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EX-23.1 - EX-23.1 - Boot Barn Holdings, Inc.boot-20180331ex2314f9147.htm
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UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

FORM 10‑K

(Mark One)

 

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the transition period from               to            

Commission file number: 001‑36711

BOOT BARN HOLDINGS, INC.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

Delaware
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)

90‑0776290
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)

15345 Barranca Pkwy

Irvine, CA 92618

(Address of principal executive offices) (Zip Code)

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (949) 453-4400

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

Title of each class

 

Name of each exchange on which registered

Common Stock, $0.0001 par value

 

New York Stock Exchange

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well‑known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes ☐  No ☒

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes ☐  No ☒

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes ☒  No ☐

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S‑T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). Yes ☒  No ☐

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers in response to Item 405 of Regulation S‑K (§229.405 of this chapter) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10‑K or any amendment to this Form 10‑K. ☐

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non‑accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b‑2 of the Exchange Act.

Large accelerated filer ☐

Accelerated filer ☒

Non‑accelerated filer ☐
(Do not check if a
smaller reporting company)

Smaller reporting company ☐   

Emerging growth company ☒

 

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ☒

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b‑2 of the Act). Yes ☐  No ☒

The aggregate market value of the registrant’s common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant as of the end of its most recently completed second fiscal quarter was approximately $115.6 million. Shares held by each officer, director and person owning more than 10% of the outstanding voting and non-voting stock have been excluded from this calculation because such persons may be deemed to be affiliates of the registrant. This determination of potential affiliate status is not necessarily a conclusive determination for other purposes. Shares held include shares of which certain of such persons disclaim beneficial ownership.

The number of outstanding shares of the registrant’s common stock, $.0001 par value, as of May 15, 2018 was 27,476,196.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Portions of the Registrant’s Proxy Statement for the 2018 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, to be filed pursuant to Regulation 14A within 120 days after the end of the 2018 fiscal year, are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Form 10‑K.

 

 

 


 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

    

 

    

Page

 

PART I 

 

 

 

 

 

Item 1. 

 

Business

 

3

 

Item 1A. 

 

Risk Factors

 

13

 

Item 1B. 

 

Unresolved Staff Comments

 

31

 

Item 2. 

 

Properties

 

32

 

Item 3. 

 

Legal Proceedings

 

32

 

Item 4. 

 

Mine Safety Disclosures

 

32

 

PART II 

 

 

 

 

 

Item 5. 

 

Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

 

33

 

Item 6. 

 

Selected Consolidated Financial Data

 

34

 

Item 7. 

 

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

 

38

 

Item 7A. 

 

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

 

54

 

Item 8. 

 

Consolidated Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

 

55

 

Item 9. 

 

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

 

86

 

Item 9A. 

 

Controls and Procedures

 

86

 

Item 9B. 

 

Other Information

 

86

 

PART III 

 

 

 

 

 

Item 10. 

 

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

 

87

 

Item 11. 

 

Executive Compensation

 

87

 

Item 12. 

 

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters

 

87

 

Item 13. 

 

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

 

87

 

Item 14. 

 

Principal Accounting Fees and Services

 

87

 

PART IV 

 

 

 

 

 

Item 15. 

 

Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules

 

87

 

 

 


 

Forward‑Looking Statements

This annual report contains forward‑looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties. All statements other than statements of historical or current fact included in this annual report are forward‑looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Forward‑looking statements refer to our current expectations and projections relating to, by way of example and without limitation, our financial condition, liquidity, profitability, results of operations, margins, plans, objectives, strategies, future performance, business and industry. You can identify forward‑looking statements by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. These statements may include words such as “anticipate”, “estimate”, “expect”, “project”, “plan”, “intend”, “believe”, “may”, “might”, “will”, “could”, “should”, “can have”, “likely” and other words and terms of similar meaning in connection with any discussion of the timing or nature of future operating or financial performance or other events, but not all forward‑looking statements contain these identifying words. For example, all statements we make relating to our estimated and projected earnings, revenues, costs, expenditures, cash flows, growth rates and financial results, our plans and objectives for future operations, growth or initiatives, strategies or the expected outcome or impact of pending or threatened litigation are forward‑looking statements. We believe the risks attending any forward‑looking statements include, but are not limited to, those described under “Risk Factors” and include, among other things:

·

risks related to levels of consumer spending and economic conditions;

·

risks related to our ability to maintain and enhance a strong brand image and compete effectively;

·

risks related to conditions in the foreign countries in which our products are manufactured and other risks of international trade;

·

risks related to our growth, including opening new stores in new and existing geographic markets;

·

risks related to our distribution model;

·

risks related to our dependence on third‑party suppliers;

·

risks related to our exclusive product offerings;

·

risks related to retention of our key executive management and other talent required for our business, as well as costs related to wage and benefits;

·

risks related to our indebtedness;

·

risks related to our management information systems;

·

risks relating to our e‑commerce business;

·

risks relating to the seasonality of our business;

·

risks relating to celebrity endorsements of our products;

·

risks related to intellectual property; and

·

litigation costs and the outcomes of litigation.

We derive many of our forward‑looking statements from our current operating budgets and forecasts, which are based upon detailed assumptions. While we believe that our assumptions are reasonable, we caution that it is very

1


 

difficult to predict the impact of known factors, and it is impossible for us to anticipate all factors that could affect our actual results. For these reasons, we caution readers not to place undue reliance on these forward‑looking statements.

See “Risk Factors” for a more complete discussion of the risks and uncertainties mentioned above and for a discussion of other risks and uncertainties. It is not possible for our management to predict all risks, nor can we assess the impact of all factors on our business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward‑looking statements we may make. All forward‑looking statements attributable to us are expressly qualified in their entirety by these cautionary statements as well as others made in this annual report and in our other Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) filings and public communications. You should evaluate all forward‑looking statements made by us in the context of these risks and uncertainties.

We caution you that the risks and uncertainties identified by us may not be all of the factors that are important to you. Furthermore, the forward‑looking statements included in this annual report are made only as of the date hereof. Our forward‑looking statements do not reflect the potential impact of any future acquisitions, mergers, dispositions, joint ventures or investments that we may make. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward‑looking statement as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as otherwise required by law.

Fiscal Year

We operate on a fiscal calendar that results in a 52‑ or 53‑week fiscal year ending on the last Saturday of March unless April 1st is a Saturday, in which case the fiscal year ends on April 1st. In a 52‑week fiscal year, each quarter includes thirteen weeks of operations; in a 53‑week fiscal year, the first, second and third quarters each include thirteen weeks of operations and the fourth quarter includes fourteen weeks of operations. The data presented contains references to fiscal 2018, fiscal 2017, and fiscal 2016, which represent our fiscal years ended March 31, 2018, April 1, 2017 and March 26, 2016, respectively. Fiscal 2018 was a 52-week period, fiscal 2017 was a 53-week period and fiscal 2016 was a 52-week period.

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PART I

Item 1.  Business.

Our Company

We are the largest lifestyle retail chain devoted to western and work‑related footwear, apparel and accessories in the U.S. With 226 stores in 31 states as of March 31, 2018, we have approximately three times as many stores as our nearest direct competitor that sells primarily western and work wear, and believe we have the potential to double our domestic store base. Our stores, which are typically freestanding or located in strip centers, average 11,400 square feet and feature a comprehensive assortment of brands and styles, coupled with attentive, knowledgeable store associates. We target a broad and growing demographic, ranging from passionate western and country enthusiasts to workers seeking dependable, high‑quality footwear and apparel. We strive to offer an authentic, one‑stop shopping experience that fulfills the everyday lifestyle needs of our customers and, as a result, many of our customers make purchases in both the western and work wear sections of our stores. Our store environment, product offering and marketing materials represent the aesthetics of the true American West, country music and rugged, outdoor work. These threads are woven together in our motto, “Be True”, which communicates the genuine and enduring spirit of the Boot Barn brand.

Our product offering is anchored by an extensive selection of western and work boots and is complemented by a wide assortment of coordinating apparel and accessories. Many of the items that we offer are basics or necessities for our customers’ daily lives and typically represent enduring styles that are not meaningfully impacted by changing fashion trends. Accordingly, approximately 70% of our store inventory is kept in stock through automated replenishment programs. The vast majority of our merchandise in stores, on bootbarn.com and countryoutfitter.com is sold at full price and is not subject to typical inventory markdowns. Sheplers E-commerce, defined below, is more promotional and offers a greater assortment of products at discounted prices. Our boot selection, which comprises approximately one‑third of each store’s selling square footage space, is merchandised on self‑service fixtures with western boots arranged by size and work boots arranged by brand. This allows us to display the full breadth of our inventory and deliver a convenient shopping experience. We also carry market‑leading assortments of denim, western shirts, cowboy hats, belts and belt buckles, western‑style jewelry and accessories. Our western assortment includes many of the industry’s most sought‑after brands, such as Ariat,  Dan Post,  Justin,  Lucchese,  Miss Me,  Montana Silversmiths,  Stetson, Resistol and Wrangler. Our work assortment includes rugged footwear, outerwear, overalls, denim and shirts for the most physically demanding jobs where durability, performance and protection matter, including safety‑toe boots and flame‑resistant and high‑visibility clothing. Among the top work brands sold in our stores are Carhartt,  Georgia Boot,  Timberland Pro and Wolverine. Our merchandise is also available on our e‑commerce websites, www.bootbarn.com,  www.sheplers.com and www.countryoutfitter.com.

Boot Barn was founded in 1978 and, over the past 40 years, has grown both organically and through successful strategic acquisitions of competing chains. We have rebranded and remerchandised the acquired chains under the Boot Barn banner. We believe that our business model and scale provide us with competitive advantages that have contributed to our consistent and strong financial performance, generating sufficient cash flow to support national growth.

In October 2014, we completed our initial public offering and our common stock began trading on the New York Stock Exchange. In February 2015 and January 2018, certain stockholders completed secondary underwritten public offerings of shares of our common stock.

Recent Acquisitions

Baskins Acquisition

On May 25, 2013, we acquired Baskins Acquisition Holdings, LLC, a western and work‑related retail chain of 30 stores located in Texas and Louisiana (“Baskins”). Through the Baskins Acquisition, we entered the Texas market, which is the number one market for western boots, apparel and accessories. All of the Baskins stores were rebranded under the Boot Barn banner and merchandised to be consistent with our existing stores.

3


 

Sheplers Acquisition

On June 29, 2015, we acquired Sheplers Inc. and Sheplers Holding Corporation (collectively with Sheplers, Inc. “Sheplers”), a western lifestyle company with 25 retail locations across the United States and an e-commerce business. We refer to the acquisition as the “Sheplers Acquisition”. We financed the Sheplers Acquisition with borrowings under a senior secured asset-based revolving credit facility for which Wells Fargo Bank, National Association is agent (the “June 2015 Wells Fargo Revolver”), and a syndicated senior secured term loan for which GCI Capital Markets LLC is agent (the “2015 Golub Term Loan”). Through the Sheplers Acquisition, we added eight new markets, expanded both our Texas (Dallas and San Antonio) and Denver markets, and greatly increased our omni-channel capabilities as Sheplers had a leading e-commerce platform (“Sheplers E-commerce”). We rebranded 19 of the 25 retail stores acquired through the Sheplers Acquisition, and closed the remaining six stores during fiscal 2016. 

Country Outfitter Asset Acquisition

On February 16, 2017, we acquired all rights and interest in the www.countryoutfitter.com website and tradename, along with the associated social media platforms. We additionally purchased a customer email list and assumed Country Outfitter’s merchandise credits. The Country Outfitter e-commerce website sells primarily country and western fashion merchandise. The Country Outfitter assets were purchased for $1.8 million of cash and assumed liabilities. The Company operates www.countryoutfitter.com as a website separate from its other e-commerce sites, www.bootbarn.com and www.sheplers.com.  

 

Woods Boots Asset Acquisition

 

On September 11, 2017, we acquired assets from Wood’s Boots, a four-store family-owned retailer with stores in Midland and Odessa, Texas. As part of the transaction, we purchased the inventory, entered into new leases with the stores’ landlord, offered employment to the Wood’s Boots team at all four store locations and assumed certain customer credits. Based on the fair value analysis of the net assets acquired and liabilities assumed, the inventory was valued at $2.8 million, and the customer credits were valued at less than $0.1 million.

