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While many retailers struggle, Foot Locker just had a great quarter

Shaquille O'Neal attends the launch of Shaq Attaq at Foot Locker on February 15, 2014 in Metairie, Louisiana.
Tyler Kaufman/Getty Images for Reebok
Big sales.
By Marc Bain
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

It’s been a tough stretch for a lot of US retailers, as sales slow overall and big department stores including Macy’s and Nordstrom see ongoing declines.

But Foot Locker, buoyed by the world’s ongoing obsession with fitness, sneakers, and activewear, is doing great (pdf). In the third quarter, total sales rose 3.6% from a year earlier to $1.79 billion, and same-store sales surged 8.7%, topping analysts’ expectations. The company’s stock was up about 6% in early afternoon trading.

The company has benefitted from the strong sales of numerous brands it carries, notably Nike, Under Armour, and Adidas, which had its own revenue bounce back recently after some persistent struggles. All three saw sales jumps in the most recently completed quarter.

In addition, global activewear sales continue to rise as active lifestyles become more popular and help drive the sporty, ultra-comfortable dressing style now officially recognized by Merriam-Webster’s dictionary as athleisure.

These factors, however, don’t guarantee success. Finish Line, a Foot Locker competitor, reported disappointing results in September, as its men’s footwear business slowed and mall traffic fell—a problem threatening many brick-and-mortar stores.

At Foot Locker, online sales have taken off, running and basketball sneakers continue doing well, and the retailer has broadened its merchandise to include more apparel. ”This quarter, in fact this entire year, has offered a perfect illustration of how building diversity into our business has helped us sustain record-setting growth over multiple quarters and years,” CEO Richard Johnson said in a statement.

With the holiday season approaching, Foot Locker must be feeling festive.

📬 Kick off each morning with coffee and the Daily Brief (BYO coffee).

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