New York-based sports retailer Foot Locker has reported a loss, despite sales being ahead of expectation in the fourth quarter of 2023.


Foot Locker expects that its 8.5-9% EBIT margin target will now be delayed until 2028

The sports retailer posted a net loss of $389m (£304.8m) for the 53 weeks to February 2023, down from the $19m (£14.9m) profit the business reported during the same period last year.

Total like-for-like sales increased 2% to $2.3bn (£1.8bn). On a constant currency basis, total sales improved 1.5% in the fourth quarter.

Looking ahead, Mike Baughn, executive vice president and chief financial officer, said: “We maintain conviction in the longer-term earnings potential that our Lace Up plan will generate, and reiterate the 8.5-9% EBIT margin target communicated at our March 2023 Investor Day.

“Given our lower starting point exiting 2023, we expect a two-year delay in achieving that goal and now see reaching that target by 2028.” 

Lace Up strategy

Mary Dillon, Foot Locker president and chief executive officer, said: “We are pleased to report fourth-quarter results ahead of our expectations, including meaningfully accelerated sales trends relative to the third quarter, earnings per share that exceeded our guidance range, and improvements across multiple KPIs.

“As we continued to deliver on the strategic imperatives of our Lace Up Plan, we built significant momentum through the holiday season, driven by full-price selling in addition to compelling promotions. We also proactively reinvested in markdowns to end the year with leaner inventory levels compared to our expectations.”

She added: ”To further build on our progress, we are leaning into strategic investments in digital, store experience, loyalty and brand-building in 2024. 

“The Foot Locker brand will celebrate its 50th anniversary later this year, and we are confident that our Lace Up Plan is positioning the company for longer-term sustainable growth and shareholder value creation while laying the right foundation for our next 50 years of success.”