 

Our Competitive Strengths

We believe the following strengths differentiate us from our competitors and provide a solid foundation for future growth:

Powerful lifestyle brand.  The Boot Barn brand is built on western lifestyle values that are core to American culture. Our deep understanding of this lifestyle enables us to create long‑lasting relationships with our customers who embody these ideals. Our brand is highly visible through our sponsorship of local and national rodeos, stock shows, concerts and country music artists. We sell our products through pop‑up shops at several of the largest events that we sponsor. We believe these grassroots marketing efforts make our brand synonymous with the western lifestyle, validate our brand’s authenticity and establish Boot Barn as the trusted specialty retailer for all of our customers’ everyday needs.

Strong e-commerce positioning.  We offer a compelling shopping experience to our customers, including 226 brick-and-mortar stores combined with our e-commerce websites consisting of bootbarn.com, sheplers.com and countryoutfitter.com. Bootbarn.com offers a compelling every-day low price shopping experience catered towards a lifestyle customer with western roots and a strong work influence. Sheplers.com offers a broad value proposition assortment targeted to a more promotional customer. Countryoutfitter.com has a curated assortment appealing to a more fashion-based country lifestyle customer. Each of our e-commerce sites has distinct brand positioning and provides a differentiated shopping experience to our customers.

Fast growing specialty retailer of western and work wear in the U.S.  Our broad geographic footprint, which currently spans 31 states, provides us with significant economies of scale, enhanced supplier relationships, the ability to recruit and retain high quality store associates and the ability to reinvest in our business at levels that we believe exceed those of our competition.

4


 

Loyal customer base.  Our customers come to us for many aspects of their everyday footwear and clothing needs because of the breadth and availability of our product offering. In fiscal 2011 we implemented our customer loyalty program, B Rewarded, to enhance our connection and relationship with our customers. Our loyalty program has grown rapidly since inception and as of March 31, 2018 includes approximately 3.8 million members who have purchased merchandise from us in the last three fiscal years. The majority of our sales are made to these customers. We leverage this database, which provides useful information about our customers, to enhance our marketing activities across our stores and e-commerce websites, refine our merchandising and planning efforts and assist in our selection of sites for new stores.

Differentiated shopping experience.  We deliver a one‑stop shopping experience that engages our customers and, we believe, fulfills their lifestyle needs. Our stores are designed to create an inviting and engaging experience and include prominent storefront signage, a simple and easy‑to‑shop layout and a large and conveniently arranged self‑service selection of boots. We offer significant inventory breadth and depth across a range of boots, apparel and accessories. Additionally, all of our stores are equipped with touch screen devices that allow our customers to access millions of additional boots, apparel and other items from our e-commerce warehouse inventory as well as the inventory at most of our larger third-party vendors. We believe that our strong, long‑lasting supplier relationships enhance our ability to provide a compelling merchandise assortment with a strong in‑stock position both in‑store and online. Our knowledgeable store associates are passionate about our merchandise and deliver a high level of service to our customers. These elements help promote customer loyalty and drive repeat visits.

Compelling merchandise assortment and strategy.  We believe we offer a diverse merchandise assortment that features the most sought‑after western and work wear brands, well‑regarded niche brands and exclusive private brands across a range of merchandise categories including boots, apparel and accessories. We have a core assortment of styles that serves as a foundation for our merchandising strategy and we augment and tailor that assortment by region to cater to local preferences. In fiscal 2018, the vast majority of our merchandise sales in stores, on bootbarn.com and countryoutfitter.com were at full price, which we believe demonstrates the strength of our brand and the less discretionary nature of our product offering. Sheplers E-commerce is more promotional and offers a greater assortment of products at discounted prices.

Portfolio of exclusive private brands.  We have leveraged our scale, merchandising experience and customer knowledge to launch a portfolio of private brands exclusive to us, including Shyanne,  Cody James,  Moonshine Spirit by Brad Paisley, Idyllwind Fueled by Miranda Lambert, American Worker, El Dorado and BB Ranch. Our private brands are currently available in stores, on bootbarn.com, sheplers.com and countryoutfitter.com and offer high‑quality western and work boots as well as apparel and accessories for men, ladies and kids. Each of our private brands, which address product and price segments that we believe are underserved by third‑party brands, offers exclusive products to our customers and achieves better merchandise margins than the third-party brands that we carry. Customer receptivity and demand for our private brands has been strong, demonstrated by the increasing penetration of private brands and sales momentum across our store base and e-commerce websites.

Versatile store model with compelling unit economics.  We have successfully opened and currently operate stores that generate strong cash flow, consistent store‑level financial results and an attractive return on investment across a variety of geographies, markets, store sizes and location types. We operate stores in markets characterized as agribusiness centers and ranch regions, and in other various geographies throughout the United States. Our stores are also successful in small, rural towns and major metropolitan areas.

Our new store model requires an average net cash investment of approximately $0.8 million and targets an average payback period of three years. Our lean operating structure, coupled with our strong supplier relationships, has allowed us to grow with minimal supply chain investments as most of our products ship directly from our suppliers to our stores. We believe that our proven retail model and attractive unit economics support our ability to grow our store footprint in both new and existing markets across the U.S.

Highly experienced management team and passionate organization.  Our senior management team has extensive experience across all key retail disciplines and has been instrumental in developing a robust and scalable infrastructure to support our growth. In addition to playing an important role in developing our long‑term growth

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initiatives, our senior management team embraces the genuine and enduring qualities of the western and work lifestyle and has created a positive culture of enthusiasm and entrepreneurial spirit which is shared by team members throughout our entire organization.

Our Growth Strategies

We are pursuing several strategies to continue our profitable growth, including:

Continuing omni-channel leadership.  Our growing national footprint, social media following and broader marketing efforts drive traffic to our stores and e‑commerce websites. We operate sheplers.com and countryoutfitter.com along with bootbarn.com as an alternative to shopping in the stores, which allows us to reach customers outside our geographic footprint. We continue to make investments in both online and in-store advertising, aimed at increasing traffic to our e‑commerce websites, which reached over 29 million visits in total in fiscal 2018, and increasing the amount of merchandise purchased by customers who visit our websites, while improving the shopping experience for our customers. Additionally, all of our stores are equipped with touch screen devices that allow our customers to access millions of additional boots, apparel and other items from our e-commerce warehouse inventory as well as the inventory at most of our larger third-party vendors, purchase these items in store, and, in most cases, receive free shipping. We further continue to make investments in our e-commerce infrastructure, including adding automation to our warehouses to support expanding e-commerce growth. Our e-commerce sales as a portion of total consolidated net sales were 17.3% and 18.4% in fiscal 2018 and fiscal 2017, respectively.

Driving same store sales growth.  We believe that we can continue to grow our same store sales by increasing our brand awareness, driving additional traffic to our stores and increasing the amount of merchandise purchased by customers while visiting our stores. Our management team has launched several initiatives to accelerate growth, enhance our store associates’ selling skills, drive store‑level productivity and increase customer engagement through our loyalty program.

Building our private brand portfolio.  We believe we can achieve gross margin enhancement by increasing the penetration of our private brand sales. As of March 31, 2018, our private brands include Shyanne,  Cody James,  Moonshine Spirit by Brad Paisley, American Worker, El Dorado and BB Ranch, and are sold in our stores and on all three of our e-commerce websites. We expect a full product launch of Idyllwind Fueled by Miranda Lambert in the fall of calendar year 2018. Each of our private brands, which address product and price segments that we believe are underserved by third‑party brands, offers exclusive products to our customers and achieves better merchandise margins than the third-party brands that we carry. 

Expanding our store base.  Driven by our compelling store economics, we believe that there is a significant opportunity to expand our store base in the U.S. During fiscal 2018, we opened five stores and acquired four Wood’s Boots stores. Based on an extensive analysis, we believe that we have the potential to double our domestic store base of 226 stores as of March 31, 2018. We currently plan to target store openings in new and existing markets and in adjacent and underserved markets that we believe will be receptive to our concept. Over the past several years, we have made investments in personnel, information technology, warehouse infrastructure and e‑commerce platforms to support the expansion of our operations.

Leveraging our economies of scale.  We believe that we have a variety of opportunities to increase the profitability of our business over time. Our ability to leverage our infrastructure and drive store‑level productivity due to economies of scale is expected to be a primary driver of our improvement in profitability. We intend to continually refine our merchandise mix and increase the penetration of our private brands to help differentiate us from our competitors and achieve higher merchandise margins. We also expect to capitalize on additional economies of scale in purchasing and sourcing as we grow our geographic footprint and online presence.

Enhancing brand awareness.  We intend to enhance our brand awareness and customer loyalty in a number of ways, such as continuing to grow our store base and our online and social media initiatives. We use broadcast media such as radio, television and outdoor advertisements to reach customers in new and existing markets. We also maintain our strong market position through our grassroots marketing efforts, including sponsorship of rodeos, stock shows and

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other western industry events, as well as our association with country music, including partnerships with Brad Paisley and Miranda Lambert and up‑and‑coming country musicians. We have an effective social media strategy with high customer engagement, as evidenced by our strong following on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter.

Our Market Opportunity

We participate in the large, growing and highly fragmented western and work wear markets of the broader apparel and footwear industry. We offer a variety of boots, apparel and accessories that are basics or necessities for our customers’ daily lives. Many of our customers are employed in the agriculture, oil and gas, manufacturing and construction industries, and are often country and western enthusiasts. We believe that growth in the western wear market has been and will continue to be driven by the growth of western events, such as rodeos, the popularity of country music and the continued strength and endurance of the western lifestyle. We believe that growth in the work wear market has been and will continue to be driven by increasing activity in the construction sector and the return of domestic manufacturing. Additionally, government regulations for workplace safety have driven and, we believe, will continue to drive, sales in specific categories, such as safety‑toe boots and flame‑resistant and high‑visibility clothing for various industrial and outdoor occupations.

Our Sales Channels

During fiscal 2018, we continued to enhance our omni-channel capabilities. Our current omni-channel presence consists of both brick and mortar stores as well as an e-commerce platform, including www.bootbarn.com,  www.sheplers.com and www.countryoutfitter.com.

Our stores

As a lifestyle retail concept, our stores offer a broad array of merchandise to outfit an entire family, while working during the week, relaxing on the weekend, or dressing up for an evening out. Our stores are easy to navigate with clear sight lines to all major product categories. Our preferred store layout has ladies’ and children’s apparel on the right side of the store and men’s western and men’s work apparel on the left side. Our basic denim is usually merchandised on shelving placed on the exterior walls, while our premium‑priced, more stylized denim and clothing are prominently displayed on floor fixtures and mannequins. We utilize the space in the front of the store for accessories such as hats, belts, jewelry, handbags, home merchandise, gifts and various impulse purchase items.

Boots, our signature category, anchor the rear of the store with an expansive assortment displayed on fixtures up to six shelves in height. We offer virtually all of our boots in pairs out on the sales floor. To reflect the typical purchasing decision process of each of our customer segments, we arrange all western boots by size and all work boots by brand. While our knowledgeable and friendly store associates are readily available to assist our customers, the store design facilitates a self‑service shopping experience.

Our stores are generally located in or near high visibility, power and large neighborhood shopping centers with trade areas of five or more miles. Our stores average 11,400 square feet and feature a comprehensive assortment of brands and styles, coupled with attentive, knowledgeable store associates. Our stores are designed and managed to drive profitability and, we believe, create a compelling customer shopping experience.

During fiscal 2018, we opened five stores and acquired four Wood’s Boots stores. As of March 31, 2018, our retail footprint included 226 stores in the U.S. Two of our stores are operated under the “American Worker” name. Our American Worker stores primarily feature work‑related footwear, apparel and accessories. We do not currently intend to open additional American Worker stores.

