March 29, 2013, 4:23 PM

The web continues to drive growth at The Finish Line

Digital sales grow 25% as the shoe retailer looks for a new operating system.

Jon Love

Associate Editor, Research

Lead Photo

Despite performance issues which derailed a November 2012 e-commerce platform switch, the web remains the growth channel at The Finish Line. Even after losing out on about $3 million in Q3 sales last year due to the failure of the new e-commerce platform from an unnamed vendor, the retailer’s online sales were up over 25% in 2012. The retailer plans to strongly invest in their website in the coming year.

“Our website has continued to contribute meaningfully to our top and bottom line, as digital continues to be a critical component of our omnichannel strategy,” said Glenn S. Lyon, chairman and CEO, during an earnings conference call Thursday. “In terms of the digital business, we have an RFP out for a new operating system, and we are currently searching for a new chief digital officer. In the meantime, we'll be making investments that will continue to advance sales and margins as part of our omnichannel strategy.”

Lyon also detailed Finish Line’s partnership with Macy’s which was announced last September. “Beginning in mid-April, we will be taking ownership of the athletic footwear inventory at all Macy's stores, followed closely by our digital launch. We will also begin rolling out Finish Line-branded shops to Macy's stores nationwide. We expect to open 20 to 30 shops each month and have a presence in approximately 450 Macy's stores upon completion.”

For the fiscal year ended Mar. 2, Finish Line, No. 151 in the Top 500 guide, reported:

  • Online sales increased 25.1% to $148 million from $118.3 million in 2011. 
  • Total sales increased by 5.1% year over year to $1.44 billion from $1.37 billion in 2011.
  • Comparable store sales increased 5.9%.
  • A net loss of $2.3 million.

For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012 Finish Line reported:

  • Online sales increased 21.0% compared to the fourth quarter of 2011. The company did not disclose dollar amounts.
  • Total sales decreased 3% year over year to $442.7 million from $456.3
  • Comparable store sales increased 0.7%.
  • A net loss of $856,000.

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