Investments in mobile began to bear fruit during the first quarter of fiscal 2017 for athletic footwear and apparel chain retailer The Finish Line Inc.
Finish Line, No. 135 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500 Guide, does not break out online sales in its quarterly earnings reports. CEO Sam Sato told analysts on Finish Line’s Q1 2017 earnings call that digital traffic was up 21% year-over-year during the quarter, with mobile accounting for 62% of that overall growth.
“Recent technology investments, especially our mobile-first strategy, have us directly aligned with how our customers are using their devices to search for the products they covet while our store base and digital sites provide them the ultimate flexibility to execute their purchases when and where they want,” he told analysts on the call, according to a transcript from Seeking Alpha. Sato added that mobile devices are helping drive offline sales, though he declined to say just how much.
The Finish Line ranked 216 in the 2016 Internet Retailer Mobile 500, doing an Internet Retailer-estimated $49.4 million in sales on mobile devices last year, up 30% from $38.0 million in 2015.
During the quarter, Finish Line boosted its e-commerce talent stable by hiring retail veteran John Hall as chief merchandising officer. Hall most recently was a vice president at Nordstrom Inc., No. 18 in the 2016 Top 500.
“At the Finish Line, John’s focus will span across all consumer engagement touchpoints including stores and digital operations, merchandise and strategies involving the company’s product vision and consumer experience,” Sato said. “John will drive our brand growth strategies working closely with our brand partners and lead the creation and evolution of the brand vision.”
For the first quarter ended May 28th, Finish Line reported:
- Net revenue of $453.5 million, up 2.3% from $443.4 million last year.
- A year-over-year comparable store sales increase of 1.5%.
- Net income of $9.6 million, down 30.4% from $13.8 million last year.