With the first quarter earnings season behind us its that time for companies to again hit the investor conference circuit, reiterating guidance and reading from basis boilerplate presentations. There are always a few tidbits of note as some start touting revised plans or upping projections for the year. Last week featured a number of retailers and vendors presenting their cases at the Piper Jaffray and Goldman Sachs conferences:

The Sports Authority

  • Will delay any name integration efforts until 2005.
    Said 110 original TSA stores will get expanded winter assortments. Will add private label Gore-tex outerwear program.

  • TSA said its Winter Sports business is 6x that of its closest competitor.
  • Most of “unwanted inventory” from original TSA has been liquidated.
  • Planning “significant” store growth in I-95 corridor.
  • Will add 15 stores in California through 2005, with potential to add 48 total stores to current 52 in CA.
    Said they thought GLYN had dropped all expansion plans for 2005.


>>> Is TSA re-thinking total nameplate integration, leaving some stores under old banners?

>>> Winter Sports is also very volatile segment of the business in the East. Will old Gart know-how trump the weather card?

Genesco

  • Said big Q1 and April comps at Hat World were due to fixing problems at Lids and do not expect those kind of results to continue.
  • Model calls for 3% positive comps at HW.
  • Focus for Genesco will be on reducing debt, not further acquisitions at this time.
  • Athletics was 49% of Q1 Journeys sales, up from 39% prior year Q1.
  • Journey’s Q1 ASP off 3% (-8% in Q4).  Units comps for Q1 were up 9%.
  • Underground Q1 ASP down 5%, units up 3%.
  • CEO Pennington said Athletic appears to have continued strength.  Doesn’t think the athletic influence will go away soon.
  • Journeys “has the potential for 1,000 doors”


>>> Looks like the brown shoe category was behind LY on a comp basis in Q1.  All growth was driven by athletic…

Famous Footwear

  • Aged inventory is 2% of total, down from mid-teens pre-Joe Wood arrival.
  • FF “represents fashion and value, not just price”.  They represent the “top of the mid-tier”.
  • Marketing and store emphasis is “away from price and focused on brand”.
  • FF customer is “more interested in fresh and new products and less on discount pricing”.

The Finish Line

  • Nike was 56% of purchases in 2004.  Top five represent 79% of sales.
  • Said performance footwear is gaining steam even as true classic continues to perform.
  • Shoe locator program, which finds missing sizes in other locations, “reduces markdowns and improves sell through”.
  • Sell 20k to 25k pair a week through locator system.
  • Expects overall licensed business to be down “high-singles” in 2004. Branded apparel is starting to heat up and private label is showing strong results.
  • Sold one million pair of Shox in 2004.
  • Expect to open at least 70 doors in 2004, with 10 in CA, versus previous plan to open 60 stores.  Will add stores in FL and on I-95 corridor. Will now open 70 to 100 doors in 2005.
  • Will open two “street” stores in NYC in 2004.  If successful, could add the potential of 200 to 300 new doors in the future.
  • Aged inventory is less than 1%.
  • Key to improved GM is “how well the vendors differentiate their FINL assortments”.
  • First quarter GM was impacted by clearance of retro NFL and NBA jerseys.
  • Said Reebok licensed apparel purchases have not been hurt by shift from Retro to fan-based.  Said Majestic and Nike were impacted more significantly.
  • Said the average lease life of former Footaction stores was about four years.  Questioned how many of FA stores that FL would ultimately keep open.

>>> Is someone suggesting that FL would buy the FA stores so the competition couldn’t??? Why, that’s shocking…