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For its fiscal fourth-quarter and full-year results, Finish Line’s sales rose 6.3% and 9%, respectively. But for Finish Line CEO Glenn Lyon, company officials must do a better job of exceed customer expectations and provide more memorable customer experiences.
“In looking back at our recent performance, we must do a better job, exceeding customer expectations through a heightened focus on our three core deliverables: Great product, strong presentations, and world-class service,” Lyon said during the company’s March 27 fourth-quarter earnings conference call, according to Seeking Alpha. “I am fully confident that we can better capitalize on the many strengths of this organization, our people, our digital expertise, and our vendor relationships to enhance each of our core deliverables and forge even stronger customer connections.”
Lyon said Finish Line still has work to do to improve the overall profitability of the company, but he’s encouraged by the improving trends at the Finish Line brand and the continuing growth of its Macy’s business.
“By consistently delivering on this, we have developed strong customer relationships and cultivated a very loyal following,” Lyon explained. “Our strategies have fueled increasingly more visits to our brand. In fact, Finish Line traffic reached its highest level ever in fiscal 2015. However, we didn’t convert this traffic into quality sales as our merchandise assortments resonated less with our customers than we expected.”
Beginning with the Finish Line brand, Lyon said it started to flow more freshness into the assortment following the inventory rebalance during the back half of the year.
“We have an improving product mix consisting of relevant styles, collections, and platforms our customer’s looking for,” he explained. “Along with several compelling product introduction scheduled over the next several quarters, this should help drive better full price selling as the year progresses. Continually improving our merchandise offering is an absolute priority, and we are charging hard on this front with our vendor partners. At the same time, we will be unrelenting to ensure that the customer experience exceeds their expectations, whenever and wherever they chose to engage with our brand.”
What’s more, Lyon stated: “The investments we have made in stores and technology are and will continue to be critical to winning with the customer. This has become increasingly apparent as the wall between stores and digital has come down and the two channels are now completely intertwined.”
Since Finish Line began pursuing its digital strategy three years ago, digital sales have tripled and the percentage to its total business has doubled.
“Even with this rapid growth, we are scratching the surface of this channel’s potential,” Lyon said. “Our mobile-first strategy will allow us to capitalize on the growing trend of mobile being the primary source of customer interaction. The launch of our new app is just the beginning of the new phase of our digital evolution.”
To build on the current momentum, Finish Line is upgrading its digital platform to improve customer experience.
“We are also accelerating our investment in CRM software to more effectively mine the data in our loyalty program,” Lyon explained. “Capabilities we are developing will allow us to deliver improved, more personalized communications and better understanding of our target customer. This will allow us to evolve our tactics as customers evolve their taste and purchasing habits.”
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