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The following table shows the number of stores in each of the 31 states in which we operated as of March 31, 2018:

 

 

 

 

 

    

Number of

 

State

 

stores

 

Alabama

 

 2

 

Arizona

 

14

 

California

 

42

 

Colorado

 

13

 

Florida

 

 7

 

Georgia

 

 2

 

Idaho

 

 3

 

Illinois

 

 1

 

Indiana

 

 2

 

Iowa

 

 4

 

Kansas

 

 4

 

Kentucky

 

 3

 

Louisiana

 

 6

 

Minnesota

 

 2

 

Missouri

 

 2

 

Montana

 

 4

 

Nebraska

 

 2

 

Nevada

 

10

 

New Mexico

 

 7

 

North Carolina

 

 4

 

North Dakota

 

 6

 

Oklahoma

 

 2

 

Oregon

 

 3

 

South Carolina

 

 3

 

South Dakota

 

 3

 

Tennessee

 

 9

 

Texas

 

52

 

Utah

 

 2

 

Washington

 

 2

 

Wisconsin

 

 1

 

Wyoming

 

 9

 

Total

 

226

 

 

E-commerce

Our e‑commerce websites are a natural extension of our brand and in‑store experience, allowing us to further build awareness in our current markets and reach customers not served by our current geographic footprint. During fiscal 2018, we had over 29 million visits to our websites and we sold merchandise to customers in all 50 states. Approximately 5.8% of our total e‑commerce revenue for fiscal 2018 was generated from customers outside of the United States. Such foreign‑source revenue constituted approximately 1.2% of our overall net sales in fiscal 2018.

Our growing national footprint and broader marketing efforts drive traffic to our bootbarn.com website, which in turn also drives traffic to our stores. We believe that many customers, especially those shopping for boots, browse online at bootbarn.com and then visit our stores to make their purchases to ensure a proper fit. As a multi‑channel retailer, we are implementing technology initiatives that integrate in‑store and e‑commerce platforms into one seamless customer experience. As an example, last year we implemented in-store touch-screen devices to expand the product offering available to our in-store customers, including additional styles, colors and sizes not carried in the store. In fiscal 2018, we continued to enhance customer service with our buy online, pick up in-store function.

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The bootbarn.com and countryoutfitter.com businesses are every-day low price models, while sheplers.com is more promotional and offers a greater assortment of products at discounted prices. For all of our e-commerce brands, we communicate information on current promotions and upcoming events on our e‑commerce websites, which helps drive purchases online and traffic to our stores. We continue to improve follow‑up email communication related to order confirmations, as well as offer boot care and other accessories associated with boot purchases.

Store expansion opportunities and site selection

We have substantial experience in opening stores in new and existing geographic markets. During the last three fiscal years, we have successfully added, on a net basis, 57 new stores through a combination of organic growth and strategic acquisitions. We evaluate potential new locations in light of a variety of criteria, including local demographics and population, the area’s industrial base, the existing competitive landscape, occupancy costs, store visibility, traffic, environmental considerations, co‑tenancy and accessibility. We also consider a region’s total store potential to help ensure efficiencies in store management and media spending. Most of our stores are in high‑traffic and highly visible locations and many have freeway signage. Stores located in metropolitan areas are typically established in high‑density neighborhoods, and stores located in rural areas are typically established near highways or major thoroughfares.

Based on an extensive internal analysis of our current customer base, store performance drivers and competitor penetration, we believe that the U.S. market supports the ability to double our current domestic store base. We utilized multiple methods for measuring market size, including a review of demographic and psychographic factors on a state‑by‑state basis. We supplemented that data by analyzing our share of the geographic markets in which we currently operate and extrapolating that share to new geographic markets. Based on our market analysis, we have created a regional and state‑by‑state development plan to strategically extend our store portfolio. Careful consideration was given to operational constraints and merchandising differences in new and existing markets, while balancing the relevant risks associated with opening stores in those markets.

Over the past several years, we have invested in construction and real estate resources, information technology and warehouse infrastructure to support the expansion of our operations. In addition, we have developed a model for new stores that assumes a leased 8,000 to 12,000 square foot space, requires an average net cash investment of approximately $0.8 million and targets an average payback period of three years. We believe that under this model we can grow our store base by approximately 10% annually over the next several years without substantially modifying our current resources and infrastructure.

Store Management and Training

We have a strong culture focused on providing superior customer service. We believe that our store associates and managers form the foundation of the Boot Barn brand. We recruit people who are welcoming, friendly and service‑oriented, and who often live the western lifestyle or have a genuine affinity for it. We have a positive culture of enthusiasm and entrepreneurial spirit throughout the Company, which is particularly strong in our stores. Given the lifestyle nature of the Boot Barn brand, we have developed a natural connection between our customers and our store associates.

Given the importance of both fit and function in selling much of our product, we utilize a well‑developed sales, service and product training program. We provide over 20 hours of training for new store associates, as well as ongoing product, sales and leadership training. Additionally, we provide home office and supplier‑led workshops on products, selling skills and leadership at our annual three‑day store manager meeting. Our store management training programs emphasize building skills that lead to effective store management and overall leadership. Our store managers are responsible for hiring and staffing our stores and are empowered with the sales, customer service and operational tools necessary to monitor employee and store performance. We believe that our continued investments in training our employees help drive loyalty from our store associates and, in turn, our customers. We are committed to providing the right merchandise solution for each of our customers based on the ultimate end use of our products. Our goal is to train each of our store associates to be able to guide a customer throughout a store and provide helpful knowledge on product fit, functions and features across our departments. Rather than rely heavily on sales commissions and supplier‑specific incentive programs, we utilize a system under which the vast majority of a store associate’s compensation is based on an

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hourly wage. We believe that this produces a team‑oriented culture, creates a less pressured selling environment and helps ensure that our store associates are focused on the specific needs of our customers.

Merchandising

Strategy

We seek to establish our stores as a one‑stop destination for western and work‑related footwear, apparel and accessories. Our merchandising strategy is to offer a core assortment of products, brands and styles by store, department and price point. We augment and tailor this assortment by region to cater to local preferences such as toe profiles for western boots, styling for western apparel, and functions and features for work apparel and work boots depending on climate and the local industries served. In addition, we actively maintain a balance between third party brands and our own brands that, we believe, offers our customers a compelling mix between selection, product and value.

Our business is moderately seasonal and as a result our revenues fluctuate from quarter to quarter. The third quarter of our fiscal year, which includes the Christmas shopping season, has historically produced higher sales and disproportionately higher operating results than the other quarters of our fiscal year. Historically, neither the western nor the work component of our business has been meaningfully impacted by fashion trends or seasonality. We believe that many of our customers are driven primarily by utility and brand, and our best‑selling styles tend to be items that carry over from year to year with only minor updates. On average, over the last three fiscal years we have generated approximately 33% of our net sales during our third fiscal quarter.

We have a minimal amount of seasonal merchandise that could necessitate significant markdowns. This allows us to implement automated replenishment systems for approximately 70% of our store merchandise, meaning that, as sales are captured in a store’s point of sale system, recommended purchase orders are systematically generated for approval by our merchandising group, ensuring our strong in‑stock inventory position. As a result, demand and margins for the majority of our products are fairly predictable, which reduces our inventory risk.

Our products

During fiscal 2018, our products contributed to overall sales in the following manner:

·

Gender:  Men’s merchandise accounted for approximately 60% of our sales with the balance being ladies, kids and unisex merchandise.

·

Styling:  Western styles comprised approximately 70% of our sales, with work‑related and other styles making up the balance.

·

Product category:  Boots accounted for just over half of our sales, with apparel comprising an additional 32% and the balance consisting of hats, gifts, accessories and home merchandise.

Throughout our long history we have maintained collaborative relationships with our key suppliers. These relationships, coupled with our scale, have allowed us to carry a wide selection of popular and niche brands, including Ariat,  Carhartt Workwear,  Cinch,  Corral,  Dan Post,  Georgia Boot,  Justin Boots,  Keen,  Lucchese,  Old Gringo,  Rocky,  Stetson,  Timberland,  Tony Lama,  Twisted X,  Wolverine and Wrangler. In many cases, we are one of the largest accounts of our suppliers and have become important as the largest specialty retailer of western and work wear in the U.S. As a result, we have several advantages relative to our competitors, including increased buying power and access to first‑to‑market or limited edition products. This provides us with competitive differentiation and the ability to generate higher merchandise margins.

Our scale has also allowed us to introduce our own proprietary western wear brands, Shyanne and Cody James, which offer high‑quality western boots, shirts, jackets and hats for women and men, respectively. We also have an exclusive license agreement with country music star Brad Paisley, who designs a collection of boots, apparel and accessories for us, Moonshine Spirit By Brad Paisley, that reflect his lifestyle and personality. In fiscal 2018 we entered

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into a new partnership with country music artist Miranda Lambert, to develop a lifestyle brand, inspired by her music and creative talents, which includes boots, apparel and accessories. We develop private brand merchandise for our work wear business under the name American Worker, and for our home and gift category under the name BB Ranch. We created these brands to address segments that we believe are underserved by third‑party brands. We have a dedicated product development team that designs and sources merchandise from suppliers around the world. These product assortments are exclusive to Boot Barn and are merchandised and marketed as if they were third‑party brands both in our stores and on our three e-commerce websites. In fiscal 2018, sales from our private brand products accounted for approximately 13.5% of our consolidated sales including our stores and three e-commerce websites. These private brands differentiate us from our competitors and produce higher incremental merchandise margins than the third‑party brands that we carry.

Planning and allocation

We believe that we have assembled a talented and experienced team in both the buying and merchandise planning functions. The experience of our team is critical to understanding the technical requirements of our merchandise based on region and use, such as the appropriate safety toe regulations for work boots in a particular industry. The team is constantly managing our replenishment model to ensure a high in‑stock position by stock keeping unit, or SKU, on a store‑by‑store basis. Our merchandising team optimizes the product selection, mix and depth across our stores by analyzing demand on a market‑by‑market basis, continuously reviewing our sell‑through results, communicating with our suppliers about local market preferences and new products, shopping our competitors’ stores, and immersing themselves in trade and western lifestyle events including rodeos, country music concerts and other industry‑specific activities. Our merchandising team also makes frequent visits to our stores and partners with our regional, district and store managers to refine the merchandise assortment by region. Our team has demonstrated the ability to effectively manage merchandising, pricing and promotional strategies across our store base.

To keep the product assortment fresh, we reposition a small portion of our merchandise on the sales floor every month. To drive traffic to our stores and create in‑store energy and excitement, we execute a promotional calendar that showcases select brands or merchandise categories throughout the year and rotates on a monthly cadence. Our promotional activity also enables us to consistently engage with our customers both online and in‑store, as well as through our various marketing media. Our ability to optimize the price for each merchandise category on a market‑by‑market basis, helps us to maximize profitability while remaining price competitive. While our promotional activity is important for customer engagement, the vast majority of our merchandise sales in stores, on bootbarn.com and countryoufitter.com were at full price, which we believe demonstrates the strength of our brand and the less discretionary nature of our product offering. Sheplers E-commerce is more promotional and offers a greater assortment of products at discounted prices.

Marketing and Advertising

Our marketing strategy is designed to build brand awareness, acquire new customers, enhance customer loyalty and drive in‑store and online transactions. We customize our marketing mix for each of our markets and purposes. For example, during store grand openings we engage in additional local community outreach and advertise in local print media in select markets. We primarily use the following forms of media:

Radio and television—We purchase spots on both national and regional radio stations, primarily country music channels, to draw customers to nearby locations. We also maintain relationships with several country music artists in order to capitalize on the popularity of country music, using our stores and marketing communications to promote their album sales or concerts. In return, these country music artists often make in‑store appearances or mention us on social media and occasionally give private performances. We also purchase television spots to create awareness in new markets and occasionally help support grand openings of new stores.

Direct mail—We conduct several direct mail campaigns, and during fiscal 2018, we sent out approximately 5.8 million mailers, ranging in size from postcards to catalogs of 50 pages.

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E‑mail—We e‑mail our e‑commerce customers and members of our B Rewarded loyalty program as part of our cross‑channel effort to drive traffic to our stores and websites. We sent over 800 million e‑mails in fiscal 2018.

Social media—We also have a marketing strategy that has produced a fast‑growing social media presence, as evidenced by our strong following on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter. Our posts celebrate country and western life and humor, and routinely get thousands of likes, hundreds of shares and dozens of comments each.

