Iconic Sneaker Retailer Shuttering 400 Locations As It Looks to Make Shift Toward 'Sneaker Head' Consumers Foot Locker still operates an estimated 1,300 shopping mall locations across North America.

By Emily Rella

Getty Images
A sneaker display at a Foot Locker store in Chicago.

It's looking like the end of an era for shoe-wear retailer Foot Locker, which announced this week that it will be shuttering over 400 shopping mall locations across the U.S. over the course of the next three years. This comes as the company is shifting its focus towards specialty stores that target specific customer bases.

In an investor day presentation on Monday, the company said closing the stores will give way to the birth of 300 new "concept" stores strategically placed to target "sneakerheads," affluent shoppers, and the younger generations. The new stores (and popups) will be more of an experience rather than a traditional retail experience.

This new business plan has been dubbed the company's "Lace Up" initiative.

The rollout will be in partnership with Nike, as both companies see the mutually beneficial plan as one that invests in "sneaker culture" and the future of the sneaker consumer, CNBC reported.

"We've reestablished joint planning, as well as data and insight sharing so that we can better serve customers and the fruits of our renewed commitment to one another will begin to show up and holiday this year," Foot Locker CEO Mary Dillon told investors yesterday.

The specific 400 stores that are being shuttered account for an estimated 10% of Foot Locker's total sales, while 35% of the company's total sales come from in-mall stores.

The company did not yet disclose the exact locations of the stores that would be shutting down.

Foot Locker hopes that the new concept stores will eventually account for 50% of total company sales, with a goal of a total of $9.5 billion in sales by the end of 2026.

Currently, Foot Locker is operating an estimated 1,300 shopping mall locations across North America.

The sneaker retailer was up over 5% in a one-day period as of Tuesday afternoon following the news.

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Emily Rella

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior News Writer

Emily Rella is a Senior News Writer at Entrepreneur.com. Previously, she was an editor at Verizon Media. Her coverage spans features, business, lifestyle, tech, entertainment, and lifestyle. She is a 2015 graduate of Boston College and a Ridgefield, CT native. Find her on Twitter at @EmilyKRella.

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