- Foot Locker is eliminating “a number” of corporate and support roles across the organization which should save the retailer $18 million a year, according to a Thursday SEC filing. The company declined to comment on how many employees would be laid off as a result of the changes.
- In addition to the cuts, Foot Locker said Andrew Gray, the executive vice president of global lockers and Champs Sports, left his role as of Monday.
- The role cuts are aimed at streamlining the organization and improving efficiency. Foot Locker also is winding down its Sidestep banner in Europe to focus on its core and “growth” banners.
Since arriving in September, Mary Dillon has made sweeping changes at Foot Locker, including plans to wind down two European joint ventures, halt the company’s expansion into Japan and overhaul the company’s leadership.
In November, Foot Locker already announced that its chief financial officer, Andrew Page, would be leaving the company, and Dillon hired a former Ulta executive as the company’s new chief operating officer. Foot Locker’s head of human resources also left at that time, and Dillon announced a new chief commercial officer position filled by a remaining Foot Locker executive, Frank Bracken. Dillon’s changes, along with executive departures in recent years for other reasons, constitute a complete refresh of the athletic company’s leadership, Wedbush analysts highlighted on Thursday.
"In March 2019, nine members of [Foot Locker’s] executive team presented the company's strategic vision, and with the departure of Mr. Gray, all nine have left the company," Wedbush’s Tom Nikic said in emailed comments.
While it’s a lot of change for one retailer’s executive team, Wedbush praised the actions as necessary. Nikic also pointed out that the number of Foot Locker executives who retired recently “demonstrates how badly a new perspective was needed.”
“[Foot Locker] was a business that clearly needed a shake-up, and Ms. Dillon (who we greatly admire) is clearly working diligently to streamline operations and upgrade the executive bench,” Nikic said.
In addition to shaking up Foot Locker’s leadership, and now cutting staff, Dillon is focused on a plan to “simplify” Foot Locker’s business. The closure of the Sidestep banner, which has about 80 stores in Europe, seems to fall into that bucket. Foot Locker’s Eastbay banner was recently merged with Champs Sports, and that website officially shut down this year. Eastbay.com now leads users to Champs Sports, where a message says Champs is now “your home for go-to styles.”