Three Main Takeaways From This Week’s Earnings — From Sporting Items Energy to Brick-and-Mortar Restoration


It was another busy week for retail profits with some companies showing record results.

As retail enters a general period of recovery from the pandemic, key players saw sales spikes and profit blows across the board this week. Sporting goods chains Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. and Hibbett Inc. reported strong quarterly results, underscoring the strength of the sporting goods sector. Nordstrom Inc. department store and shoe retailer Shoe Carnival Inc. also announced positive results, suggesting a general return to pre-pandemic trends.

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Off-price retailer Burlington Stores Inc. posted rising numbers this quarter, with total sales increasing 34% compared to the second quarter of 2019.

Overall, this week’s results indicated a recovery in retail and continued momentum in the sporting goods and sports categories.

Here are four trends you can take away from this week’s financial reports.

Sporting goods stays strong

Dick’s Sporting Goods reported its strongest quarter in company history on Wednesday with record sales and earnings. The retailer benefited from a surge in outdoor and sports categories driven by consumer interest in hiking and the outdoors.

Dick’s was also successful with its House of Sport experiential retail concept. The store concept, which includes a 17,000-square-foot turf field, running track, climbing wall, batting cage, golf clubs and putting green, is designed to attract consumers to physical stores.

After Dick’s strong performance, Hibbett also reported strong gains on Friday. Net sales decreased 5.1% year over year to $ 419.3 million but increased 66.1% year over year.

The story goes on

Athletic shoes are strong, but other categories are catching up

Athletic shoes typically make up around 70% of sales at the August Shoe Carnival. This year the percentage was a little lower.

Carl Scibetta, Senior EVP and Chief Merchandising Officer of Shoe Carnival, said in a call with investors Wednesday that this small decline in the sport did not reflect a slowdown in the category. Rather, it was a sign of acceleration in other shoe categories.

“We have increased our evening shoe inventory position to match pre-COVID levels to anticipate the increase in events such as weddings and graduation ceremonies that typically take place in the second quarter,” Scibetta said. “This was another great example of the shoe carnival being trendy early on. Our stores were stocked with the styles and quantities of evening shoes our customers wanted, which gave us an edge over our competition and led to a significant increase in new customers in the quarter. “

Nordstrom is also seeing a return to some pre-pandemic style trends. President and Chief Brand Officer Pete Nordstrom said in a call with investors that the company sees a return to the “old business around the core categories” of shoes and apparel.

“The categories we saw the most improvement towards the end of the quarter were things related to the cadence of events as people are out there more often than before,” he said.

Bricks and mortar come back

The pandemic may have sped up e-commerce for most retailers, but recent trends point to a rebound in stationary traffic and sales. Shoe Carnival, Nordstrom and Dick’s all highlighted the second quarter success in their brick and mortar stores.

According to data from, pedestrian traffic in Burlington increased 25.4% in July compared to July 2019. Nordstrom is approaching pre-pandemic traffic levels, with visits to Nordstrom falling 4.6% and Nordstrom Rack 3.2% compared to 2019. At Dick’s Sporting Goods, Visitor traffic showed that customer visits to his first House of Sport store in Victor, NY, “significantly outpaced” visits to other Dick’s Sporting Goods doors in the area with 93.5% more visitors.

Meanwhile, Shoe Carnival in-store sales rose 25.8% in the second quarter compared to Q2 2020. “We are incredibly excited about how quickly customers have returned to our brick and mortar stores,” said Scibetta. “You came back even faster.”