Q&A: Foot Locker’s Ken Hicks

March 16, 2010 | 23

Footwear News caught up with Ken Hicks for a Q&A. Ken Hicks is Foot Locker’s new chairman and CEO. Ken has new plans for Foot Locker, so check out the interview.

FN: You’re about to unleash an aggressive five-year plan. What’s the major focus?
KH: Our goal is to be the leading global retailer of athletically inspired shoes and apparel. We want to be a leader, and to do that, we have to improve our performance and make sure we do better at the things that count: growing sales, increasing profitability, making sure we’re taking care of our customers by converting higher, taking care of our associates so they’re inspired to engage the customer and give them an exciting experience. Globally, we’re one of the few U.S. retailers that has been successful in Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. We’ll continue to build on that in those markets and will look at other markets.

Read Interview: Q&A: Foot Locker’s Ken Hicks

About the Author (Author Profile)

Lord G-Roc from the Great South. Twitter/IG: @GRocSmith

Comments (23)

  1. “to engage the customer and give them an exciting experience”

    Its so exciting when i walk into footlocker and they tell me that Canada will not get any foamposites, or dunkmans
    great experience

  2. HURRIC@N3 24

    “to know what the customer is talking about when they ask for “Egg Plants” :)

  3. Build a “House of Hype” in NorCal & I’ll applaud him. But until then, I’m flippin the bird @ him.

  4. QueenofKickz

    ^^Ya’ll are crazy^^! LMAO But anywho, Im not really faised by it at all, I work for the company down South and there’s constant changes in my store! Those drastic changes needs to be in those stores that doesnt make any bizness at all! It would be really dope if he would open a HOH down here in New Orleans but the problem is the consumer! Our ppl down here is not supportive, cheap and always want “somethin for nothin”! It would be very useless for changes like that to come to the city of N.O. cuz the ppl not gonna care about that…,all they want back is the 2 for 89.99 sneaks, 5 for 20 shirts and whatever else deals we got goin on! Do whateva you want Mr. Ken but just dont bring it down here sir! :)

  5. trevdrake aka cheddah robet

    to cenVaCali,im rite wit you on that they need to hook us NC bois up wit one footaction stays slaying like f#ck cant stand it…HOH is needed greatly i want sum damn PEs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. lilbusta2318

    Ken Hicks needs to unleash an aggressive five-year plan on his physique…and get that sh*t under control.

  7. d.wow!

    he probably have some foams on his feet.

  8. lilbusta2318

    I highly doubt “he have foam on he feet,” caveman. He is probably wearing some $2,500 business man shoes.

  9. Jerronimo

    Eh, this guy is Corporate. He’s not going to bring any changes that we want as sneakerheads. They (Footlocker inc.) just want to make a larger profit and cut their losses. Every store sells the same ish. Much love to the Mom and Pops stores! Keep it up

  10. first off philly needs a damn house of hoops(or hype), that being said i was actually in the footlocker in king of prussia today, the two employees that helped me actually knew their shit9i was suprised), also tried on the all black sc 2010′s for the first time, while they are really comfortable, i didnt like the way they looked on my feet, so pass on those bryan clay’s

