Foot Locker plans to shut down more than 400 stores by 2026 in a pivot away from malls

Foot Locker plans to close 400 stores by 2026.
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Foot Locker is stepping away from many of the nation’s malls as it looks to better connect with customers.

The company, at an investor day event on Monday, announced plans to shut down up to 420 stores in malls around the country as part of a corporate “reset” that will include “experimental” new store concepts and a focus on sneakerhead culture.

Foot Locker has locations in roughly 1,300 malls around the U.S. It plans to shut down underperforming locations. That will be balanced, however, by the opening of 300 “new concept” stores in that same time frame. Within three years, it hopes to see 50% of revenue coming from non-mall stores, compared to 35% today.

The company’s “Lace Up” strategy will target the growing number of sneaker enthusiasts, who express themselves via their footwear. That will manifest in 15,000-square-foot “community” store locations.

The company also plans to market to athletes looking for performance enhancements in their shoes and deal hunters, as well as a 7,500 square foot location that focuses on children’s products.  

“These positionings will drive everything we do, including real estate site selection, product merchandising, omni marketing, and, of course, great customer service,” said Frank Bracken, Foot Locker’s executive vice president and chief commercial officer.

The company said it hopes to increase annual revenues by $1 billion by 2026 with the changes.

“Next year, we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the iconic Foot Locker brand,” said Mary Dillon, president and chief executive officer. “We are incredibly excited to introduce our ‘Lace Up’ plan with a new set of strategic imperatives and financial objectives that are designed to set us up for success for the next 50 years.”

Foot Locker shares were up 7% in midday trading Tuesday.

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