NEW YORK, June 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Foot Locker, Inc. (NYSE: FL), the New York-based specialty athletic retailer, announced today that it will celebrate its 100-year anniversary as a publicly listed company on the New York Stock Exchange. The Company, whose roots date back to the legendary retailer, F.W. Woolworth, will commemorate its centennial listing on the Exchange by having its CEO, Ken Hicks, ring the Closing Bell on Tuesday, June 26th. Foot Locker is the first retailer and one of only 22 companies to achieve this milestone since the founding of the NYSE in 1817.
A Tremendous Milestone
"Today marks a tremendous milestone for Foot Locker, our shareholders, employees and the communities that we serve. While our Company has changed dramatically over the past century, the core values that Mr. Woolworth instilled in the company and its employees, to treat our customers with respect, provide them with quality merchandise at a fair price, and always act with honesty and integrity, are alive and well at Foot Locker today."
An Illustrious Past, An Exciting Future
Mr. Hicks added, "There is no doubt that Frank Woolworth, a retail visionary, would be proud that his business and his beliefs continue to thrive. Today, we have 38,000 employees working in 3,360 retail locations in 23 countries around the world. I am pleased to note that despite the macroeconomic challenges that we are all facing, our business is on a strong trajectory and we are positioned for continued growth. The credit goes to the talent of our team, the exciting brands and products we offer across our brand banners, and the multichannel experience we deliver. An illustrious legacy like ours is a true responsibility, and we look forward to continuing to innovate and create value for our shareholders now and into the future."
A Legacy of Leadership in Retail
Frank Winfield Woolworth opened the original "five-and-dime" store in 1879. It was one of the first companies to allow customers to handle and select merchandise without a sales clerk. The pricing and experience proved a success. By 1912, there were nearly 600 Woolworth's stores around the United States and Canada. That year, F.W Woolworth Co. had its initial public offering on the NYSE. The proceeds were used primarily to fund the construction of the historic Woolworth Building in New York, designed by the architect Cass Gilbert. It was the tallest building in the world until 1930 and remains one of the tallest skyscrapers in the City today.
In 1963, F.W. Woolworth Company purchased the Kinney Shoe Corporation, which ultimately branched into specialty shoe stores, including Foot Locker in 1974. By Woolworth's 100th anniversary, it had become the largest department store chain in the world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Over time, the Foot Locker brand expanded to include Lady Foot Locker and Kids Foot Locker. The Company subsequently acquired Champs Sports in the late 1980s and Eastbay in 1997. In the late 1990s, Woolworth closed its department store business in order to focus primarily on athletic goods. In 1997, it was renamed Venator and subsequently in 2001, the Company adopted the name of its global banner, Foot Locker. The core business has continued to grow and has added the Footaction USA and CCS banners as well. The Company is today one of the largest specialty athletic retailers in the world.
Photos of Foot Locker representatives ringing the Closing Bell will be available via Associated Press/New York (212.621.1902), Reuters America (646.223.6285), Getty Images (646.613.4141), Bloomberg Photo (212.617.3420) and European Press Agency (917.670.1323). The Closing Bell (starting at 3:55 p.m.) feed is available via Ascent loop #4009. Media seeking footage via The Switch should contact NYSE Broadcast at 212.656.5483.
Foot Locker, Inc. is a specialty athletic retailer that operates 3,360 stores in 23 countries in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. Through its Foot Locker, Footaction, Lady Foot Locker, Kids Foot Locker, Champs Sports, and CCS retail stores, as well as its direct-to-customer channels, including footlocker.com, Eastbay, and CCS.com, the Company is a leading provider of athletic footwear and apparel.
Disclosure Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This report contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Other than statements of historical facts, all statements which address activities, events, or developments that the Company anticipates will or may occur in the future, including, but not limited to, such things as future capital expenditures, expansion, strategic plans, financial objectives, dividend payments, stock repurchases, growth of the Company's business and operations, including future cash flows, revenues, and earnings, and other such matters, are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on many assumptions and factors which are detailed in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the effects of currency fluctuations, customer demand, fashion trends, competitive market forces, uncertainties related to the effect of competitive products and pricing, customer acceptance of the Company's merchandise mix and retail locations, the Company's reliance on a few key vendors for a majority of its merchandise purchases (including a significant portion from one key vendor), pandemics and similar major health concerns, unseasonable weather, further deterioration of global financial markets, economic conditions worldwide, further deterioration of business and economic conditions, any changes in business, political and economic conditions due to the threat of future terrorist activities in the United States or in other parts of the world and related U.S. military action overseas, the ability of the Company to execute its business and strategic plans effectively with regard to each of its business units, and risks associated with global product sourcing, including political instability, changes in import regulations, and disruptions to transportation services and distribution. Any changes in such assumptions or factors could produce significantly different results. The Company undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.
John A. Maurer
Treasurer and Investor Relations
Foot Locker, Inc.
SOURCE Foot Locker, Inc.