leet Feet Sports reported sales in the first nine months of the year reached $100 million, a 13 percent increase over the prior year. Comparable-store sales grew 12 percent.
Sales for the full year are now forecast at $130 million versus $116 million in 2011, representing a gain of 12 percent.
The figures and update were included in its quarterly Insider 2012 mailed out to franchises and other partners.
Gross margins for the period reached 45.2 percent, relatively consistent throughout the first three quarters. Overall inventory ROI was $3.40 with a turn rate of 4.1. Fleet Feet noted that stores continued to benefit from the conversion to RICS software, a web-based POS system that Fleet Feet partnered with last year. Year to date, 72 stores have converted with a total of 77 stores expected to be on board by the end of the year.
Fleet Feet said the focus has shifted to analyzing the data the system provides.
“Access to accurate, timely, broad-based information is rare in the running specialty channel, and clean aggregated data is allowing our franchisees to make better decisions and our key vendor partners to focus their time and energy more effectively when working with our franchisees,” said Fleet Feet in its report. “We are now able to see trends develop real-time across products, key business metrics across brands and categories such as gross profit margins, market share, inventory to sales gaps, and return on investment; along with key retail metrics including average transaction size and average number of units per transaction.”
In the Footwear category, Stability shoes were the biggest category, representing 44 percent of footwear sales in the nine months; followed by Neutral, 33 percent; Motion Control, 8 percent; Minimalist, 6 percent; and Other, 9 percent.
In the Apparel category, Tops represented 42 percent of sales; Bottoms, 37 percent; and Bras, 21 percent. Accessories was led by Insoles, representing 33 percent of sales; followed by Socks, 24 percent; Electronics, 10 percent; Injury Treatments & Prevention, 8 percent; Nutrition, 7 percent; and Other, 18 percent.
Regarding expansion, six Fleet Feet Sports opened in 2012, putting its store count to 98. The locations were in Spokane, WA; Tacoma, WA; Burbank, CA; Rancho Cucamonga, CA; Houston, TX; and West Lafayette, IN. With two franchisees already scheduled to open next year, the 100th Fleet Feet Sports store will open in 2013.