Hibbett Lowers Guidance for Year, Citing Inflation & Consumer Fears – Footwear News

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Hibbett Inc. is the latest retailer to lower its guidance for the full year, based on a number of headwinds affecting its customers.

Mike Longo, president and CEO of Hibbett, stated on Friday in the company’s first-quarter earnings release that customers are dealing with inflation, higher interest rates and concerns over outright job loss.

And — as Genesco CEO Mimi Vaughn pointed out on Thursday — Longo noted that the athletic market is carrying surplus inventory and therefore experienced an elevated level of promotional activity, further affecting consumer behavior in the quarter.

The company added in its guidance that it expects these headwinds to be more impactful on its second quarter results than in the back half of the year.

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“As a result of the challenging retail environment, consumers are focused on a narrower range of products,” Longo said. “The combination of these factors is a major contributor to our revised guidance for the remainder of this fiscal year.”

Now, the Birmingham, Ala.-based sports retailer is expecting total sales for the full fiscal year 2024 to be between flat and up 2 percent. This is down from Hibbett’s previous guidance, which forecasted sales for the year to be up mid-single digits.

Despite the lower outlook, Hibbett still reported a 7.4 percent net sales increase in the first quarter to $455.5 million, compared with $424.1 million the same time last year. Comparable sales also increased 4.1 percent versus the prior year, with brick-and-mortar comparable sales up 4.7 percent and e-commerce sales up 0.6 percent on a year-over-year basis.

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Net income for the quarter was $35.9 million, or $2.74 per diluted share, compared with net income of $39.3 million, or $2.89 per diluted share, the same time last year.

Longo added in his statement that the company maintains “very good relationships” with its valued brand partners, which enables the company to maintain its new store growth plan. The company is planning to open 40 to 50 new stores this year.

“Notwithstanding our more cautious near-term consumer outlook, we believe Hibbett remains well positioned for the long term to continue to grow and increase market share,” said Longo.

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