Access to premium shoe brands helped make footwear a standout category at Hibbett Sports and Dick’s Sporting Goods in the third quarter.
Both sporting goods chains said their Q3 results were bolstered by a strong back-to-school season and growth in the footwear category.
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“We see really exciting product in all the key categories of apparel and footwear and golf,” said Dick’s CEO Lauren Hobart in a call with analysts on Tuesday. Without calling out any specific brands, Hobart noted that the retailer’s “products have become even more premium as we’ve got access to premium footwear and just hotter products in general.”
Unlike other retailers, Hibbett and Dick’s Sporting Goods have managed to maintain a strong business with Nike, which has dialed back its wholesale business with other partners. In addition to a stream of premium inventory, the retailers also partner with Nike on connected membership programs. Nike launched the program with Hibbett in October after launching a similar program with Dick’s in 2021.
In Q2, Dick’s said it plans to convert about 100 more stores to have a “full-service footwear” selection in 2023, bringing this set-up to more than 75 percent of Dick’s stores. These footwear displays allow the retailer to showcase products from new and emerging brands.
“Aside from back to school, Dick’s continues to make strides in categories like sneakers even at a time when the market is a bit more challenging,” said managing director of GlobalData Neil Saunders in a note. “The addition of popular brands like On and the continued roll-out of better merchandising and displays is encouraging consumers to trade-up and is winning Dick’s more customers in specialist areas such as running. Compared to a few years back, Dick’s has an even more powerful position in the sneaker market, and this should pay big dividends as demand picks up.”
At Hibbett, president and CEO Mike Longo said in a Tuesday statement that Q3 results were driven by a robust back-to-school season, solid footwear sales and a regular launch cadence of on-trend product.
“Footwear sales continue to be the key driver of our sales, especially for premium brands,” said Hibbett president and CEO Mike Longo in a call with analysts. Hibbett EVP of merchandising Jared Briskin said footwear strength was driven by “basketball, lifestyle and running silhouettes” and a strong launch calendar.
Longo also called out Hibbett’s new Nike partnership, which aims to provide shoppers with a host of new benefits and retail experiences when they purchase Nike and Jordan products at a Hibbett store or online.
“This further reinforces our valued partnership with Nike and confirms the strength of our relationship,” Longo said. “This transformative partnership will support our loyalty member customers across all retail channels, providing exclusive shopping experiences, personalized content, and early access to Nike and Jordan member products.”
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