Globally, Foot Locker’s sales decreased by 2.2 percent to $2,221 million in the fourth quarter ended on Feb. 1, with a drop of 2.0 percent in local currencies. On a comparable store basis, sales were off by 1.6 percent worldwide, but Foot Locker Europe’s sales were flat and the Runners Point chain in Germany had a mid-single-digit increase, confirming its recovery. Stores in the Pacific region enjoyed a low single-digit increase.
In the digital channel, which represented 18.7 percent of the turnover in the quarter, sales were down by 4.3 percent as compared to the same period a year ago, when they jumped by 30 percent.
The gross margin fell by 0.9 percentage points to 31.5 percent. The company’s quarterly net income declined by 11 percent to $141 million. The difference of $17 million from the year-ago period was largely due to an impairment charge of $38 million, mainly related to Footaction, which compared with a charge of $19 million, primarily associated with Runners Point.
For the full financial year, sales were up by 0.8 percent to $8,005 million, breaking the $8 billion mark for the first time. They were up by 2.0 percent in constant currencies and by 2.2 percent on a same-store basis.
The gross margin was flat at 31.8 percent, but net earnings were off by 8 percent to $498 million after one-time charges of $55 million against $37 million in the prior year.
The group ended up with a total of 3,129 stores in 27 countries around the world, 92 fewer than before, with the total sales surface declining by one percent to 7,565 million square feet. Most of the 63 closures affected Runners Point and Foot Locker locations in the U.S. and Europe.