Event sponsorship—We typically sponsor community‑based western events each year within the regional footprint of our store locations. Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, a well-known 20 day celebration of western heritage, is one of our most prominent sponsorships and attracts more than two million visitors to Houston, Texas, where we operate eighteen stores in the area. We also sponsor the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo, an 18-day event with more than two million attendees. Other prominent sponsorships include Cheyenne Frontier Days, the largest outdoor rodeo in the U.S., the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and related National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, Nevada, Professional Bull Riders and the National High School Rodeo Association, which supports rodeos for competitors in high school and junior high school. At more prominent events, we often set up pop up shops as large as 9,000 square feet, which allows participants to purchase our merchandise.

Distribution

Our suppliers ship most of our in‑store merchandise directly to our stores and a portion of our e‑commerce merchandise to our e‑commerce customers. The remaining units are either shipped from our distribution center located in Fontana, California, or from the distribution center in Wichita, Kansas, that we acquired as a result of the Sheplers Acquisition. Our distribution center in California distributes our private brand and volume discount purchases to our stores, and supplies inventory for sponsored events and new store openings. In addition, our California distribution center also helps to fulfill bootbarn.com orders. Our Wichita, Kansas distribution center fulfills the vast majority of e-commerce orders. In accordance with our automated replenishment programs, third‑party suppliers typically deliver merchandise to our stores daily, ensuring in‑stock merchandise availability and a steady flow of new inventory for our customers.

Competition

The retail industry for western and work wear is highly fragmented and characterized by primarily regional competitors. We estimate that there are thousands of independent specialty stores scattered across the country. We believe that we compete primarily with smaller regional chains and independents on the basis of product quality, brand recognition, price, customer service and the ability to identify and satisfy consumer demand. In addition, as we expand our e-commerce sales presence, we are competing to an increasing degree with online retailers and the e-commerce offerings of traditional competitors. We also compete with farm supply stores and, to a lesser degree, mass merchants, some of which are significantly larger than us, but most of which realize only a small percentage of their total revenues from the sale of western and work wear. We have approximately three times as many stores as our nearest direct competitor that sells primarily western and work wear and we believe that our nationally recognized lifestyle brand, economies of scale, breadth and depth of inventory across a variety of categories, strong in‑stock position, portfolio of authentic private brands, enhanced supplier partnerships, exclusive offerings and ability to recruit and retain high quality store associates favorably differentiates us from our competitors.

Information technology

We have made significant investments to create a scalable information technology platform to support growth in our retail and e‑commerce sales without further near‑term investments in our information technology infrastructure. We use an Enterprise Resource Planning system, which we now refer to as Aptos Retail for integrated point‑of‑sale, merchandising, planning, sales audit, customer relationship management, inventory control, loss prevention, purchase order management and business intelligence. We operate Aptos Retail on a software‑as‑a‑service platform. This approach allows us to regularly upgrade to the most recent software release with minimal operational disruption, nominal systems infrastructure investment and a relatively small in‑house information technology department. Aptos Retail also interfaces with our accounting system.

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We have also invested in an information technology platform for our e-commerce websites. At the end of fiscal 2017, we upgraded our e-commerce platform. This upgrade of our e-commerce platform acts as the foundation for all of our digital store fronts including bootbarn.com, sheplers.com, and countryoutfitter.com.

Intellectual property

We regard our trademarks as having value and as being important to our marketing efforts. We have registered our trademarks in the U.S., including our brand name “Boot Barn” and our private label brands. We also have a registered trademark for the “Sheplers” and “Country Outfitter” brand names. We have sought foreign trademark protection by registering the Boot Barn trademark in Hong Kong, where we operate one of our subsidiaries, Boot Barn International (Hong Kong) Limited. We also own the domain name for our websites, www.bootbarn.com,  www.sheplers.com and www.countryoutfitter.com. Our policy is to pursue registration of our trademarks and to rigorously defend their infringement by third parties.

Our employees

As of March 31, 2018, we employed approximately 1,200 full‑time and 2,300 part‑time employees, of which approximately 500 were employed at our Store Support Center and distribution center and approximately 3,000 were employed at our stores. The number of employees, especially part‑time employees, fluctuates depending upon our seasonal needs. None of our employees are represented by a labor union and we consider our relationship with our employees to be good. We have never experienced a strike or significant work stoppage.

Regulation and legislation

We are subject to labor and employment laws, laws governing truth‑in‑advertising, privacy laws, safety regulations and other laws at the federal, state and local level, including consumer protection regulations, such as the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, that regulate retailers and govern the promotion and sale of merchandise and the operation of stores and warehouse facilities. We monitor changes in these laws and believe that we are in material compliance with all applicable laws.

We source many of our private brand products from outside the U.S. The U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and other similar anti‑bribery and anti‑kickback laws and regulations generally prohibit companies and their intermediaries from making improper payments to non‑U.S. officials for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business. Our policies and our supplier compliance agreements mandate compliance with applicable law, including these laws and regulations.

Item 1A.  Risk Factor

You should carefully consider the risks and uncertainties described below, together with all of the other information in this annual report, including our consolidated financial statements, and related notes included elsewhere in this annual report. If any of the following risks were realized, our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects could be materially and adversely affected. In that event, the price of our common stock could decline, and you could lose part or all of your investment.

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Risks Related To Our Business

Our sales could be severely impacted by decreases in consumer spending due to declines in consumer confidence, local economic conditions in our markets or changes in consumer preferences.

We depend upon consumers feeling confident about spending discretionary income on our products to drive our sales. Consumer spending may be adversely impacted by economic conditions, such as consumer confidence in future economic conditions, interest and tax rates, employment levels, salary and wage levels, the availability of consumer credit, the level of housing, energy and food costs and general business conditions. These risks may be exacerbated for retailers like us who focus on specialty footwear, apparel and accessories. Our financial performance is particularly susceptible to economic and other conditions in California, Texas and other states where we have a significant number of stores. Many of our stores operate in geographic areas where the local economies depend to a significant degree on oil and other commodity extraction, and many of our customers are employed in these industries. Our financial performance is accordingly susceptible to economic and other conditions relating to output and employment in these areas. Our financial performance also is impacted by conditions in the construction sector, domestic manufacturing and the transportation and warehouse sectors, the growth of which we believe is an important driver of our work wear business. In addition, our financial performance may be negatively affected if the popularity of the western and country lifestyle subsides, or if there is a general trend in consumer preferences away from boots and other western or country products in favor of another general category of footwear or attire. If this were to occur or if periods of decreased consumer spending persist, our sales could decrease, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

Our business largely depends on a strong brand image, and if we are unable to maintain and enhance our brand image, particularly in markets where we have newly acquired stores and in new markets where we have limited brand recognition, we may be unable to increase or maintain our level of sales.

We believe that our brand image and brand awareness have contributed significantly to the success of our business. We also believe that maintaining and enhancing our brand image, particularly in markets where we have newly acquired stores and in new markets where we have limited brand recognition, is important to maintaining and expanding our customer base. Our ability to successfully integrate newly acquired and newly opened stores into their surrounding communities, to expand into new markets or to maintain the strength and distinctiveness of our brand image in our existing markets will be adversely impacted if we fail to connect with our target customers. Our efforts to rebrand newly acquired stores could result in reduced sales and profitability of such stores. Maintaining and enhancing our brand image may require us to make substantial investments in areas such as merchandising, marketing, store operations, community relations, store graphics and employee training, which could adversely affect our cash flow and which may ultimately be unsuccessful. Furthermore, our brand image could be jeopardized if we fail to maintain high standards for merchandise quality, if we fail to comply with local laws and regulations or if we experience negative publicity or other negative events that affect our image and reputation. Some of these risks may be beyond our ability to control, such as the effects of negative publicity regarding our suppliers. Failure to successfully market and maintain our brand image in new and existing markets could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.

We face intense competition in our industry and we may be unable to compete effectively.

The retail industry for western and work wear is highly fragmented and characterized by primarily regional competitors. We estimate that there are thousands of independent specialty stores scattered across the country. We believe that we compete primarily with smaller regional chains and independent stores on the basis of product quality, brand recognition, price, customer service and the ability to identify and satisfy consumer demand. In addition, as we expand our e-commerce sales presence, we are competing to an increasing degree with online retailers and the e-commerce offerings of traditional competitors. We also compete with farm supply stores and, to a lesser degree, mass merchants. Competition with some or all of these retailers could require us to lower our prices or risk losing customers. In addition, significant or unusual promotional activities by our competitors may force us to respond in-kind and adversely impact our operating cash flow and gross profit. As a result of these factors, current and future competition could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

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Many of the mass merchants and online retailers that sell some western or work wear products have greater financial, marketing and other resources than we currently do, and in the case of online retailers, lower overhead and overall cost structure. Therefore these competitors may be able to devote greater resources to the marketing and sale of these products, generate national brand recognition or adopt more aggressive pricing policies than we can, which would put us at a competitive disadvantage if they decide to expand their offerings of these product lines. Moreover, we do not possess exclusive rights to many of the elements that comprise our in-store experience and product offerings. Our competitors may seek to emulate facets of our business strategy, including our in-store experience, which could result in a reduction of some competitive advantages or special appeal that we might possess. In addition, most of our suppliers sell products to us on a non-exclusive basis. As a result, our current and future competitors may be able to duplicate or improve on some or all of the in-store and e-commerce product offerings that we believe are important in differentiating our stores, our e-commerce offerings and our customers’ shopping experience. If our competitors were to duplicate or improve on some or all of our in-store experience, or our in-store and e-commerce product offerings, our competitive position and our business could suffer.

Most of our merchandise is produced in foreign countries, making the price and availability of our merchandise susceptible to international trade risks and other international conditions.

The majority of our private brand products are manufactured in foreign countries, including Mexico and China. In addition, we purchase most of our third-party branded merchandise from domestic suppliers that have a large portion of their merchandise made in foreign countries. The countries, specifically Mexico and China, in which our merchandise currently is manufactured or may be manufactured in the future could become subject to trade restrictions imposed by the U.S., including increased tariffs or quotas, embargoes and customs restrictions, which could increase the cost or reduce the supply of products available to us and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Recently, uncertainty has increased regarding tax and trade policies, border adjustments, tariffs and government regulations affecting trade between the U.S. and other countries, such as Mexico and China. This includes the possibility of imposing tariffs or penalties on products manufactured outside the United States, including the March 22, 2018 announcement of the United States government’s institution of a 25% tariff on a range of products from China. China has already announced a plan to impose tariffs on a wide range of American products in retaliation for such American tariffs. There is also a concern that the imposition of additional tariffs by the United States could result in the adoption of tariffs by other countries as well. Such tariffs on imports from foreign countries, as well as changes in tax and trade policies such as a border adjustment tax or disallowance of certain tax deductions for imported merchandise, if enacted, could materially increase our manufacturing costs, the costs of our imported merchandise or our income tax expense, which would have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. Any tariffs by China or other foreign countries on imports of our products could also adversely affect our international e-commerce sales. Any increase in our manufacturing costs, the cost of our merchandise or limitation on the amount of merchandise we are able to purchase, or any decrease in our international e-commerce sales, could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

Our failure to adapt to new challenges that arise when expanding into new geographic markets could adversely affect our ability to profitably operate those stores and maintain our brand image.

Our expansion into new geographic markets could result in competitive, merchandising, distribution and other challenges that are different from those we encounter in the geographic markets in which we currently operate. In addition, to the extent that our store count increases, we may face risks associated with market saturation of our product offerings and locations. Our suppliers may also restrict their sales to us in new markets to the extent they are already saturating that market with their products through other retailers or their own stores. There can be no assurance that any newly opened stores will be received as well as, or achieve net sales or profitability levels comparable to those of, our existing stores in the time periods estimated by us, or at all. If our stores fail to achieve, or are unable to sustain, acceptable net sales and profitability levels, our business may be materially harmed, we may incur significant costs associated with closing those stores and our brand image may be negatively impacted.

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Our continued growth depends upon successfully opening new stores as well as integrating any acquired stores, and our failure to successfully open new stores or integrate acquired stores could negatively affect our business and stock price.

