US speciality athletic retailer Foot Locker has reported that its total sales dipped by 2.8% to $1.87bn in the first quarter (Q1) of 2024 (FY24), down from $1.92bn in Q1 FY23.  

During the quarter ending 4 May 2024, Foot Locker’s net income was $8m in the quarter, down from the $36m reported in the same quarter of the previous year. 

The company’s earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter fell to $0.09 from $0.38 in Q1 FY23. 

The retailer’s comparable sales saw a decrease of 1.8%, influenced by the ongoing repositioning of the Champs Sports banner which was impacted by a 220 basis point.  

However, Global Foot Locker and Kids Foot Locker comparable sales saw a modest increase of 1.1%. 

The company’s gross margin suffered a decline of 120 basis points compared to the same period of the previous year, despite a moderation in markdowns from the fourth quarter of 2023, slightly mitigated by occupancy leverage.  

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Its selling, general and administrative expenses as a percentage of sales rose by 220 basis points, driven by investments in technology, brand-building and the effects of higher inflation. 

At the end of the quarter, Foot Locker reported cash and cash equivalents of $282m, with total debt reaching $446m.  

The retailer opened four new stores and closed 37, ending the quarter with 2,490 stores across 26 countries. 

The retailer operates 206 franchised stores in the Middle East and Asia. 

Foot Locker president and CEO Mary Dillon said: “We had a solid start to the year, which demonstrates that our Lace Up Plan is working. We delivered comparable sales results and gross margin in line with our expectations, while earnings per share outperformed due to disciplined expense management and some favourable shifts in expense timing.  

“Importantly, we are well-positioned with fresh assortments as we approach the summer and back-to-school seasons, and we are pleased to be reaffirming our full-year outlook.” 

For the full year 2024, Foot Locker anticipates a sales change ranging from a 1% decline to a 1% increase, with comparable sales expected to grow by 1% to 3%.  

The retailer also forecasts a gross margin between 29.8% and 30%.