Foot Locker leads the footrace to capture the biggest retail share of the global athletic footwear market. It is a leading retailer of athletic shoes and apparel, with more than 3,380 specialty stores mostly in US malls, but also in 23 countries in North America and Europe, as well as in Australia, and New Zealand. Its 1,835-store namesake Foot Locker chain is the #1 seller of name-brand (NIKE) athletic footwear in the US. Other store brands include Lady Foot Locker, Kids Foot Locker, Footaction, Champs Sports, SIX:02, Runners Point, and Sidestep. Beyond its bricks-and-mortar business, Foot Locker markets sports gear through direct-to-customer units (catalog retailer Eastbay and Footlocker.com).
Through its subsidiaries, Foot Locker operates in two reportable segments: Athletic Stores and Direct-to-Customers. The Athletic Stores segment, which generated 87% of Foot Locker's revenue in fiscal 2016 (ended January 31), is one of the world's largest athletic footwear and apparel retailers with banners Foot Locker, Lady Foot Locker, SIX:02 Kids Foot Locker, Champs Sports, Footaction, Runners Point and Sidestep. Some 64 of its shops were franchised in FY2016. The Direct-to-Customers segment (13% of revenue) includes Footlocker.com and other affiliates, including Eastbay, which sells to customers through websites, mobile devices, and catalogs.
Overall, about 82% of the retailer's revenue came from footwear sales in FY2016 (up from 79% in FY2015), while the remainder came from apparel and accessories sales.
Foot Locker boasts distribution centers worldwide, as well as third-party agreements to supports its operations.
The company has stores in 23 countries in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. The retailer generates around 72% of its sales in the US. Europe is its next largest market, where it operates more than 600 stores and rings up about $2 billion in sales.
Sales and Marketing
Foot Locker is heavily dependent on athletic-shoe-giant NIKE -- which supplied 72% of its merchandise in FY2016 -- and four other key suppliers (including adidas), which supplied another 16%.
The retailer spent $100 million on advertising in FY2016, compared to $104 million and $102 million in fiscal years 2015 and 2014.
The company’s Direct-to-Customers segment is multi-branded and sells directly to customers through its Internet and mobile sites and catalogs. This segment operates the websites for eastbay.com, final-score.com, eastbayteamsales.com, and sp24.com.
Additionally, this segment includes the websites aligned with the brand names of its store banners (footlocker.com, ladyfootlocker.com, six02.com kidsfootlocker.com, champssports.com, footaction.com, footlocker.ca, footlocker.eu, runnerspoint.com, and sidestep-shoes.com).
Foot Locker's revenues and profits have been growing over the past few years despite its store base staying flat.
Net sales increased by 3.6% in fiscal 2016 to $7.4 billion, mainly due to an 8.5% increase in comparable store sales.
In the athletic stores segment, sales increased by 8.6% due to a 7.6% rise in comparable stores sales, mainly in Foot Locker Europe and Foot Locker Asia Pacific. Foot Locker Europe generated double digit comparable-store gains in footwear, apparel, and accessories related to sales of classic court styles, lifestyle running, and men’s basketball.
In fiscal 2016, the company’s net income grew by 4% to $541 million (compared to $520 million a year earlier), primarily due to an increase in net revenue, partially offset by litigation, impairment, and other charges. Foot Locker recorded a $100 million pension litigation charge that year.
The company’s cash from operations was $745 million, up $33 million on the previous year.
While Foot Locker has met its near-term goal of improving sales and profitability, the retailer is looking to expand its footwear and apparel store lines to attract a more-diverse, and international customer base. During FY2015, for example, more than one-third of Foot Locker's 86 store openings were Kids Foot Locker stores, while another 20% of openings were Champs Sports or Runners Point stores. At the same time, the retailer closed a net 32 Foot Locker stores (almost all in the US) and a net 44 Lady Foot Locker Stores (closing about one-fifth of the feminine brand's total store base). In 2014, it rolled out its Eastbay Performance Zone at Champs Sports, which offers customers the full range of Eastbay's elite-level products.
With sales maturing in the US, Foot Locker has been closing domestic stores in favor of expanding into other countries (particularly in Europe) to become the leading global retailer of athletic shoes and apparel. In FY2015, the company opened a new distribution in Germany to support growing business in the region, especially after its 2013 acquisition of Recklinghausen-based Runners Point. Meanwhile during FY2015, the company closed a net 29 stores in the US.
The company is focused on expanding its leading position in the Kid’s business and building a powerful digital business with customer-focused channel connectivity.
In 2015 Foot Locker set aside $176 million to remodel and expand its existing stores. It also announced plans to open 100 new stores primarily related to Kids Foot Locker, European expansion, and SIX:02.
The company also planned to spend $42 million for the development of information systems and infrastructure, including a new e-commerce order management system, point of sale device enhancements, and a further rollout of its merchandise allocation system.