Big-Box Sporting Goods Retailer With Expansion Plans Hits Record Sales

Academy Sports To Start Opening New Stores Next Year

Photo Courtesy of Brett.

Sporting goods retailer Academy Sports + Outdoors hit an all-time high for sales in its latest quarter as it gears up to start opening eight to 10 new stores a year starting in 2022.


The big-box retailer based in outside Houston in Katy, Texas, reported a record $1.75 billion in net sales for the second quarter that ended July 31, an 11.5% increase over the comparable quarter last year and 44.8% over 2019, before the company went public. Profits also continue to grow.


Academy, which has 259 stores in 16 states, went public at the end of last year and ranked No. 475 on this year's Fortune 500 list of the largest publicly traded U.S. companies based on revenue, with $5.6 billion. When shares hit the stock market last October, they sold for $13 to $14 each. Today, the stock is above $44.


The retailer’s fortunes boomed during the pandemic along with other sporting goods and outdoor chains. People stuck at home sought to exercise, fish, canoe, hike or anything to get outside.


Academy competes with slightly larger rival Dick's Sporting Goods, the country's largest athletics and fitness retailer, which moved up 42 spots on the Fortune 500 list this year because of its increasing sales.


Academy is increasing its financial guidance for the fiscal year to accelerate its digital, new store and other growth initiatives, said Michael Mullican, Academy's chief financial officer, in a statement.


Academy's stores range in size from 40,000 to 130,000 square feet, with an average size of 70,000 square feet, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company has 106 stores located in Texas, and expansion plans to open up to 10 stores a year probably would occur outside of its home state.


Academy, with roots dating to the 1930s, sold to New York-based investment firm KKR a decade ago. Over the past year, KKR trimmed its stock ownership from 70% to 20% at the end of the quarter. In one of the transactions, Academy bought 3.2 million shares from KKR for $100 million.


On Sept. 2, Academy's board approved a new share repurchase program that gives it the ability to buy $500 million in outstanding shares.


Source: 2021 CoStar News.

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