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NEW YORK CITY-Foot Locker Chairman and CEO Matthew Sera stopped short of saying that his company is pursuing a sale as has been previously rumored, during the company’s second-quarter conference call. But he did say that the athletic footwear and apparel chain has hired investment-banking firm Evercore Partners to assist in exploring strategic alternatives.

Among the goals of this partnership are stabilizing same-stores sales, enhancing the North American portfolio, pursuing global opportunities and looking at acquisitions, Sera says. The new comes as Foot Locker’s same-store sales and earnings dropped for its most recent quarter, which ended July 29.

Same-stores sales decreased 1.3% year over year, and total sales, which came in at just over $1.3 billion, were essentially flat. Foot Locker’s net income was $14 million, down from $44 million during last year’s second quarter, due to a write down on the retailer’s European business.

Stores in Europe fared particularly poorly, particularly as a result of the competitive environment in the UK, executives say, with same-store sales falling 10%. “That is the number one promotional market,” Sera says. Canada and Asia posted a mid-single-digt increase.

In the US, the Foot Locker chains posted flat same-store sales, while the Footaction and Champs Sports chains were up the mid-single digits. In the third quarter, executives are expecting same-store sales to be flat to slightly down.

Foot Locker ended the quarter with just under 3,900 units across its brands, down about 30 stores from the same year-ago period. No chains experience significant openings or closures during the year.

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