  11. These are the type of blog posts I really appreciate, knowledge based. First off I wish the best of luck to Mr. Hicks in revamping Foot Locker. Now my concerns about his plans all come down to what 4drumz had to say about the lack of product knowledge employees have at FL. At one end you can’t blame them since they’re not making any money working there, but at the other end we’re spending our hard earned money there and would appreciate the best customer service. So while, Hicks might have wonderful ideas on how to revamp FL it will be doomed to fail if it’s not executed right by FL employees. Apart from that another thing the struck me from the interview was that sales were down. It surprises me that they’re down because more sneakers are being produced now than ever before. Of course this doesn’t necessarily mean that more stock means more sales, so I am assuming that FL’s beef is with Jordan Brand. JB has simply been producing way too many products that aren’t being sold, and that FL is losing profit by having to put them on sale. So now I believe Hicks doesn’t want to rely on JB as much as before so he is planning to market running shoes, and thus allow other brands to enter the store. Again to even thinking of targeting running shoes, FL has to have specialized employees that have knowledge of running and of shoes. Go to any running shoe store, and you’ll notice the huge difference in customer service. So I’m hoping that FL does move to this format with positive results. Another thing that was interesting was how Hicks would now like to go more aggressive on-line. The first place I can think of when I want an exclusive sneaker is pickyourshoes. The only reason they’re successful is because sneaker companies have been granting them sales of exclusive sneakers that FL has not been able to sale in their retail stores. This includes Nike SB, exclusive colorways from sneakers like Nike and Adidas, limited edition Reebok Pumps, and access to selling sneakers before they go on sale nation wide. So in my opinion for FL.com to kill their competition they must sell these exclusive sneakers as well, which at the same time stops making them so exclusive.

  12. MATT DAMON

    Good choice for an article to put up Groc.

  13. @MATT DAMON – Thank you.
    .
    @23edge – I feel ya. It’s always nice to get educated and learn more about the footwear industry.

  14. jtowery

    Can he get me a job at footlocker? I always wanted to wear a refs shirt…been a dream of mine…

  15. @ 23edge-the shop i work in is having the same problem, JB and nike is releasing so much ish, it is making it difficult to make a product becuz A-the store has to put more items on sale since they arent moving and B-the same shoes we are selling are in the Nike outlets for $30-50 less sometimes(also ive seen the same with footlocker products), i love having lots of choices but we dont need 50 cws in 3 months of the lebron 7, jordan 1′s, etc etc

  16. He looks like he eats sneakers for breakfast. Nom nom nom.

  17. MR.SWAGGER

    ^^^^^ atgbryan i agree with you.

    i live in delaware and i know they wouldnt open a HOH in de but philly is the perfect place for one.

  18. How ironic that he’s posing by some Eggplants when we KNOW most of his employees don’t even know them as that! That look he has just screams, “I came here from JC Penny and you better believe I know athletic appareal and the shoe game! … Van Heusen will be launching a new line as an HOH exclusive!”
    .
    @LilBusta – LoL… 5 year plan on his physique… and then he mentions that the “Toning” line is where they are focusing and seeing the greatest return right now! LoL
    .
    @23 Edge – Right on bro’
    .
    Def worth the 3 page read after the link! Great insight so don’t just comment on the comments… go read the whole thing… good stuff!

  19. CincinnatiNick

    They need to first and foremost worry about getting less exclusives… The fallout from that is in the losses they suffer. To get something like the Foamposite Ones Nike forces them to take a boat load of crap that will not sell… Remember they still have to pay for this crap.. A LOT of the mediocre shoes they carry are way too expensive in this economy for something you can go to, dare I say, Finishline and get on sale. They are always waaayyyy later than finishline to mark something down…. I am hopeful for all the footwear companies but I think we, as sneakerheads, might lose some of these places to shop at….

  20. Lem

    Good article. It will interesting to see how things work out. It’s funny to walk into a shoe store and you know more about a product than the associate does. I’m not saying that they have to have PhD in Sneakerology but some basic knowledge would be a great compliment to the “experience” he is trying to give to the customer.

  21. G0Nz0

    i work for the company , its true the ppl that work there have no clue about releases unless its JB, i remember my store got the gucci dunks last year and noone knew about them or noone knew the why the flu-game 12s have a date on them smh,the workers are only familiar with uptowns/JB/some dunks its sad wen a worker comes upto me and doesnt know what the shoe is called, ppl at footlocker only work there for the discount

  22. stacks

    yeah shiekh kills footlocker when it come to variety on the West Coast maybethey need to add that house of hoops in the Bay Area

  23. Erosion

    Ken Hicks is a JCPenney joke. Matt Serra was an idiot too, Phil Knight showed him who was boss when he yanked away their JB account in ’03. I just hate FTL.

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