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Foot Locker Cashes In On Supply Constraints

Foot Locker Inc. benefitted during the fiscal quarter that ended July 31 from strong demand and relatively low supplies of products — factors that combined let the supplier of athletic shoes and apparel maintain sales without having to discount heavily, a top executive with the company said in its recent earnings announcement.

“Many of the trends we saw in the first quarter continued into the second quarter, with the combination of robust demand and fresh and lean inventory driving meaningfully lower levels of promotional activity and resulting in a gross margin of 35.1 percent, compared to the 25.9 percent in the prior year period,” Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Andrew Page said in a prepared statement.

New York-based Foot Locker reported net income of $430 million, or $4.09 a share, on revenue of $2.28 billion for the quarter ended July 31, 2021, compared with net income of $45 million, or 43 cents a share, on revenue of $2.08 billion for the quarter ended July 31, 2020.

“This quarter reflects strong results in our women’s and kids’ footwear business along with broad demand for our apparel and accessories offerings, which combined with more limited promotional activity, led to the outstanding top and bottom line results,” Chairman and Chief Executive Richard Johnson said in a statement.

Inventory at the end of the second quarter 2021 was $1.1 billion — 9.5 percent lower than a year earlier, the company reported.

Page said in the earnings announcement that he is “cautiously optimistic” about the second half of calendar 2021.

“Recognizing we are still operating in an uncertain environment due to COVID-19, we continue to keep a close eye on the business, including temporary store closures and supply chain challenges, and we remain disciplined with expense management,” he said.

Related: Foot Locker To Buy Two Smaller Retailers To Accelerate Growth

Earlier this month, Foot Locker announced two acquisitions. The company is buying Japanese sneaker and streetwear retailer Atmos for $360 million and California-based athletic retailer WSS for $750 million.

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