NEW YORK CITY-Foot Locker executives are looking at acquiring rival chains as the company tries to grow the business. “We could be looking at acquisitions of slightly under $300 million and much, much greater than $300 million,” said Matthew D. Serra, the company’s chairman and chief executive officer, during its fourth-quarter conference call.

With its existing chains, Foot Locker plans to open 100 new stores this year, to close 100 to 150, and renovate and relocate 200 to 300 units, numbers in line with last year. During the next three years, the retailer forecasts 150 closures and 250 to 350 remodels and relocations annually, Serra says.

Most of the openings this year will occur through the Foot Locker and Champs Sports chains. Of the 100, 75 will occur in the US. Additionally, the company plans to open 70 units in its new chain, Footquarters, which targets families at a lower price point.

Store openings will likely take place in open-air shopping centers, Serra says, noting that malls have faced falling traffic in the past two years. “I don’t believe that in the US we can have too many more stores in the malls,” he says.

Abroad, Foot Locker is forecasting the opening of seven to eight new stores in Europe and is also testing new stores in Turkey, a new market for the company. Franchise operators will open 15 stores in the Middle East.

Same-store sales during Footlocker’s fourth quarter, which ended Feb. 3, fell 3.4% year over year. Total sales rose 5.6%, hitting just less than $1.6 billion, while net income came in at $113 million, up from $96 million in last year’s Q4.

“The high-end, marquee product is continuing to do well,” Serra says. He blames unseasonably warm weather for weak sales in apparel, boot and men’s cross-training footwear.

Foot Locker operates just less than 4,000 stores, roughly 3,300 of them in the US, under the Foot Locker, Footaction, Champs, Lady Foot Locker and Kids Foot Locker names.

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