Hibbett Sports forecasts 70% comps rise in second quarter
Birmingham, Alabama-based sportswear retailer Hibbett Sports, Inc., which made the decision to keep its stores open where possible during the first months of the Covid-19 pandemic, announced on Monday that it expects to see a 70% year-over-year increase in its Q2 comparable store sales.
The company’s comparable sales figures include brick-and-mortar comparable store sales, which are predicted to rise 60% in the quarter, and digital comparable sales, which Hibbett expects to increase around 200%.
Hibbett president and CEO Mike Longo attributed this sales growth to a range of different factors including pent-up consumer demand, temporary and permanent store closures implemented by the company’s competitors, and stimulus money.
These factors combined to drive increased traffic to both the retailer’s stores and e-commerce platform, including a high percentage of first-time shoppers. 25% of the company’s brick-and-mortar sales in the quarter and 40% of digital sales are expected to come from new customers.
Although some of Hibbett’s brick-and-mortar locations were allowed to remain open with increased hygiene and security measures during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, a large number of the retailer’s Hibbett Sports and City Gear stores were forced to close, leading to a 21.4% decline in first-quarter sales, which totaled $269.8 million. Comparable store sales decreased 19.5% in Q1.
Following the relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions in states across the U.S., nearly all of Hibbett’s almost 1,100 stores are now open. Only 20% of these locations are located in enclosed malls, a fact which the company sees as a distinct advantage as the retail sector seeks to recover from the devastating impact of the coronavirus crisis.
Similarly, Hibbett also highlighted the fact that it is a small box retailer that has fewer people concentrated in its stores at any given time as another benefit in the current context.
In the first half of the year, the company’s total comparable sales are expected to rise 20% compared to the same period in the previous year, reflecting a 7% increase in brick-and-mortar comps and 140% growth in digital comps.
“I’m pleased to announce that Hibbett Sports’ sales results at this point in the quarter have been exceptional,” commented Longo in a release. “We have a strong business model, talented team members and a resilient customer base. Our ability to react, adapt and execute successfully in a challenging business environment further reinforces the opportunities ahead of us.”
Hibbett plans to discuss its complete second-quarter financial results in a conference call scheduled for August 28, 2020.
Due to continued uncertainty surrounding the evolution of the coronavirus crisis, the company has still not provided annual financial guidance for fiscal 2021.
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