Foot Locker to shutter women's stores, launch yoga apparel brand

Footwear and apparel retailer Foot Locker (NYSE:FL) announced that it will slowly exit its Lady Foot Locker business in the next few years as leases expire. In its place, the company will launch SIX:02, a women's yoga apparel brand.

The company has been shuttering Lady Foot Locker locations in the past few years because of poor performance, reported The Street. The chain, which operated 567 locations in 2004, operated approximately 213 stores at the close of 2014.

Foot Locker CEO Richard Johnson, who replaced Executive Chairman Ken Hicks when he stepped down in December, said the brand failed because it did not focus enough on the wants of female shoppers, such as casual athletic apparel along the lines of what is offered by competitors like Lululemon (NASDAQ:LULU) and Gap's (NYSE:GPS) Athleta—the popularity of which has shown growth by the introduction of 35 new stores in 2014.

Lady Foot Locker stores were recently revamped to offer a better layout, thus increasing sales. However, it does not make up for the fact that most Lady Foot Lockers are too large to be profitable, ranging between 3,200 and 3,400 sq. ft.

SIX:02—named for the "minutes or hours we encourage each women to take for herself"—marks Foot Locker's debut in the world of yoga apparel. While the line is already available in three locations, the chain is expected to reach 35 stores by 2015.

"The new concept is more in keeping with how female shoppers of athletic wear are shopping," said Brian Sozzi, CEO and chief equities strategist of Belus Capital Advisors. "These shoppers need customer service, and they need outfits, not just sneakers."

Along with the changes, Foot Lockers will now carry more female products.

For more:
-See this The Street article

Related stories:
Under Armour opens digital store in Austin
Foot Locker's income jumps 21% in Q4
Foot Locker CEO Ken Hicks to retire
Lululemon founder Wilson sells shares, ends battle
Lululemon, Aeropostale among retailers unlikely to reach 2015

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