It’s no secret that many retailers struggled over the past year, but Academy Sports made the most of challenging times.

The Texas-based sporting and outdoor goods retailer has 259 stores and took in $308.8 million in net profit last year — a 157.2% increase from 2019.

While sales were down for athletic footwear like cleats and team-branded merchandise, Academy Sports saw huge interest in items geared toward outdoor activities like fishing and camping equipment, and it also benefited from the home fitness boom.

  • E-commerce sales were up 60.7% in the fourth quarter, with customers embracing curbside and in-store pickup options.
  • In November, Academy released $400 million in senior secured notes, which it used to help pay down other debts at less favorable terms.
  • The company, which went public in October via IPO, has seen its stock price more than double since then.

Academy Sports’ success stands in contrast to other retailers, particularly Modells, which said in March it would close all of its stores after filing for bankruptcy. Gap, Macy’s, JCPenney, and several other clothing and department retailers have closed hundreds of stores recently.

Those with more of a focus on fitness and outdoor gear have fared better. Dick’s Sporting Goods had a record year; Lululemon doubled its e-commerce sales and has plans for a bigger brick-and-mortar footprint.

Academy Sports is thinking along similar lines, envisioning room for over 800 stores across the U.S.

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Corporate Profile

Academy is one of the leading full-line sporting goods and outdoor recreation retailers in the United States. Originally founded in 1938 as a family business in Texas, Academy has grown to 259 stores across 16 contiguous states. Academy’s mission is to provide “Fun for All” and Academy fulfills this mission with a localized merchandising strategy and value proposition that strongly connects with a broad range of consumers. Academy’s product assortment focuses on key categories of outdoor, apparel, footwear and sports & recreation through both leading national brands and a portfolio of 17 private label brands, which go well beyond traditional sporting goods and apparel offerings.

For more information, visit www.academy.com