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About Foot Locker:
Foot Locker, Inc. (NYSE: FL) is an American sportswear and footwear retailer, with its headquarters in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, and operating in approximately 20 countries worldwide. Formerly known as Venator Group, Inc., it is the successor corporation to the F.W. Woolworth Company (“Woolworth’s”). Foot Locker, Inc. operates the eponymous “Foot Locker” chain of athletic footwear retail outlets (along with “Kids Foot Locker” and “Lady Foot Locker” stores), Champs Sports, Footaction USA, and Eastbay/Footlocker.com Eastbay/Footlocker.com own the rights to Final Score. The chain is known for its employees’ uniforms, resembling those of referees.
According to the company’s filings with the SEC, as of January 28, 2006, Foot Locker, Inc. had 3,921 primarily mall-based stores in the United States, Canada, Europe (including the United Kingdom), and Asia Pacific (including Australia and New Zealand).
In 1963, F.W. Woolworth Company purchased the Kinney Shoe Corporation and operated it as a subsidiary. In the 1960s, Kinney branched into specialty shoe stores, including Stylco in 1967, Susie Casuals in 1968, and Foot Locker in 1974.
Woolworth also diversified its portfolio of specialty stores in the 1980s, including Afterthoughts, Northern Reflections, and Champs Sports. By 1989, the company was pursuing an aggressive strategy of multiple specialty store formats targeted at enclosed shopping malls. The idea was that if a particular concept failed at a given mall, the company could quickly replace it with a different concept. The company aimed for 10 stores in each of the country’s major shopping malls, but this never came to pass as Woolworth never developed that many successful specialty store formats.
In 1988, the F.W. Woolworth Company incorporated a separate company called the “Woolworth Corporation” in the state of New York. The Woolworth Corporation was responsible for the operations of the Foot Locker stores, among the other specialty chains operated by Woolworth’s. One of its first moves was the acquisition of Champs Sports and to rename itself the Woolworth Athletic Group.
During the 1980s and 1990s, the F.W. Woolworth Company’s flagship department store chain fell into decline, ultimately culminating in the closure of the last stores operating under the name of Woolworth’s in the United States in 1997, while continuing aggressive expansion into the athletic business with an acquisition of the Eastbay catalog store. That year, Wal-Mart replaced Woolworth in the Dow Jones average. The Woolworth Corporation remained the parent company of Foot Locker, and in 1998 it changed its name to “Venator Group, Inc.” By the 1990s, Foot Locker was responsible for more than 70 percent of Kinney Shoe Corp. sales, while traditional shoe retailer Kinney was in decline. Venator announced the shuttering of the remaining Kinney Shoe and Footquarters stores on September 16, 1998.
In 2007, Foot Locker joined with schoolPAX to launch the Foot Locker School Rewards Program, designed to provide charitable donations to schools who sign up and shop at Foot Locker with a custom-coded keytag or school code.
In January 2010, Foot Locker announced it would close 117 underperforming stores and cut 120 jobs. At the same time, it would “focus more on female consumers, as they would seek to improve coordination on women’s merchandise assortments and marketing strategies across each of the Foot Locker brands,” stated by Chief Executive Ken C. Hicks. The New York Company said that its reorganization and job cuts would save the company about $10 million in the next fiscal year.