Foot Locker CEO Says Private Label Filling Gaps

May 28, 2013
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As Foot Locker reported record first quarter earnings, the first question from analysts to its CEO on the earnings call was about private label.

Foot Locker earnings reached 91 cents a share in the first quarter of 2013, a 10 percent increase over a year ago and the highest quarterly earnings in the company’s history.

Answering an analyst on the call, CEO Kenneth Hicks said Foot Locker would continue building on private labels in its stores.

“What we believe private label apparel gives us (is) an opportunity to fill voids that are not provided by the brands,” Hicks said, according to transcripts of the call from Seeking Alpha. “We're going to be primarily a branded apparel retailer. But we (think) there are voids that we use private label and continuing to build on them, such as the cargo short business, very strong business for us; some T shirts. We also have the ability to develop brands, such as what we've done with Sneaker Freak in Europe and Actra with women's business.

“And so what we continue to do is evolve that business from a very promotional business that it used to be and use it to fill voids where we believe there is significant opportunities. And that may involve brands, or it may involve just using the private label, as we do in shorts and fleece.”

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