We have grown our store count rapidly in recent years, both organically and through strategic acquisitions of competing chains. Our ability to successfully open and operate new and acquired stores is subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties, such as:

·

identifying suitable store locations, the availability of which is beyond our control;

·

obtaining acceptable lease terms;

·

sourcing sufficient levels of inventory;

·

selecting the appropriate merchandise to appeal to our customers;

·

hiring, training and retaining store employees;

·

assimilating new store employees into our corporate culture;

·

marketing the new stores’ locations and product offerings effectively;

·

avoiding construction delays and cost overruns in connection with the build out of new stores;

·

avoiding other costs in opening new stores, such as rebranding acquired locations and environmental liabilities;

·

managing and expanding our infrastructure to accommodate growth; and

·

integrating the new and acquired stores with our existing buying, distribution and other support operations.

Our failure to successfully address these challenges could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. We opened or acquired 9 stores in fiscal 2018, 12 stores in fiscal 2017, and 47 stores in fiscal 2016. We plan to open or acquire 23 new stores in fiscal 2019. However, there can be no assurance that we will open the planned number of new stores in fiscal 2019 or thereafter, or that any such stores will be profitable. This expansion will place increased demands on our operational, managerial and administrative resources. These increased demands could cause us to operate our existing business less effectively, which in turn could cause the financial performance of our existing stores to deteriorate. In addition, we currently plan to open some new stores within existing markets. Some of these new stores may open close enough to our existing stores that a segment of customers will stop shopping at our existing stores and instead shop at the new stores, causing sales and profitability at those existing stores to decline. If this were to occur with a number of our stores, this could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

In addition to opening new stores, we may acquire and rebrand stores. Acquiring and integrating stores involves additional risks that could adversely affect our growth and results of operations. Newly acquired stores may be unprofitable and we may incur significant costs and expenses in connection with any acquisition including systems integration and costs relating to remerchandising and rebranding the acquired stores. Integrating newly acquired chains or individual stores may divert our senior management’s attention from our core business. Our ability to integrate newly

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acquired stores will depend on the successful expansion of our existing financial controls, distribution model, information systems, management and human resources and on attracting, training and retaining qualified employees.

As we expand our business, we may be unable to generate significant amounts of cash from operations.

As we expand our business, we will need significant amounts of cash from operations to pay our existing and future lease obligations, build out new store space, purchase inventory, pay personnel, and, if necessary, further invest in our infrastructure and facilities. We primarily rely on cash flow generated from existing stores and our e-commerce businesses to fund our current operations and our growth. It typically takes several months and a significant amount of cash to open a new store. For example, our new store model requires an average net cash investment of approximately $0.8 million. If we continue to open a large number of stores relatively close in time, the cost of these store openings and the cost of continuing operations could reduce our cash position. An increase in our net cash outflow for new stores could adversely affect our operations by reducing the amount of cash available to address other aspects of our business.

We cannot assure you that any new stores that we open will become profitable in the anticipated time frame, or at all. Not all of our stores are currently profitable. We cannot assure you that our existing stores, which may be currently profitable, will not cease to be profitable in the future.

If our business does not generate sufficient cash flow from operations to fund these activities, and sufficient funds are not otherwise available from our current credit facility or future credit facilities, we may need additional equity or debt financing. If such financing is not available to us on satisfactory terms, our ability to operate and expand our business or to respond to competitive pressures would be limited and we could be required to delay, curtail or eliminate planned store openings. Moreover, if we raise additional capital by issuing equity securities or securities convertible into equity securities, your ownership may be diluted. Any debt financing we may incur may impose covenants that restrict our operations, and will require interest payments that would create additional cash demands and financial risk for us.

Any significant change in our distribution model could initially have an adverse impact on our cash flows and results of operations.

Our suppliers ship most of our in‑store merchandise directly to our stores and a portion of our e‑commerce merchandise to our e‑commerce customers. In the future, as part of our longterm strategic planning, we may change our distribution model to increase the amount of merchandise that we selfdistribute through a centralized distribution center. Changing our distribution model to increase distributions from a centralized distribution center to our stores and customers would initially involve significant capital expenditures, which would increase our borrowings and interest expense or temporarily reduce the rate at which we open new stores. In addition, if we are unable to successfully integrate a new distribution model into our operations in a timely manner, our supply chain could experience significant disruptions, which could reduce our sales and adversely impact our results of operations.

If we fail to maintain good relationships with our suppliers or if our suppliers are unable or unwilling to provide us with sufficient quantities of merchandise at acceptable prices, our business and operations may be adversely affected.

Our business is largely dependent on continued good relationships with our suppliers, including suppliers for our third-party branded products and manufacturers for our private brand products. During fiscal 2018, merchandise purchased from our top three suppliers accounted for approximately 24%, 8% and 8% of our sales, respectively. We operate on a purchase order basis for our private brand and third-party branded merchandise and do not have long-term written agreements with our suppliers. Accordingly, our suppliers can refuse to sell us merchandise, limit the type or quantity of merchandise that they sell to us, enter into exclusivity arrangements with our competitors or raise prices at any time, which could have an adverse impact on our business. Deterioration in our relationships with our suppliers could have a material adverse impact on our business, and there can be no assurance that we will be able to acquire desired merchandise in sufficient quantities on terms acceptable to us in the future. Also, some of our suppliers sell products directly from their own retail stores or e-commerce websites, and therefore directly compete with us. These suppliers may decide at some point in the future to discontinue supplying their merchandise to us, supply us less desirable merchandise or raise prices on the products they do sell us. If we lose key suppliers and are unable to find alternative suppliers to provide us with substitute merchandise for lost products, our business may be adversely affected.

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Our plans to improve and expand our exclusive product offerings may be unsuccessful, and implementing these plans may divert our operational, managerial, financial and administrative resources, which could harm our competitive position and reduce our revenue and profitability.

We currently plan to grow our business by improving and expanding our exclusive product offerings, which includes introducing new brands and growing and expanding our existing brands. The principal risks to our ability to successfully carry out our plans to improve and expand our product offering are that:

·

introduction of new products may be delayed, which may allow our competitors to introduce similar products in a more timely fashion, which could hinder our ability to be viewed as the exclusive provider of certain western and work apparel brands and items;

·

the third‑party suppliers of our exclusive product offerings may not maintain adequate controls with respect to product specifications and quality, which may lead to costly corrective action and damage to our brand image;

·

if our expanded exclusive product offerings fail to maintain and enhance our distinctive brand identity, our brand image may be diminished and our sales may decrease; and

·

implementation of these plans may divert our management’s attention from other aspects of our business and place a strain on our operational, managerial, financial and administrative resources, as well as our information systems.

In addition, our ability to successfully improve and expand our exclusive product offerings may be affected by economic and competitive conditions, changes in consumer spending patterns and changes in consumer preferences. These plans could be abandoned, cost more than anticipated and divert resources from other areas of our business, any of which could impact our competitive position and reduce our revenue and profitability.

We purchase merchandise based on sales projections and our purchase of too much or too little inventory may adversely affect our overall profitability.

We must actively manage our purchase of inventory. We generally order our seasonal and private brand merchandise several months in advance of it being received and offered for sale. If there is a significant decrease in demand for these products or if we fail to accurately predict consumer demand, including by disproportionately increasing the penetration of our private brand merchandise, we may be forced to rely on markdowns or promotional sales to dispose of excess inventory. This could have an adverse effect on our margins and operating income. Conversely, if we fail to purchase a sufficient quantity of merchandise, we may not have an adequate supply of products to meet consumer demand, thereby causing us to lose sales or adversely affecting our customer relationships. Any failure on our part to anticipate, identify and respond effectively to changing consumer demand and consumer shopping preferences could adversely affect our results of operations.

A rise in the cost of fabric, raw materials, labor or transportation could increase our cost of merchandise and cause our results of operations and margins to decline.

Fluctuations in the price, availability and quality of fabrics and raw materials, such as cotton and leather, that our suppliers use to manufacture our products, as well as the cost of labor and transportation, could have adverse impacts on our cost of merchandise and our ability to meet our customers’ demands. In particular, because key components of our products are cotton and leather, any increases in the cost of cotton or leather may significantly affect the cost of our products and could have an adverse impact on our cost of merchandise. We may be unable to pass all or any of these higher costs on to our customers, which could have a material adverse effect on our profitability.

If our suppliers and manufacturers fail to use acceptable labor or other practices, our reputation may be harmed, which could negatively impact our business.

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We purchase merchandise from independent third-party suppliers and manufacturers. If any of these suppliers have practices that are not legal or accepted in the U.S., consumers may develop a negative view of us, our brand image could be damaged and we could become the subject of boycotts by our customers or interest groups. Further, if the suppliers violate labor or other laws of their own country, these violations could cause disruptions or delays in their shipments of merchandise. For example, much of our merchandise is manufactured in China and Mexico, which have different labor practices than the U.S. We do not independently investigate whether our suppliers are operating in compliance with all applicable laws and therefore we rely upon the suppliers’ representations set forth in our purchase orders and supplier agreements concerning the suppliers’ compliance with such laws. In addition, regulatory developments regarding the use of “conflict minerals,” certain minerals originating from the Democratic Republic of Congo and adjoining countries, could affect the sourcing and availability of raw materials used by suppliers and subject us to costs associated with the regulations, including for the diligence pertaining to the presence of any conflict minerals used in our products, possible changes to products, processes or sources of our inputs, and reporting requirements. If our goods are manufactured using illegal or unacceptable labor practices in these countries, or other countries from which our suppliers source the products we purchase, our ability to supply merchandise for our stores without interruption, our brand image and, consequently, our sales may be adversely affected.

If we lose key management personnel, our operations could be negatively impacted.

We depend upon the leadership and experience of our executive management team. If we are unable to retain existing management personnel who are critical to our success, it could result in harm to our supplier and employee relationships, the loss of key information, expertise or know-how and unanticipated recruitment and training costs. The loss of the services of any of our key management personnel could have a material adverse effect on our business and prospects, and could be viewed negatively by investors and analysts, which could cause the price of our common stock to decline. We may be unable to find qualified individuals to replace key management personnel on a timely basis, without incurring increased costs or at all. We do not maintain key person life insurance covering any employee. If we lose the services of any of our key management personnel or we are unable to attract additional qualified personnel, we may be unable to successfully manage our business.

If we cannot attract, train and retain qualified employees, our business could be adversely affected.

Our success depends upon the quality of the employees we hire. We recruit people who are welcoming, friendly and service-oriented, and who often live the western lifestyle or have a genuine affinity for it. Employees in many positions must have knowledge of our merchandise and the skill necessary to excel in a customer service environment. The turnover rate in the retail industry is typically high and finding qualified candidates to fill positions may be difficult. Our planned growth will require us to hire and train even more personnel. If we cannot attract, train and retain corporate employees, district managers, store managers and store associates with the qualifications we deem necessary, our ability to effectively operate and expand may be adversely affected. In addition, we rely on temporary and seasonal personnel to staff our distribution center. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to find adequate temporary or seasonal personnel to staff our operations when needed, which may strain our existing personnel and negatively impact our operations.

Higher wage and benefit costs could adversely affect our business.

Changes in federal and state minimum wage laws and other laws relating to employee benefits, including recent legislative proposals relating to healthcare reform, could cause us to incur additional wage and benefit costs. Increased labor costs brought about by changes in minimum wage laws, other regulations or prevailing market conditions would increase our expenses and have an adverse impact on our profitability.

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The concentration of our stores and operations in certain geographic locations subjects us to regional economic conditions and natural disasters that could adversely affect our business.

Our Store Support Center and distribution centers are located in California, Kansas and Texas. If we encounter any disruptions to our operations at these locations or if they were to shut down for any reason, including due to fire, tornado or other natural disaster, then we may be prevented from effectively operating our stores and our e-commerce businesses. Furthermore, the risk of disruption or shutdown at our buildings in California are greater than they might be if they were located in another region, as southern California is prone to natural disasters such as earthquakes and wildfires. Any disruption or shutdown at our locations could significantly impact our operations and have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

In addition, of the 226 stores that we operated as of March 31, 2018, 108 of these stores were located in Arizona, California and Texas. The geographic concentration of our stores may expose us to economic downturns or natural disasters in those states where our stores are located. For example, our stores located in North Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, Texas and surrounding areas are likely to be adversely impacted by an economic downturn affecting the oil, gas, and commodities industries. In addition, in fiscal 2018 hurricanes severely impacted parts of Texas and Florida and we lost sales and incurred additional costs as a result. Any similar events in states where our stores are concentrated could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

Our leverage may reduce our cash flow available to grow our business. 

