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Foot Locker Plans Phase-Out of 250+-Store Footaction Banner

Foot Locker, Inc. will transition approximately one-third of its most successful Footaction stores to other banners over the rest of 2021 and shutter the remaining locations as their leases expire during the coming two-year period.

The retailer, which purchased Footaction in 2004, currently operates a total of 256 Footaction stores in 36 U.S. states, Puerto Rico and Canada. Under banners including Foot Locker, Champs Sports, Eastbay and Sidestep, the parent company has 2,952 stores in 27 countries, plus 131 franchised locations in the Middle East.

The decision to phase out Footaction is the result of pressures created by the COVID pandemic. In particular, 85% of Footaction stores are located “in proximity” to one of Footlocker’s other banners. Footaction isn’t the first chain to be closed due to an increasingly competitive landscape — in 2020, Foot Locker made the decision to shutter Runners Point in Europe for similar reasons.

“We’ve talked a lot about how the accelerated shift to digital throughout the pandemic pushed us to more quickly adapt to our consumers’ changing preferences and to create stronger connections with them,” said Richard Johnson, Chairman and CEO of Foot Locker on a call with investors. “It’s also led us to proactively accelerate our initiatives to optimize our real estate portfolio in our best performing banners and across the most valuable locations to competitively position our store fleet for the future.”

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The retailer had a profitable Q1, which ended May 1, 2021, generating net income of $202 million compared to a $105 million loss during the same period the previous year, which coincided with the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Comp store sales increased 80.3% compared to the company’s Q1 2020.

Foot Locker now intends to open approximately 160 stores, remodel or relocate 120 and close 240 across all banners, including the Footaction plans.

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