used its own supply chain expertise to help its brand partners, Hobart said.

“There have been issues this year where things have been stuck at ports. We will take truckloads, … We will pick up product wherever it is. We will airship if it needs to happen and if it makes economic sense,” the CEO explained. “So there’s a lot of levers in our tool kit that we can use when things go wrong. And I think we actually have been helpful to our brand partners in that way, by being very flexible.”

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