Boot Barn is seeing strong growth and expects to blow past current store count target, CEO says – CNBC

Boot Barn CEO Jim Conroy told CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Friday that the western apparel retailer has raised its long-term store count target, citing the strength of its performance in recent years.

In an interview on “Mad Money,” Conroy said the California-based company’s old benchmark of 500 stores is no longer adequate.

“As we’ve seen the performance of our new stores in brand-new markets like the ones in Virginia or Ohio or Pennsylvania, not only are we further emboldened by the performance of brand-new stores in brand-new markets and think we can continue to grow our store count there, but at the same time we’ve been adding stores in mature markets and not really seeing much cannibalization,” said Conroy, who has led Boot Barn since 2012.

Put both those factors together, and Conroy said Boot Barn believes it will “blow right past that 500 store maximum that we had called out when we went public” in late 2014. “We’ll put a more precise number around that, but it’ll be a couple hundred stores north of that [old target]. We just want to add some analytics to it,” he said.

As of its most recent earnings report, on Oct. 27, Boot Barn had 281 stores in 36 states.

Boot Barn shares have been on a tear over the past 12 months, rising about 177% to put the retailer’s market capitalization at $3.55 billion.

The stock surge comes as the company has demonstrated strong sales growth. For the quarter ended Sept. 25, Boot Barn reported sales of $312.7 million, which were up 67% percent compared to the same period two years prior before the Covid pandemic.

Conroy said one reason why Boot Barn has been able to find success is through widening its appeal to a larger number of customers. In the past, Boot Barn’s traditional customers were people who worked on a ranch, attended rodeos and “lived in a very much outdoor environment,” Conroy said.

More recently, Conroy said Boot Barn has worked to capture “what we call a casual western or country customer,” he said. That customer may not wear a cowboy hat, he said, but they may wear jeans and cowboy boots while attending a country music concert.

“That strategic step forward we took was truly an effort to expand the addressable market that Boot Barn could go after,” Conroy said.

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