Foot Locker’s Store Strategy Includes Hyper-Local Outposts and Large-Format Concepts

Foot Locker said its reimagined retail footprint will help drive sales for the company in future quarters.

The footwear retailer reported on Friday that total sales in Q1 increased 1% to $2.18 billion. Comparable-store sales dropped 1.9%. Despite this drop, the company beat earnings expectations with earnings per share of $1.37 and Non-GAAP earnings per share of $1.60.

In light of these results, Foot Locker said it plans to hit the upper end of its previously outlined guidance for 2022. In addition to its plan to diversify its product assortment beyond Nike, Foot Locker is banking on a strategic store reimagining plan that banks on connecting to local consumers.

Executives on Friday said that the retailer in on track to open 100 new stores in 2022, including 27 WSS and 9 Atmos stores and 40 community-focused stores. Foot Locker also plans to close a total of 190 stores, bringing its store count down approximately 3% in 2022.

The community or “local” focused stores connect with consumers through localized product assortments and events and activations. Foot Locker opened or converted nine of these store concepts in Q1, bringing the total of this type of store to 70. The goal is to open 300 of these across the world within three years.

“This hyper-local approach is helping us create lasting customer relationships in a way that is lacking in the marketplace,” said COO Franklin Bracken. “These stores are giving us a sharp competitive advantage in the markets where we have executed the strategy so far.”

Bracken added that these “power” stores delivered sales 10% above their goal in the past 12 months and are “outcomping their regional benchmarks in the chain giving us the ongoing conviction in our rollout of the format.”

In addition to these local concepts, Foot Locker is also testing new large-format concepts. The company in April opened its the first Champs home field concept store, in Pembroke Pines, Fla. The large off-mall concept store takes up more than 35,000 square feet of real estate, making it the largest of any Foot Locker Inc. subsidiary.

Though it is still early, Bracken said the store was “performing well” in terms of engagement from the community. He added that sales for WSS, another large off-mall banner focused on Hispanic communities that Foot Locker acquired in September, are outpacing Foot Locker’s other brands. As such, the company expects to achieve $1 billion in annual sales at WSS by 2024.

“Against the backdrop of this tougher environment, we are encouraged by some of the steps Foot Locker is taking, such as growing its physical presence with new off-mall formats which have more of a destination feel and are better able to showcase its ranges,” said GlobalData managing director Neil Saunders. “This should help enlarge the number of customers and improve conversion and basket sizes.”

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