Troubled Hibbett Sports finally enters e-commerce world as store comps fall, shares slide a third
US athletic sportswear retailer Hibbett Sports has finally got around to launching an e-commerce site. The belated move, introduce Monday, arrives after sales at its 1,000-plus physical stores plunged unexpectedly, as did its share price.
The retailer warned Monday that it had suffered an estimated 10% decline in Q2 same-store sales. Analysts had expected a 1.9% dip. Hibbett also said it expects to report a Q2 loss ranging 19-22 cents per share, along with “significant” pressure on gross margin. Analysts expected a 15 cents per share gain. Its shares plummeted 33.5%.
“Despite the difficult retail environment, the company remains focused on improving its business for the long term,” Hibbett CEO Jeff Rosenthal said in a statement. “Launching an e-commerce site has been a key strategic goal for Hibbett, and we took time to invest in our omnichannel infrastructure to do it the right way. Our main objective is to provide a seamless shopping experience for our customers with a platform that will allow us to significantly expand our assortment over time. ”
Analysts at Stifel said they were “glad” Hibbett was finally selling goods online for of the Back-to-School shopping season. “We expect e-commerce will be an immediate benefit to revenue,” the analysts said in a note Monday.