As of March 31, 2018, we had an aggregate of $207.5 million of total outstanding indebtedness. Our obligations to pay principal and interest under the June 2015 Wells Fargo Revolver and the 2015 Golub Term Loan will reduce our available cash flow, limiting our flexibility to respond to changing business and economic conditions and increasing any additional borrowing costs. 

Our borrowings under the June 2015 Wells Fargo Revolver and the 2015 Golub Term Loan are at variable rates, exposing us to interest rate risk.

The June 2015 Wells Fargo Revolver and the 2015 Golub Term Loan provide for variable interest rates. As a result, if interest rates increase, our debt service obligations under the current credit facilities could increase even though the amount borrowed remained the same, which would adversely impact our net income.

The June 2015 Wells Fargo Revolver and the 2015 Golub Term Loan contain restrictions and limitations that could significantly impact our ability to operate our business. 

The June 2015 Wells Fargo Revolver and the 2015 Golub Term Loan contain covenants that, among other things, may, under certain circumstances, place limitations on the dollar amounts paid or other actions relating to:

·

payments in respect of, or redemptions or acquisitions of, debt or equity issued by Boot Barn or its subsidiaries, including the payment of dividends on our common stock;

·

incurring additional indebtedness;

·

incurring guarantee obligations;

·

paying dividends;

·

creating liens on assets;

·

entering into sale and leaseback transactions;

·

making investments, loans or advances;

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·

entering into hedging transactions;

·

engaging in mergers, consolidations or sales of all or substantially all of their respective assets; and

·

engaging in certain transactions with affiliates.

In addition, the Company is required to satisfy certain financial ratios as set forth in these agreements. Our ability to satisfy these financial ratios will depend on our ongoing financial and operating performance, which in turn will be subject to economic conditions and to financial, market and competitive factors, many of which are beyond our control. Our ability to comply with these ratios in future periods will also depend on our ability to successfully implement our overall business strategy and realize contemplated synergies.

Various risks, uncertainties and events beyond our control could affect our ability to comply with the covenants contained in our current credit facilities. Failure to comply with any of these covenants could result in a default under the June 2015 Wells Fargo Revolver and the 2015 Golub Term Loan and under other agreements containing cross-default provisions. A default would permit lenders to accelerate the maturity of the debt under these agreements and to foreclose upon any collateral securing the debt. Under these circumstances, we might not have sufficient funds or other resources to satisfy all of our obligations. In addition, the limitations imposed by financing agreements on our ability to incur additional debt and to take other actions might significantly impair our ability to obtain other financing.

We are required to make significant lease payments for our stores, Store Support Center and distribution center, which may strain our cash flow.

We do not own any real estate. Instead, we lease all of our retail store locations as well as our Store Support Center and distribution centers. The store leases generally have a base lease term of five or 10 years, with one or more renewal periods of five years, on average, exercisable at our option. Many of our leases have early cancelation clauses which permit us to terminate the lease if certain sales thresholds are not met in certain periods of time. Our costs under these leases are a significant amount of our expenses and are growing rapidly as we expand the number of locations and the cost of leasing existing locations rises. In fiscal 2018, our total operating lease expense was $43.3 million, and we expect this amount to continue to increase as we open more stores. We are required to pay additional rent under many of our lease agreements based upon achieving certain sales thresholds for each store location. We are generally responsible for the payment of property taxes and insurance, utilities and common area maintenance fees. Many of our lease agreements also contain provisions which increase the rent payments on a set time schedule, causing the cash rent paid for a location to escalate over the term of the lease. In addition, rent costs could escalate when multi-year leases are renewed at the expiration of their lease term. These costs are significant, recurring and increasing, which places a consistent strain on our cash flow.

We depend on cash flows from operations to pay our lease expenses and to fulfill our other cash needs. If our business does not generate sufficient cash flows from operating activities, and sufficient funds are not otherwise available to us from borrowings under our current credit facility, future credit facilities or from other sources, we may be unable to service our operating lease expenses, grow our business, respond to competitive challenges or fund our other liquidity and capital needs, which would harm our business.

Additional sites that we lease are likely to be subject to similar long-term leases. If an existing or future store is not profitable, and we decide to close it, we may nonetheless be committed to perform our obligations under the applicable lease including, among other things, paying the base rent for the balance of the lease term. We may fail to identify suitable store locations, the availability of which is beyond our control, to replace such closed stores. In addition, as our leases expire, we may fail to negotiate renewals, either on commercially acceptable terms or at all, which could cause us to close stores in desirable locations. Thirty of our 226 store leases will reach their termination date during fiscal 2019, and none of these leases contain an option to automatically extend the lease term. If we are unable to enter into new leases or renew existing leases on terms acceptable to us or be released from our obligations under leases for stores that we close, our business, profitability and results of operations may be harmed.

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We may be unable to maintain same store sales or net sales per square foot, which may cause our results of operations to decline.

The investing public may use same store sales or net sales per square foot projections or results, over a certain period of time, such as on a quarterly or yearly basis, as an indicator of our profitability growth. See Item 7, Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations for further discussion of “same store sales”. Our same store sales can vary significantly from period to period for a variety of reasons, such as the age of stores, changing economic factors, unseasonable weather, pricing, the timing of the release of new merchandise and promotional events and increased competition. These factors could cause same store sales or net sales per square foot to decline period to period or fail to grow at expected rates, which could adversely affect our results of operations and cause the price of our common stock to be volatile during such periods.

Any inability to balance our private brand merchandise with the third-party branded merchandise that we sell may have an adverse effect on our net sales and gross profit.

In fiscal 2018, sales from our private brand products accounted for approximately 13.5% of our consolidated sales including our stores and e-commerce websites. As of March 31, 2018, two of our five top selling brands were private brand merchandise. Our private brand merchandise generally has a higher gross margin than the third-party branded merchandise that we offer. As a result, we intend to attempt to increase the penetration of our private brands in the future. However, carrying our private brands limits the amount of third-party branded merchandise we can carry and, therefore, there is a risk that our customers’ perception that we offer many major brands will decline or that our suppliers of third-party branded merchandise may decide to discontinue supplying, or reduce the supply of, their merchandise. If this occurs, it could have a material adverse effect on net sales and profitability.

We cannot assure you that we will realize the expected benefits from the creation of a private-label credit card program. 

   

During fiscal 2018 we commenced a private-label credit card program. We cannot assure you that we will realize the anticipated benefits from this program due to a number of factors.

   

Although we anticipate that customers who establish a credit card account with us will increase their purchases of our merchandise, leading to an increase in our net sales, we cannot assure you that this will be the case. Credit card use, payment patterns, and default rates are affected by a variety of economic, legal, social, or other factors over which we have no control and cannot predict with certainty. In addition, such factors could negatively impact the availability of credit or increase the cost of credit to our cardholders, and thus adversely affect the use of our private label credit cards.

   

Our private-label credit card program is operated under an agreement with a third party provider that will issue the private label credit cards to our customers and will retain a percentage of the net credit sales and payments of outstanding credit balances thereunder. The payments that we receive from the private-label credit card program will depend upon a number of factors, including the level of sales on private label accounts, the level of balances carried, payment rates, finance charge rates and other fees, and the level of credit losses. The provider will have discretion over certain material terms and conditions of the private-label credit card program and such terms and conditions could adversely affect the benefits we receive from this private-label credit card program, as well as our relations with cardholders.

   

We depend on the third party provider to maintain appropriate protections with respect to our customers’ personal information in its control.  Any data breaches experienced by our third party provider could result in liability to us and/or reputational harm.

   

Credit card operations are subject to numerous federal and state laws that impose disclosure and other requirements upon the origination, servicing and enforcement of credit accounts, and limitations on the amount of finance charges and fees that may be charged by a credit card provider. To the extent that such limitations or regulations materially limit the availability of credit or increase the cost of credit to our cardholders, our anticipated revenue streams associated with the private-label credit card program could be adversely affected.

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If our management information systems fail to operate or are unable to support our growth, our operations could be disrupted.

We rely upon our management information systems in almost every aspect of our daily business operations. For example, our management information systems serve an integral part in enabling us to order merchandise, process merchandise at our distribution center and retail stores, perform and track sales transactions, manage personnel, pay suppliers and employees, operate our e-commerce businesses and report financial and accounting information to management. In addition, we rely on our management information systems to enable us to leverage our costs as we grow. If our management information systems fail to operate or are unable to support our growth, our store operations and e-commerce businesses could be severely disrupted, and we could be required to make significant additional expenditures to remediate any such failure.

We rely on UPS and the United States Postal Service to deliver our e-commerce merchandise to our customers and our business could be negatively impacted by disruptions in the operations of these third-party service providers.

We rely on UPS and the United States Postal Service to deliver our e-commerce merchandise to our customers. Relying on these third-party delivery services puts us at risk from disruptions in their operations, such as employee strikes, inclement weather and their inability to meet our shipping demands. If we are forced to use other delivery services, our costs could increase and we may be unable to meet shipment deadlines. Moreover, we may be unable to obtain terms as favorable as those received from the transportation providers we currently use, which would further increase our costs. In addition, if our products are not delivered to our customers on time, our customers may cancel their orders or we may lose business from these customers in the future. These circumstances may negatively impact our financial condition and results of operations.

Use of social media may adversely impact our reputation or subject us to fines or other penalties.

There has been a substantial increase in the use of social media platforms, including blogs, social media websites and other forms of internet-based communication, which allow individuals access to a broad audience of consumers and other interested persons. Negative commentary regarding us or the brands that we sell may be posted on social media platforms or similar devices at any time and may harm our reputation or business. Consumers value readily available information concerning retailers and their goods and services and often act on such information without further investigation and without regard to its accuracy. The harm may be immediate without affording us an opportunity for redress or correction. In addition, social media platforms provide users with access to such a broad audience that collective action against our stores, such as boycotts, can be more easily organized. If such actions were organized, we could suffer reputational damage as well as physical damage to our stores and merchandise.

We also use social media platforms as marketing tools. For example, we maintain Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter accounts. As laws and regulations rapidly evolve to govern the use of these platforms and devices, the failure by us, our employees or third parties acting at our direction to abide by applicable laws and regulations in the use of these platforms and devices could adversely impact our business, financial condition and results of operations or subject us to fines or other penalties.

Our e-commerce businesses subject us to numerous risks that could have an adverse effect on our results of operations.

Our e-commerce businesses and their continued growth subject us to certain risks that could have an adverse effect on our results of operations, including:

·

diversion of traffic from our stores;

·

increased e-commerce competition;

·

liability for online content;

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·

government regulation of the Internet; and

·

risks related to the computer systems that operate our e-commerce websites and related support systems, including computer viruses, electronic data theft and similar disruptions.

Our sales could be adversely affected by any disruption or downtime caused by the integration of new software or software upgrades. In addition, any data loss caused by such integration or upgrade could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

As we expand our e-commerce operations, we face the risk of increased losses from credit card fraud. We do not carry insurance against the risk of credit card fraud, so under current credit card practices, we may be liable for fraudulent credit card transactions even though the associated financial institution has approved payment of the orders. If we are unable to deter or control credit card fraud, or if credit card companies require more burdensome terms or refuse to accept credit card charges from us, our net income could be reduced. A breach of our e-commerce security measures could also reduce demand for our services.

In addition, we rely upon email distributions to advertise our stores and e-commerce businesses and use various data-mining techniques to effectively target these emails. Spam filters or other blocking applications designed to enable consumers to limit incoming email from advertisers may inhibit our ability to effectively reach large audiences of existing and potential customers via email. This may adversely affect our ability to generate new business and acquire new customers.

Our sales can significantly fluctuate based upon shopping seasons, which may cause our results of operations to fluctuate disproportionately on a quarterly basis.

