US: Footwear retailers hit as sales move online

Footwear Retailers in the US are struggling to shift inventory and could be stuck with a backlog for years, warn investors.

Foot Locker and Hibbett Sports reported falling profit for the second quarter.

Shares in both fell as investors said competition from online retailers and Amazon’s expansion into clothing and footwear will impact traditional retailers.

“Athletic apparel and footwear is over distributed and there is too much inventory in the channel,” said John Zolidis, president of research firm Quo Vadis Capital.

“We see potentially several years of retrenchment as supply is reduced to meet the new, lower level of demand.”

Foot Locker’s shares fell more than 30%, and this had a knock-on effect at Nike, whose shares dipped 3%.

Foot Locker CEO Richard Johnson said: “While we believe our position in the market for premium sneakers remains very strong and our customers continue to look to us for compelling new athletic footwear and apparel styles, sales of some recent top styles fell well short of our expectations and impacted this quarter’s results.

“At the same time, we were affected by the limited availability of innovative new products in the market. We believe these industry dynamics will persist through 2017, and we expect comparable sales to be down 3% to 4% over the remainder of the year.”

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