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Wednesday, August 7, 2019
Volume 2, Issue No. 14

Boot Barn Becomes Bigger Player in Work

Publicly traded national chain Boot Barn plans to open 25 new doors in FY19 and is gaining momentum in the work apparel and boot categories. The work segment drove BOOT’s Q1 revenues as total sales rose nearly 15 percent to $185.8 million and same-store sales rose 9.4 percent. Brick-and-mortar comps were up 11.1 percent and e-commerce sales rose 0.9 percent in the period ended June 28.

“Our work apparel and work boots business undoubtedly is gaining share from people forfeiting share,” Greg Hackman, Boot Barn’s CFO, told analysts last week. “But it’s been strong for so long that I — and we have such a good team on that part of the business right now — that I can’t really attribute the growth just to the demise of somebody like Sears.”

The retailer, which is aiming to broaden its national footprint with both new stores and tuck-in acquisitions to enter new markets and currently operates 240 doors in 33 states, says 85 percent of its business is conducted at full price. To that end, in July Boot Barn eliminated a 20-year-old anniversary sale that had annually offered its customers $20 or $50 off virtually every pair of boots it sold. Without the promotion, Boot Barn’s consolidated same-store sales were 8 percent higher over the quarter’s first four-and-a-half weeks.

Meanwhile, three recently implemented strategies —the launch of a business-to-business website, the addition of alternate payment options on its websites, and further focus on the development of market-by-market assortments based on regional wants and demand — are each aimed at accelerating Boot Barn’s position in the work and Western categories.

“Our core customer is 44 years old, and we don’t want to take off the ball for core Western and core Work customer, who has been extremely loyal to us,” said President and CEO Jim Conroy. “He’s comfortable in our store; he’s comfortable with our marketing; and he is the vast majority of our top and bottom line at the moment.”

Boot Barn is currently projecting 7 percent same-store sales growth in Q2 and 6 percent for all of FY20 with annual operating income in the $75.4-78.6 million range.