March 10, 2010, 12:00 AM

Foot Locker hints at plans to step up its e-commerce initiatives

Foot Locker has big plans for its web operations, the retailer said in a meeting with analysts yesterday. Announcing a strategic plan to grow its business, CEO Ken Hicks said a top priority is to make its Internet sites “exciting places to shop and buy.”

Mark Brohan

Research Director

Lead Photo

Foot Locker Inc. has big plans for its web operations, the retailer said in a meeting with analysts yesterday. Announcing a strategic blueprint for growth, CEO Ken Hicks said a top priority for the footwear and athletic apparel retailer is to make its Internet sites “exciting places to shop and buy.” Hicks didn’t offer specifics, but noted that the company has recently added product ratings, faster checkout and improved navigation to its sites. The company’s e-commerce sites include FootLocker.com, LadyFootLocker.com, ChampsSports.com and KidsFootLocker.com.

“Our senior management team undertook a process over the past several months to thoroughly understand our position in the marketplace today and to develop strategic priorities for the future,” Hicks says. “In doing this, we established a clear strategic vision: to be the leading global retailer of athletically inspired shoes and apparel.”

The retailer is likely focusing more on the web because, like many retailers, e-commerce is the main area of growth for Foot Locker, No. 53 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide. For the third quarter, Foot Locker’s web sales totaled $86 million, up 11.7% from $77 million in Q3 2008, while its comparable-store sales fell 8.2%. And e-commerce accounted for a larger portion of total sales in Q3 than a year earlier, representing 7.1% of sales compared with 5.9% in Q3 2008, based on calculations by Internet Retailer.

The company has yet to break out its full year and fourth quarter e-commerce sales, but total sales for 2009 were $4.85 billion, down 7.3% from $5.23 billion last year. Fourth quarter overall sales were about $1.32 billion, a 0.6% increase from $1.31 billion in the prior year quarter.

Foot Locker demonstrated its commitment to e-commerce last fall when it rolled out FootLockerOnlineTV.com, a new microsite that features product videos that users can shop from, product news and reviews, advice segments, and related entertainment and news content.

“We look forward to providing our web visitors with an even more vibrant and engaging online experience through on-demand delivery of high-impact, professionally produced video programming that is both informative and entertaining,” Foot Locker director of partner marketing Bob Stephan said at the time of the announcement.

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