Foot Locker is the latest retailer to reduce its store count in an effort to cut costs, according to a March 2 Business Insider report. More specifically, the retailer plans to close approximately 110 stores this year, mostly those that are considered underperforming locations. This latest round of store closures augments the 147 stores that Foot Locker closed in 2017. Foot Locker did open 94 new store locations last year, bringing its global store count to 3,310. In addition, the company will open about 40 new high-profile stores in 2018, according to the report. The goal of the store closures to limit Foot Locker's exposure to malls that are no longer able to draw foot traffic. The new stores will be part and parcel with the brand’s attempt to reboot its business around a more contemporary image.
Total Retail's Take: The Foot Locker closures are the latest in a trend that has carried over from 2017. Toys“R”Us, for example, recently announced the closure of 200 stores as part of its attempts to restructure its way out of bankruptcy following a disastrous holiday season. Macy’s also recently announced another round of mass store closures, while H&M and J.C. Penney also have made public their plans to close stores this year. In fact, one study said physical stores trimmed their ranks by 7,000 last year — a 20-year high and a 229 percent increase year-over-year. However, it's not all bad news for Foot Locker. The store closures should enable the athletic footwear and apparel retailer to reduce its exposure in “deteriorating” malls, while the new stores will help the company rebuild its business and win back customers.