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Foot Locker sales down

US sport-lifestyle retailer Foot Locker’s revenue grew 4.8 per cent in 2016. However, weaker-than-expected results for Q4 penalised its performance for 2017 as a whole. Comparable sales were down 3.1 per cent on an annual basis while they had increased 4.3 per cent in the previous financial year.

The latest financial year’s Q4 recorded a 3.7 per cent decrease in comparable sales. Total sales were nevertheless slightly up, by two per cent, thanks to the fact that this quarter featured 53 weeks as opposed to 52 the previous year. However, Foot Locker’s profitability declined. Net income fell 57 per cent compared to 2016. Tremendous changes in consumer expectations continued to affect its business in the fourth quarter.

Foot Locker now operates 3,310 stores in 24 countries. In the last financial year, it closed down 147 stores (mostly in the US), relocated or renovated 185 stores and opened 94 new ones, notably in Europe. The company remains cautious about the 2018 financial year, forecasting comparable sales to remain stable or to fall slightly.

Foot Locker retails athletic footwear, apparel and accessories. It is the largest footwear retailer in the United States. Major retailers such as Macy’s and JCPenney are heavily affected as shopping continues to move to the digital space.