Academy Sports continues strong year with Q3 results

The sports and outdoors retailer with a burgeoning private brand portfolio saw another quarter of increased sales.
Zachary Russell
Associate Editor
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Academy Sports + Outdoors, sporting goods and outdoor retail with a growing private label collection, released its results from Q3 2021. The chain, which operates 259 stores in 16 states, increased sales and income in the latest quarter, adding to a successful 2021.

"The Academy Sports + Outdoors team did a great job again delivering our 9th consecutive quarterly sales and profit increase," said Ken Hicks, chairman, president and CEO of Academy, which currently owns 20 private label brands. "We are confident that our strong assortment and value offering, coupled with our great store service, enhanced omnichannel capabilities, and resilient supply chain will enable Academy to continue to achieve excellent results through this holiday season and beyond."

For Q3, net sales increased 18.1% to a third quarter record of $1.59 billion, a sales increase of 39.1% compared to Q3 of 2019. Comparable sales were 17.9% on top of 16.5% last year, making it the 9th consecutive quarter of positive comparable sales. 

All four of Academy’s product divisions saw significant growth. E-commerce sales grew 25.9% compared to the prior year quarter and 146.6% compared to Q3 2019. Gross margin increased 27.3% to $560.8 million, and the gross margin rate improved by 250 basis points to 35.2%. The company says the growth was primarily driven by higher merchandise margins resulting from effective pricing and promotions management, a favorable product mix shift and fewer clearance sales.

Year-to-date, net sales increased 21.3% to $4.96 billion, while comparable sales increased 21.2%. Year-to-date sales grew 43.5% compared to 2019, while e-commerce sales declined 1.5% versus 2020 and increased 203.9% compared to 2019.

“The ongoing successful execution of our strategic priorities has allowed us to achieve yet another period of record-setting sales and profitability,” said Michael Mullican, EVP and CFO of the company. “In addition, the strength of the entire Academy team was apparent as we were able to grow our inventory position in a challenging environment. As our initiatives continue to mature, we believe the best days at Academy are still to come. In light of these exceptional results and expectations, we are raising our annual guidance."