With stay-at-home and social distancing practices emerging as the new norm amid the COVID-19 pandemic, online shopping has reached all new highs. The trend is a boon for a number of retail players, encouraging them to ramp up omni-channel offerings. Hibbet Sports, Inc. (HIBB - Free Report) is no exception to this scenario. The company is gaining on the e-commerce front by leveraging on capabilities such as home delivery as well as buy online and pick-up in store among others.
This was best exemplified when this well-known sports retailer came out with its second second-quarter fiscal 2021 results. The company witnessed strong online performance, which contributed to the top line.
Notably, comparable online sales skyrocketed 212.2% year over year in the second quarter. E-commerce sales contributed almost 15.7% to net sales compared with 8.6% in the year-ago quarter. Moreover, new customers accounted for nearly 49% of the company’s online business in the said quarter. This indicates higher rate of e-commerce adoption among customers.
Encouraged by the spike in online demand, management has increased focus on promotions and marketing strategies for its online business. We note that the company strives to offer best-in-class omni-channel shopping experience by continuously investing in services like home delivery, buy online and pick-up in store, reserve online and pick-up in store, buy online ship to store facility, same day delivery as well as mobile app services. With regard to website and app sales, the company is on track with improving its Raffle system.
Apart from solidifying presence in the digital realm, the company is also focusing on boosting in-store experiences. In fact, it has been investing toward store remodeling and relocation along with new store openings. In second-quarter fiscal 2021, the company introduced three stores and rebranded four Hibbett stores to City Gear. However, it shut eight underperforming outlets. The company ended the quarter with 1,077 stores across 35 states. Additionally, it is resorting to inventory-management initiatives and launching new products to gain more customer appeal.
All said, Hibbet’s well-chalked endeavors to boost online and store sales are commendable. We expect the company to continue gaining on these fronts in the forthcoming periods as well.
Markedly, shares of this Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) company have more than doubled in the past three months compared with the industry’s rise of 16.2%.
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