Foot Locker to close 117 stores, reorganize management

New York City Foot Locker said Friday it plans to cut about 120 jobs and to have closed 117 stores by the end of this month as it looks to become a more efficient and competitive business.

The company said the job cuts would come in its home office and field-management operations. It did not say what stores would be closed.

Foot Locker said it plans to open 37 stores, close 190 stores and remodel or relocate 160 stores in its fiscal year that ends this month. It said 117 stores -- mostly domestic Foot Locker and Lady Foot Locker locations -- were likely to be shuttered in the fourth quarter.

It currently has about 3,600 stores in 21 countries in North America, Europe and Australia.

The company said it will consolidate Lady Foot Locker's management with that of its Foot Locker U.S., Kids Foot Locker and Footaction businesses.

Effective with the change, Richard A. Johnson will become president and CEO of Foot Locker U.S., Footaction, Kids Foot Locker and Lady Foot Locker. Richard Johnson is moving from his position as president and CEO of the company's successful Foot Locker Europe operation, effective immediately.

"We expect the consolidation of our Foot Locker businesses under the direction of one management team to help us clarify our Foot Locker family of brands position in the retail marketplace," stated Ken C. Hicks, president and CEO of Foot Locker. "It will allow us to sharpen our focus on the female consumer, as we look to improve the coordination of our women's merchandise assortments and marketing strategies across each of our Foot Locker brands. This move is a component of a new, comprehensive strategic plan that we expect to complete and announce early in our 2010 fiscal year."

As a result of the reorganization, as well as some corporate staff reductions taken to improve corporate efficiency, Foot Locker expects its financial results in 2010 to be enhanced by annual expense savings of approximately $10 million. An after-tax charge of $3 million, or $0.02 per share, is expected to be recorded during the fourth quarter of 2009 to reflect the costs associated with the elimination of approximately 120 home office and field-management positions.

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