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Academy Sports + Outdoors said its profits and sales fell in the second quarter after a record high in 2021, due to the surge in outdoor activities during the pandemic.

The Katy-based sports and leisure retailer reported profits of $188.8 million for the quarter ended July 30, down less than 1% from last year’s second quarter earnings of $190.5 million. Net sales were down 6.4% year-over-year, though the $3.15 billion still represents 36.3% growth over pre-pandemic sales through 2019 , the company reported.

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The Academy’s profits have soared during the pandemic as consumers seek out outdoor and fitness gear to get outside and stay healthy. Last year was the most profitable year in the company’s history. The second quarter of 2021 was its best quarterly financial results in company history.

“We are benefiting from a long-term consumer trend focused on health, wellness and experience,” said Ken Hicks, CEO of Academy.

Hicks predicted that the pandemic-era fitness kick will continue into the future as families enroll their kids in school sports and outdoor activities, and those kids keep those hobbies until ‘adulthood. He pointed to the growing popularity of pickleball. The Academy recently began carrying a pickleball set after Hicks had a conversation with a client about the sport, which combines ping-pong, tennis and badminton, he said.

During the second quarter of this year, Academy opened a new store in Panama City, Florida, and has since opened new locations in Atlanta, Georgia, and Richmond, Virginia, as part of a growing effort. nationwide expansion.

Sales at the new stores exceeded the company’s initial expectations, according to Hicks. At the store’s recent opening in Atlanta, Hicks said the Academy sold foldable outdoor chairs, canopies and carts to transport them after selling thousands on its first day.

Second quarter online sales were up 12.1% year over year. — nearly 2.5 times more than the same time in 2019. About half of those online sales are customers buying online and picking up in stores, according to Hicks.

Overall results were in line with company expectations for the quarter, Hicks said. Sales were down in each of the four merchandise divisions – sports and recreation, footwear, apparel and outdoor – compared to the second quarter of 2021.

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As inflation rises and a potential recession looms, Hicks said he continues to spend on sports equipment, outdoor gear and activewear.

“We sometimes talk about what’s discretionary and what’s not,” Hicks said on an earnings call. “Even in tough times, the kids are still going to play baseball or football. The person who loves the outdoors is still going to be camping or fishing, and families are still going to barbecue.”

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