Finish Line’s Technology Push

During a call with analysts, Finish Line’s CFO told analysts that the company plans to spend between $10 million-$15 million to overhaul its tech and digital side over the next year. This includes helping the retailer go mobile first — a trend that’s slowly becoming the norm for most retailers.

“The upgrade to our platform will provide improved stability and also provide more flexibility for our teams to make changes more frequently and enhance the customer experience,” CEO Sam Sato said on the call with analysts. “You’ll also see improvement in a more seamless customer experience between desktop and mobile and then, lastly, it will have a much more robust search engine. So all of those benefits will come with the platform upgrade and will certainly help us drive our greater sales in the digital side.”

Outside of its digital plans, Finish Line is also looking to improve its logistics side, which hurt the company during the previous quarter (holiday sales time). Sato noted that the company is working to improve these measures.

Following the issues, the now-former CEO Glenn Lyon was removed in January from his post. The company cited dramatic supply chain errors as a key component of the move. While online shoppers had to wait longer for their orders or canceled them outright, Finish Line’s 600 brick-and-mortar storefronts also saw their shelves barer and barer as new inventory failed to move from its place in some distant fulfillment center.

“We improved our performance significantly in the fourth quarter and are making strides each day to reach peak performance,” he said. “Direct-to-consumer fulfillment rates in the first 24 hours are at 80 percent of historical norms as inventory accuracy and out-of-stock rates have dramatically improved. This compares to Q3 when fulfillment rates in the first 24 hours dropped to about half of our historical output.”


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