Mar 10, 2010
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Foot Locker outlines growth plan, sees acquisitions

Mar 10, 2010

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Foot Locker Inc (FL.N) on Tuesday 9 March announced a plan to expand its business by catering to a more diverse demographic, growing internationally and pursuing acquisitions.

The athletic shoe retailer said in the next five years it will look to achieve sales of $6 billion -- up from $4.85 billion in 2009 -- by strengthening its brands and assortments, which will allow it to reach a more diverse customer base.

Chief Executive Ken Hicks, who joined the company in August, announced the plan at an investor conference at the company's New York headquarters.

The company, whose chains include Foot Locker, Lady Foot Locker and Champs Sports, said it would also develop a compelling assortment of apparel, which carries higher profit margins than footwear, and pursue new business opportunities, including potential acquisitions.

Foot Locker, which operates some 3,500 stores around the world, has been cutting jobs, shuttering underperforming stores and consolidating the operations of its various store chains under one management structure in order to trim costs.

The company, along with rivals such as Finish Line (FINL.O), has faced a weak mall environment in which shoppers have cut back on athletic shoes. The recent strength of toning footwear for women, however, has been one bright spot in the otherwise sluggish market.

Sales in the quarter ended January 30 rose 0.6 percent.

Shares of Foot Locker, which are up 25 percent this year, were down 0.6 percent at $13.87 on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Alexandria Sage; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

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