Foot Locker Will Close A Bunch Of Stores, Open New Ones, In Bid To Get Fancy

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Foot Locker plans to shift its business model toward a focus on catering to “niche” audiences. That means they’ll be closing hundreds of stores in malls across America while opening new, free-standing stores that are meant to cater to sneakerheads and kids.

They’re also going to be opening stores that offer an “elevated experience” in some of their new stores… whatever that means in the context of buying sneakers.

Foot Locker plans to shutter 400 of its current locations in shopping malls. This will make absolute sense to anyone that has visited a mall in the last decade. Unless you need a cell phone or a place to repair that cell phone, there’s almost no reason to go to the vast majority of malls.

Foot Locker knows this first hand (or has spent enough time perusing the “Dead Malls” subreddit as I have) to know that the future of their business lies outside the once-great shopping centers of yore. The enchanting aroma of Orange Julius-es comingling with Cinnabons has long since disappeared, and with it, most mall shoppers.

In their place are roving gangs of teenagers and cell phone kiosks (seriously, it seems like almost every business at some malls is cell phone adjacent).

That’s why, according to Insider, these new stores Foot Locker plans to open — around 300 of them — will mostly pop up outside of malls. The company even hopes that by 2026 50% of its revenue will come from outside malls. At the moment, non-mall revenue only accounts for 35% of what they bring in.

A footlocker in Miami, Florida but this could be a photo of one in just about any mall in North America. (Photo by: Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Foot Locker Plans To Launch Some New Concepts

These new concepts sound impressive, especially if you’re into sneakers or people stealing valor from referees.

One of the concepts is called a “community” store and is expected to be 15,00 square feet. They’re meant to cater to customers with what Foot Locker calls a “strong affinity for sneakers.”

So… sneakerheads.

They’ll launch “power stores” which will offer “elevated experiences. Meanwhile “house of play” stores seem like they’ll be geared toward kids.

According to Insider, the company has already opened one of its “power” store concepts in Dallas. Foot Locker CEO Mary Dillon touted that this store is already “attracting an older and higher-income shopper.”

“In fact, the household median income of the Dallas Fort Worth store is 30% higher than our average in the fleet,” she said.

It sounds like the company may be on the right track. Keep an eye out for the newest editions to the Foor Locker Fleet.

Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle

Written by Matt Reigle

Matt is a University of Central Florida graduate and a long-suffering Philadelphia Flyers fan living in Orlando, Florida. He can usually be heard playing guitar, shoe-horning obscure quotes from The Simpsons into conversations, or giving dissertations to captive audiences on why Iron Maiden is the greatest band of all time.

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