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Consumers are spending their stimulus checks: Foot Locker CEO

·Anchor, Editor-at-Large
·3 min read
In this article:
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The latest round of stimulus checks are not only being used to buy groceries and pay bills, but maybe a fresh pair of new kicks at Foot Locker for life after one's COVID-19 vaccination.

"It's the perfect time of year right, we're getting into spring time, you know there's stimulus money and there's tax refund money [out there]. We know that when our customers got money in their pockets that they're out shopping whether it's digital clicks or it's in the malls where they're open," Foot Locker Chairman and CEO Richard Johnson told Yahoo Finance Presents. "We like the position we are in right now serving the customers, it's something going pretty well right now."

The raw data on stimulus check spending supports Johnson's upbeat view on the state of Foot Locker right now.

Over the past seven days ending March 26 as more Americans have received their checks, JP Morgan strategists say spending on Chase cards surged 64.6%. That's up noticeably from a 23.9% increase for the week-ended March 19. Spending on Chase cards were seeing sub-10% growth from January up until the new dose of stimulus checks from Uncle Sam.

Athletic footwear and apparel spending rose 19.5% year-over-year for the week ending March 13, compared with the 13.2% increase the week prior, per fresh data out of Bank of America.

With consumer spending data accelerating, that has kicked Foot Locker's stock into high gear.

Staff wearing face masks at a Foot Locker store during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on October 09, 2020. (Photo by Creative Touch Imaging Ltd./NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Staff wearing face masks at a Foot Locker store during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on October 09, 2020. (Photo by Creative Touch Imaging Ltd./NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Shares of the footwear retailer — which operates about 3,100 stores globally — have climbed 12% over the last month per Yahoo Finance Plus data. The S&P 500 is only up 2.3% in the past month, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 5.1%.

One footwear category that Johnson jokes may not see stimulus check dollars are dress shoes. It makes sense as many people are likely still working from their homes during the pandemic. Meanwhile, after a year of rocking casual wear at home even those back in the office may be looking for ways to keep their comfortable vibes.

"The one thing that I'm really confident of is that people aren't going to go back to wearing what we used to call dress shoes right," Johnson says. "I look to comfort both in apparel and footwear as being one of the key things that sticks with us after the pandemic."

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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