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Foot Locker, Inc.
(NYSE: FL) is
an American sportswear and footwear retailer, with its headquarters in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, and operating in
approximately 20 countries worldwide. Formerly known as Venator Group, Inc., it is the successor corporation
to the F.W. Woolworth Company (“Woolworth’s”). Foot Locker, Inc. operates the eponymous “Foot
Locker” chain of athletic footwear retail outlets (along with “Kids Foot Locker” and “Lady Foot Locker”
Sports, Footaction USA, and Eastbay/Footlocker.com Eastbay/Footlocker.com own the rights to Final Score. The chain is known for its
employees' uniforms, resembling those of referees.
According to the company's filings with
the SEC, as of January 28, 2006, Foot Locker, Inc. had 3,921 primarily mall-based
stores in the United States, Canada, Europe (including theUnited Kingdom), and
Asia Pacific (including Australia and New
In 1963, F.W. Woolworth Company purchased
the Kinney Shoe Corporation and operated it as
a subsidiary. In the 1960s, Kinney branched into specialty shoe stores, including
Stylco in 1967, Susie Casuals in 1968, and Foot Locker in 1974.
Woolworth also diversified its portfolio of specialty stores in
the 1980s, including Afterthoughts, Northern Reflections, and Champs Sports. By 1989, the company was pursuing an
aggressive strategy of multiple specialty store formats targeted at enclosed shopping malls. The idea was that if a
particular concept failed at a given mall, the company could quickly replace it with a different concept. The
company aimed for 10 stores in each of the country's major shopping malls, but this never came to pass as Woolworth
never developed that many successful specialty store formats.
In 1988, the F.W. Woolworth Company incorporated a separate
company called the "Woolworth Corporation" in the state of New
York. The Woolworth Corporation was
responsible for the operations of the Foot Locker stores, among the other specialty chains operated by
Woolworth's. One of its first moves was the acquisition of Champs Sports and to rename itself
the Woolworth Athletic
During the 1980s and 1990s, the F.W. Woolworth Company’s
flagship department store chain fell into decline, ultimately culminating in the
closure of the last stores operating under the name of Woolworth’s in the United States in 1997, while continuing
aggressive expansion into the athletic business with an acquisition of the Eastbay catalog store. That year, Wal-Mart replaced
Woolworth in the Dow Jones average. The Woolworth Corporation remained the parent company of Foot Locker, and
in 1998 it changed its name to "Venator Group, Inc." By the 1990s, Foot Locker was responsible for more than
70 percent of Kinney Shoe Corp. sales, while traditional shoe retailer Kinney was in decline. Venator
announced the shuttering of the remaining Kinney Shoe and Footquarters stores on September 16,
As the “Foot Locker” brand had become the Woolworth/Venator company’s top
performing line, on November 2, 2001 Venator changed its name to Foot Locker, Inc.
In 2004, Foot Locker acquired the Footaction USA brand and
approximately 350 stores from Footstar for $350 million.
In 2007, Foot Locker joined with
schoolPAX to launch the Foot Locker School Rewards Program, designed to provide charitable donations to schools who sign up and shop at Foot Locker with
a custom-coded keytag or school code.
In January 2010, Foot Locker
announced it would close 117 underperforming stores and cut 120 jobs. At the same time, it would "focus more on
female consumers, as they would seek to improve coordination on women's merchandise assortments and marketing
strategies across each of the Foot Locker brands," stated by Chief Executive Ken C. Hicks. The New York Company
said that its reorganization and job cuts would save the company about $10 million in the next fiscal