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Why Hibbett, Boot Barn and Five Below Are Retailers to Watch in 2023

Despite a rocky retail landscape, some retailers are poised for growth this year.

A recent report from foot traffic analytics firm Placer.ai analyzed the different ways that successful retailers are distinguishing themselves in 2023 by offering value, embarking on store expansion plans and reaching new markets.

Here were some of the standouts from the report:

Hibbett Sports

Placer.ai found that Hibbett Sports saw year-over-year traffic growth nearly all months in 2022.

Analysts have noted in previous quarters that Hibbett Sports is one of just a few wholesale chains of choice for leading brands like Nike, which has dialed back its business with other wholesale partners. This advantage will likely continue to drive growth and demand for the retailer in 2023.

Hibbett is also prioritizing small and mid-sized markets for store growth, aiming to cater to regions that are underserved in the sporting goods category.

“Hibbett has successfully placed its stores in locations with limited direct competition — a practice that helps it capture all local market share,” Placer.ai wrote.

Boot Barn

For the fiscal year ending April 1, 2023, Boot Barn expects to open 40 new stores. The boot retailer said it plans to expand to new markets, including New York, Connecticut and Maryland.

Like Hibbett, Boot Barn is also looking to cater to underserved markets when it goes about opening new stores. As of late October, the company had a total of 321 stores across 40 states. According to Placer.ai, the retailer has seen strong year over year foot traffic growth in recent months.

In October, Boot Barn beat analyst expectations and reported a solid second quarter. According to the company’s earnings release, an increase in net sales was the result of the incremental sales from new stores opened over the past twelve months and the increase in consolidated same store sales, which saw an increase in average unit retail prices, driven in part by inflation.

Five Below

Like other discount chains, Five Below is set to reap the benefits of inflation in 2023.

The discount retailer is also currently undergoing an ambitious store expansion plan. As part of a previously announced plan to expand to 1,000 stores over four years, Five Below is on track to open more stores in 2023. Overall, the company is looking to triple its U.S. store base to 3,500 by 2030.

Monthly foot traffic for Five Below has been up double digits for most of 2022 compared to three years ago, Placer.ai found.

Altar’d State

The Maryville, Tenn. based women’s fashion retailer currently has 128 locations across 39 states. Stand Out For Good Inc. owns the brand, along with four other labels.

Monthly store visits to Altar’d State stores nationwide were up for most of 2022, compared to three years ago, Placer.ai found. Traffic dropped off in November, which was largely considered a slow time for retailers this year. Placer,ai also noted that Altar’d State typically caters to higher-income households, despite its relatively affordable price point. This means its consumers could be less dramatically impacted by inflation and are less likely to pull back on spending.

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