Because of a traditionally higher level of sales during the Christmas shopping season, our sales are typically higher in the third fiscal quarter than they are in the other fiscal quarters. We also incur significant additional costs and expenses during our third fiscal quarter due to increased staffing levels and higher purchase volumes. Accordingly, the results of a single fiscal quarter should not be relied on as an indication of our annual results or future performance. In addition, any factors that harm our third fiscal quarter results of operations could have a disproportionate effect on our results of operations for the entire fiscal year.

We buy and stock merchandise based upon seasonal weather patterns and therefore unseasonable or extreme weather could negatively impact our sales, financial condition and results of operations.

We buy and stock merchandise for sale based upon expected seasonal weather patterns. If we encounter unseasonable weather, such as warmer winters or cooler summers than would be considered typical, these weather variations could cause some of our merchandise to be inconsistent with what consumers wish to purchase, causing our sales to decline. In addition, weather conditions affect the demand for our products, which in turn has an impact on prices. In past years, weather conditions, including unseasonably warm weather in winter months, and extreme weather conditions, including snow and ice storms, flood and wind damage, hurricanes, tornadoes, extreme rain and droughts, have affected our sales and results of operations both positively and negatively. Furthermore, extended unseasonable weather conditions, particularly in California or Texas, will likely have a greater impact on our sales because of our store concentration in those regions. Our strategy is to remain flexible and to react to unseasonable and extreme weather conditions by adjusting our merchandise assortments and redirecting inventories to stores affected by the weather conditions. Should such a strategy not be effective, unseasonable or extreme weather may have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

If we fail to obtain and retain high-visibility sponsorship or endorsement arrangements with celebrities, or if the reputation of any of the celebrities that we partner with is impaired, our business may suffer.

A principal component of our marketing program is to partner with well-known country music artists and other celebrities for sponsorship and endorsement arrangements. Although we have partnered with several well-known celebrities in this manner, some of these persons may not continue their endorsements, may not continue to succeed in

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their fields or may engage in activities which could bring disrepute on themselves and, in turn, on us and our brand image and products. We also may not be able to attract and partner with new celebrities that may emerge in the future. Competition for endorsers is significant and adverse publicity regarding us or our industry could make it more difficult to attract and retain endorsers. Any of these failures by us or the celebrities that we partner with could adversely affect our business and revenues.

Our management information systems and databases could be disrupted by system security failures, cyber threats or by the failure of, or lack of access to, our Enterprise Resource Planning system. These disruptions could negatively impact our sales, increase our expenses and/or harm our reputation.

Hackers, computer programmers and internal users may be able to penetrate our network security and create system disruptions, cause shutdowns and misappropriate our confidential information or that of our employees and third parties, including our customers. Therefore, we could incur significant expenses addressing problems created by security breaches to our network. This risk is heightened because we collect and store customer information for marketing purposes, as well as debit and credit card information. We must, and do, take precautions to secure customer information and prevent unauthorized access to our database of confidential information. However, if unauthorized parties, including external hackers or computer programmers, gain access to our database, they may be able to steal this confidential information. Our failure to secure this information could result in costly litigation, adverse publicity or regulatory action, or result in customers discontinuing the use of debit or credit cards in our stores, or customers not shopping in our stores or on our e-commerce websites altogether. These consequences could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. In addition, sophisticated hardware and operating system software and applications that we procure from third parties may contain defects in design or manufacture that could unexpectedly interfere with our operations. The cost to alleviate security risks and defects in software and hardware and to address any problems that occur could negatively impact our sales, distribution and other critical functions, as well as our financial results.

We operate our Enterprise Resource Planning system on a software-as-a-service platform, and we use this system for integrated point-of-sale, merchandising, planning, sales audit, customer relationship management, inventory control, loss prevention, purchase order management and business intelligence. Accordingly, we depend on this system, and the third-party provider of this service, for many aspects of our operations. If this service provider or this system fails, or if we are unable to continue to have access to this system on commercially reasonable terms, or at all, our operations would be severely disrupted until an equivalent system could be identified, licensed or developed, and integrated into our operations. This disruption would have a material adverse effect on our business.

Our failure to maintain adequate internal controls over our financial and management systems may cause errors in our financial reporting. These errors may cause a loss of investor confidence and result in a decline in the price of our common stock.

Our public company reporting obligations and our anticipated growth may place additional burdens on our financial and management systems, internal controls and employees. As a public company, we are required to maintain internal control over financial reporting. Pursuant to Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, we are required to file a report by management on the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting.

Implementing and maintaining internal controls is time consuming and costly. If we identify any material weaknesses or deficiencies that aggregate to a material weakness in our internal controls, we will have to implement appropriate changes to these controls, which may require specific compliance training for our directors, officers and employees, require the hiring of additional finance, accounting, legal and other personnel, entail substantial costs to modify our existing accounting systems and take a significant period of time to complete. Such changes may not, however, be effective in maintaining the adequacy of our internal controls, and any failure to maintain that adequacy, or consequent inability to produce accurate financial statements on a timely basis, could increase our operating costs and could materially impair our ability to operate our business. If we are unable to maintain effective internal control over financial reporting, including because of an inability to remediate any such material weakness, if our management is unable to report that our internal control over financial reporting is effective when required, investors may lose confidence in the accuracy and completeness of our financial reports and the market price of our common stock could be negatively affected. As a result, our failure to maintain effective internal controls could result in us being subject to

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regulatory action and a loss of investor confidence in the reliability of our financial statements, both of which in turn could cause the market value of our common stock to decline and affect our ability to raise capital.

If we are unable to protect our intellectual property rights, our financial results may be negatively impacted.

Our success depends in large part on our brand image. Our name, logo, domain name and our private brands and other intellectual property are valuable assets that differentiate us from our competitors. We currently rely on a combination of copyright, trademark, trade dress and unfair competition laws to establish and protect our intellectual property rights, but the steps taken by us to protect our proprietary rights may be inadequate to prevent infringement of our trademarks and proprietary rights by others, including imitation and misappropriation of our brand. Additional obstacles may arise as we expand our product lines and geographic scope. Moreover, litigation may be necessary to protect or enforce these intellectual property rights, which could result in substantial costs and diversion of our resources, causing a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations or cash flows. The unauthorized use or misappropriation of our intellectual property or our failure to protect our intellectual property rights could damage our brand image and the goodwill we have created, which could cause our sales to decline.

We have not registered any of our intellectual property outside of the U.S. with the exception of the Boot Barn tradename which was registered in Hong Kong as part of our Boot Barn International (Hong Kong) Limited subsidiary. We cannot prohibit other companies from using our other trademarks in foreign countries. Use of these other trademarks in foreign countries could negatively impact our identity in the U.S. and cause our sales to decline.

We may be subject to liability if we, or our suppliers, infringe upon the intellectual property rights of third parties.

We may be subject to claims that our activities or the products that we sell infringe upon the intellectual property rights of others. Any such claims can be time consuming and costly to defend, and may divert our management’s attention and resources, even if the claims are meritless. If we were to be found liable for any such infringement, we could be required to enter into costly settlements or license agreements and could be subject to injunctions preventing further infringement. Such infringement claims could harm our brand image. In addition, any payments that we are required to make and any injunction with which we are required to comply as a result of such infringement actions could adversely affect our financial results.

We purchase merchandise from suppliers that may be subject to design copyrights or design patents, or otherwise may incorporate protected intellectual property. We are not involved in the manufacture of any of the merchandise we purchase from our suppliers for sale to our customers, and we do not independently investigate whether these suppliers legally hold intellectual property rights to merchandise that they are manufacturing or distributing. As a result, we rely upon the suppliers’ representations set forth in our purchase orders and supplier agreements concerning their right to sell us the products that we purchase from them. If a third party claims to have licensing rights with respect to merchandise we purchased from a supplier, or if we acquire unlicensed merchandise, we could be obligated to remove such merchandise from our stores, incur costs associated with destruction of such merchandise if the distributor or supplier is unwilling or unable to reimburse us and be subject to liability under various civil and criminal causes of action, including actions to recover unpaid royalties and other damages and injunctions. Any of these results could harm our brand image and have a material adverse effect on our business and growth.

Litigation costs and the outcome of litigation could have a material adverse effect on our business.

Our business is characterized by a high volume of customer traffic and by transactions involving a wide variety of product selections, each of which exposes us to a high risk of consumer litigation. From time to time we may be subject to litigation claims through the ordinary course of our business operations regarding, but not limited to, employment matters, compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, footwear, apparel and accessory safety standards, security of customer and employee personal information, contractual relations with suppliers, marketing and infringement of trademarks and other intellectual property rights. Litigation to defend ourselves against claims by third parties, or to enforce any rights that we may have against third parties, may be necessary, which could result in

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substantial costs and diversion of our resources, causing a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.

Union attempts to organize our employees could negatively affect our business.

Currently, none of our employees are represented by a union. However, if some or all of our workforce were to unionize and the terms of the collective bargaining agreement were significantly different from our current compensation arrangements, it could increase our costs and adversely impact our profitability. Moreover, participation in labor unions could put us at increased risk of labor strikes and disruption of our operations. Responding to unionization attempts may distract management and our workforce. Any of these changes could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.

Violations of or changes in laws, including employment laws and laws related to our merchandise, could make conducting our business more expensive or change the way we do business.

We are subject to numerous regulations, including labor and employment, customs, truth-in-advertising, consumer protection, environmental and occupational safety requirements and zoning and occupancy laws and ordinances that regulate retailers generally, that govern the importation, promotion and sale of merchandise and/or that regulate the operation of stores and warehouse facilities. If these regulations were violated by our management, employees or suppliers, the costs of certain goods could increase, or we could experience delays in shipments of our goods, be subject to fines or penalties or suffer reputational harm, which could reduce demand for our merchandise and hurt our business and results of operations.

Similarly, changes in laws could make operating our business more expensive or require us to change the way we do business. In addition, changes in product safety or other consumer protection laws could lead to increased costs for certain merchandise, or additional labor costs associated with readying merchandise for sale. It may be difficult for us to foresee regulatory changes impacting our business and our actions needed to respond to changes in the law could be costly and may negatively impact our operations.

We may engage in strategic transactions that could negatively impact our liquidity, increase our expenses and present significant distractions to our management.

We have made strategic acquisitions in the past and may in the future consider strategic transactions and business arrangements, including, but not limited to, acquisitions, asset purchases, partnerships, joint ventures, restructurings, divestitures and investments. The success of such a transaction is based on our ability to make accurate assumptions regarding the valuation, operations, growth potential, integration and other factors relating to the respective business. Acquisitions may result in difficulties in assimilating acquired companies and may result in the diversion of our capital and our management’s attention from other business issues and opportunities. We may be unable to successfully integrate operations that we acquire, including their personnel, financial systems, distribution, operations and general operating procedures. Any such transaction may require us to incur non-recurring or other charges, may increase our near and long-term expenditures and may pose significant integration challenges or disrupt our management or business, which could harm our operations and financial results.

Terrorism or civil unrest could negatively affect our business.

Terrorist attacks, threats of terrorist attacks or civil unrest involving public areas could cause people to avoid visiting some areas where our stores are located. Further, armed conflicts or acts of war throughout the world may create uncertainty, causing consumers to spend less on discretionary purchases, including on footwear, apparel and accessories, or disrupt our ability to obtain merchandise for our stores. Such decreases in consumer spending or disruptions in our ability to obtain merchandise would likely decrease our sales and materially adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.

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If our goodwill, intangible assets or long-lived assets become impaired, we may be required to record a significant charge to earnings.

We have a significant amount of goodwill and indefinite lived intangible assets. Our goodwill balance as of March 31, 2018 was $193.1 million as a result of recent acquisitions. Our intangible asset balance as of March 31, 2018 was $63.4 million. We test goodwill and intangible assets for impairment at least annually or more frequently if indicators of impairment exist. Long-lived assets are tested for impairment only if indicators of impairment exist. Goodwill, intangible assets and long-lived assets are considered to be impaired when the net book value of the asset exceeds its estimated fair value. An impairment of a significant portion of our goodwill, intangible assets or long-lived assets could materially adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.

Risks Related To Ownership of Our Common Stock

The market price and trading volume of our common stock has been and may continue to be volatile, which could result in rapid and substantial losses for our stockholders, and you may lose all or part of your investment.

