(Bloomberg) -- Foot Locker Inc. shares jumped the most in more than a year after it raised its full-year forecast, citing strong results over Thanksgiving week and progress on its strategic growth plan.
The athletic retailer now expects a full-year comparable sales decline of 8.5% to 9%, compared with a previous forecast for a decrease of as much as 10%. Comparable-store sales, a key retail metric, fell 8% for the quarter ended Oct. 28. That was better than Wall Street anticipated.
Shares rose as much as 21% on Wednesday morning, the most since August 2022. The stock had been down 37% this year through Tuesday’s close.
Chief Executive Officer Mary Dillon said in a statement that it’s a “reset year” for Foot Locker, which has spent much of 2023 using aggressive promotions to keep excess products from piling up. Management expects inventory levels to be flat or down slightly to end the year.
Dillon said on a conference call with analysts that “customers remain discerning with their discretionary dollars.” She said she expects that economic backdrop to remain as retailers charge into the crucial holiday shopping season.
“We know we’re buying for wallet share with a value-conscious consumer this holiday season,” said Dillon.
Foot Locker, which now operates more than 2,600 stores globally, is looking abroad for growth as well through new licensing partners. The company said it will enter India in 2024 through long-term agreements with local retailers Metro Brands Ltd. and Nykaa Fashion.
The retailer also announced a partnership with the National Basketball Association. Foot Locker will serve as a marketing partner in the US, building on a relationship that goes back to 1999.
“On the marketing front, we have been generally pleased with Foot Locker’s greater efforts around occasions like back to school and the early part of the holidays,” Neil Saunders, managing director at GlobalData, wrote in a note to clients.
(Adds CEO comments in the fifth and sixth paragraphs, and analyst comments in the ninth paragraph. Updates shares.)
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