The market for specialty retail stocks can be highly volatile. Since our IPO in October 2014 through March 31, 2018, our common stock has traded as high as $34.43 and as low as $5.20. An active, liquid and orderly market for our common stock may not be sustained, which could depress the trading price of our common stock or cause it to be highly volatile or subject to wide fluctuations. The market price of our common stock has and may continue to fluctuate or may decline significantly in the future and you could lose all or part of your investment. Some of the factors that could negatively affect our share price or result in fluctuations in the price or trading volume of our common stock include:

·

variations in our quarterly or annual financial results and operating performance and the performance of our competitors;

·

publication of research reports or recommendations by securities or industry analysts about us, our competitors or our industry, or a lack of such securities analyst coverage;

·

our failure or our competitors’ failure to meet analysts’ projections or guidance;

·

downgrades by any securities analysts who follow our common stock;

·

our levels of same store sales;

·

sales or anticipated sales of large blocks of our common stock;

·

changes to our management team;

·

regulatory developments negatively affecting our industry;

·

changes in stock market valuations of our competitors;

·

the development and sustainability of an active trading market for our common stock;

·

the public’s response to press releases or other public announcements by us or third parties, including our filings with the SEC;

·

the performance and successful integration of any new stores that we open or acquire;

·

actions by competitors;

·

announcements by us or our competitors of new product offerings or significant acquisitions;

28


 

·

short selling of our common stock by investors;

·

limited “public float” in the hands of a small number of persons whose sales or lack of sales of our common stock could result in positive or negative pricing pressure on the market price for our common stock;

·

fluctuations in the stock markets generally and in the market for shares in the retail sector particularly; and

·

changes in general market and economic conditions.

Further, securities class action litigation has often been initiated against companies following periods of volatility in their stock price. This type of litigation, should it materialize, could result in substantial costs and divert our management’s attention and resources, and could also require us to make substantial payments to satisfy judgments or to settle litigation. The threat or filing of class action litigation could cause the price of our common stock to decline.

Freeman Spogli & Co. holds a significant amount of our common stock, which may prevent other stockholders from influencing corporate decisions and may result in conflicts of interest that cause the price of our common stock to decline.

Freeman Spogli & Co. controls approximately 25.7% of the total voting power of our outstanding common stock. As a result, Freeman Spogli & Co. is in a position to significantly influence the outcome of any corporate actions requiring stockholder approval, including the election of directors and mergers, acquisitions and other significant corporate transactions. Freeman Spogli & Co., acting alone or in conjunction with other stockholders, may be able to delay or prevent a change of control from occurring, even if the change of control would benefit our stockholders. It is also possible that the interests of Freeman Spogli & Co. may in some circumstances conflict with our interests and the interests of our stockholders. This ownership concentration may adversely impact the trading of our common stock because of a perceived conflict of interest that may exist, thereby depressing the value of our common stock.

Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation contains provisions renouncing our interest and expectancy in certain corporate opportunities identified by or presented to Freeman Spogli & Co.

Freeman Spogli & Co. and its affiliates are in the business of providing capital to growing companies, and they may acquire interests in businesses that directly or indirectly compete with certain portions of our business. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that Freeman Spogli & Co. and its affiliates will not have any duty to refrain from (1) engaging, directly or indirectly, in our line of business or (2) doing business with any of our customers or suppliers. In the event that Freeman Spogli & Co. or its affiliates (other than in the capacity as one of our officers or directors) acquires knowledge of a potential business opportunity which may be a corporate opportunity for us, then Freeman Spogli & Co. does not have any duty to communicate or offer such business opportunity to us and may take any such opportunity for itself or offer it to another person. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation also provides that Freeman Spogli & Co. and its officers, directors and employees will not be liable to us or to any of our stockholders for breach of any fiduciary or other duty by engaging in any such activity and we will waive and renounce any claim based on such activity. This provision applies even if the business opportunity is one that we might reasonably be deemed to have pursued or had the ability or desire to pursue if granted the opportunity to do so. These potential conflicts of interest could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations or prospects if attractive business opportunities are allocated by Freeman Spogli & Co. to itself or its other affiliates instead of to us.

Future sales of our common stock by existing stockholders could cause the price of our common stock to decline.

The market price for our common stock may decline as a result of a potential sale of a substantial number of shares of our common stock in the public market, or the perception that such sales might occur. As of March 31, 2018, we had 27,299,688 shares of common stock outstanding. These shares are freely tradable, subject to the limitations of Rule 144, in the public markets, which could depress the value of our common stock. In addition, Freeman Spogli & Co. has the contractual right to require us to register its shares of common stock for resale. 

29


 

Anti‑takeover provisions in our corporate organizational documents and current credit facility and under Delaware law may delay, deter or prevent a takeover of us and the replacement or removal of our management, even if such a change of control would benefit our stockholders.

The anti‑takeover provisions under Delaware law, as well as the provisions contained in our corporate organizational documents, may make an acquisition of us more difficult. For example:

·

our amended and restated certificate of incorporation includes a provision authorizing our board of directors to issue blank check preferred stock without stockholder approval, which, if issued, would increase the number of outstanding shares of our capital stock and make it more difficult for a stockholder to acquire us;

·

our amended and restated bylaws provide that director vacancies and newly created directorships can only be filled by an affirmative vote of a majority of directors then in office;

·

our amended and restated bylaws require advance notice of stockholder proposals and director nominations;

·

our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that our board of directors may adopt, amend, add to, modify or repeal our amended and restated bylaws without stockholder approval;

·

our amended and restated bylaws do not permit our stockholders to act by written consent without a meeting unless that action is taken with regard to a matter that has been approved by our board of directors or requires the approval only of certain classes or series of our stock;

·

our amended and restated certificate of incorporation contains a requirement that, to the fullest extent permitted by law, certain proceedings against or involving us or our directors, officers or employees must be brought exclusively in the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware unless we consent in writing to an alternative forum;

·

our amended and restated bylaws do not permit our stockholders to call special meetings; and

·

the General Corporation Law of the State of Delaware, or the DGCL, may prevent any stockholder or group of stockholders owning at least 15% of our common stock from completing a merger or acquisition of us.

Our debt instruments also contain provisions that could have the effect of making it more difficult or less attractive for a third party to acquire control of us. Our current credit facility provides that a change of control constitutes an event of default under such credit facility and would permit the lenders to declare the indebtedness incurred thereunder to be immediately due and payable. Our future credit facilities may contain similar provisions. The need to repay all such indebtedness may deter potential third parties from acquiring us.

Under these various provisions in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation, amended and restated bylaws and current credit facility, a takeover attempt or third‑party acquisition of us, including a takeover attempt that may result in a premium over the market price for shares of our common stock, could be delayed, deterred or prevented. In addition, these provisions may prevent the market price of our common stock from increasing in response to actual or rumored takeover attempts and may also prevent changes in our management. As a result, these anti‑takeover and change of control provisions may limit the price that investors are willing to pay in the future for shares of our common stock.

30


 

If securities or industry analysts do not publish research and reports or publish inaccurate or unfavorable research and reports about our business, the price and trading volume of our common stock could decline.

The trading market for our common stock is influenced by the research and reports that securities or industry analysts publish about us or our business. If securities or industry analyst coverage of one or more of the analysts who covers us downgrades our common stock or publishes inaccurate or unfavorable research about our business, the price of our common stock would likely decline. If one or more of these analysts ceases coverage of us or fails to publish reports on us regularly, demand for our common stock could decrease, which could cause the price of our common stock and trading volume to decline.

We do not currently intend to pay cash dividends on our common stock, which may make our common stock less desirable to investors and decrease its value.

We intend to retain all of our available funds for use in the operation and expansion of our business and do not anticipate paying any cash dividends on our common stock for the foreseeable future. Any future determination to pay cash dividends on our common stock will be at the discretion of our board of directors and will depend upon many factors, including our financial condition, results of operations and liquidity, legal requirements and restrictions that may be imposed by the terms of our current credit facility and in any future financing instruments. Therefore, you may only receive a return on your investment in our common stock if the market price increases above the price at which you purchased it, which may never occur.

We take advantage and will continue to take advantage of the reduced disclosure requirements applicable to “emerging growth companies”, which may make our common stock less attractive to investors.

The Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012 provides that, so long as a company qualifies as an “emerging growth company”, it will, among other things:

·

be exempt from the provisions of Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes‑Oxley Act requiring that its independent registered public accounting firm provide an attestation report on the effectiveness of its internal controls over financial reporting;

·

be exempt from the “say on pay” and “say on golden parachute” advisory vote requirements of the Dodd‑Frank Act;

·

be exempt from certain disclosure requirements of the Dodd‑Frank Act relating to compensation of its executive officers and be permitted to omit the detailed compensation discussion and analysis from proxy statements and reports filed under the Exchange Act; and

·

be permitted to provide a reduced level of disclosure concerning executive compensation and be exempt from any rules that may be adopted by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board requiring mandatory audit firm rotations or a supplement to the auditor’s report on the financial statements.

If we remain an emerging growth company, we may take advantage of these exemptions. We cannot predict if investors will find our common stock less attractive if we elect to rely on these exemptions, or if taking advantage of these exemptions would result in less active trading or more volatility in the price of our common stock. Also, as a result of our taking advantage of some or all of the reduced regulatory and reporting requirements that are available to us as long as we qualify as an emerging growth company, our financial statements may not be comparable to companies that fully comply with regulatory and reporting requirements upon the public company effective dates.

Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments

None.

31


 

Item 2. Properties

Our Store Support Center, e-commerce operations and distribution centers are located in California, Kansas, and Texas. As of March 31, 2018, our Store Support Center is in Irvine, California, where we occupy an 84,580 square foot building. The lease will expire August 31, 2022, and contains an option to renew for five years beyond the lease expiry date. Our distribution center in Fontana, California, is located in a 199,245 square-foot building where we currently hold inventory to support our private brand initiatives, bulk purchasing programs, event sales, and new store openings. Our Fontana, California lease expires February 28, 2021, and contains two options to renew, each for a period of five years. We also occupy a 3,021 square foot office space in one of our stores in Frisco, Texas. In Wichita, Kansas, we lease a 90,000 square foot distribution center to support the vast majority of our e-commerce business and 30,000 square feet of office space. Our Wichita, Kansas lease expires July 31, 2027 and contains four options to renew, each for a period of five years. 

Most of our stores are occupied under operating leases. The store leases generally have a base lease term of five or 10 years, with one or more renewal periods of five years, on average, exercisable at our option. Thirty of our 226 store leases will reach their termination date during fiscal 2019, and none of these leases contain an option to automatically extend the lease term. We are generally responsible for the payment of property taxes and insurance, utilities and common area maintenance fees.

Item 3. Legal Proceedings

On April 28, 2016, two employees, on behalf of themselves and all other similarly situated employees, filed a wage-and-hour class action, which includes claims for penalties under California’s Private Attorney General Act, in the Fresno County Superior Court, Case No. 16 CE CG 01330, alleging violations of California’s wage and hour, overtime, meal break and statement of wages rules and regulations, among other things. On April 10, 2017, the Company reached a settlement with the employees for an amount that is not material to the consolidated financial statements. The amount of the settlement has been accrued as of March 31, 2018.

Additionally, we are involved, from time to time, in litigation that is incidental to our business. We have reviewed these matters to determine if reserves are required for losses that are probable and reasonable to estimate in accordance with FASB ASC Topic 450, Contingencies. We evaluate such reserves, if any, based upon several criteria, including the merits of each claim, settlement discussions and advice from outside legal counsel, as well as indemnification of amounts expended by our insurers or others, if any.

During the normal course of our business, we have made certain indemnifications and commitments under which we may be required to make payments for certain transactions. These indemnifications include those given to various lessors in connection with facility leases for certain claims arising from such facility leases, and indemnifications to our directors and officers to the maximum extent permitted under the laws of the State of Delaware. The majority of these indemnifications and commitments do not provide for any limitation of the maximum potential future payments we could be obligated to make, and their duration may be indefinite. We have not recorded any liability for these indemnifications and commitments in the consolidated balance sheets as the impact is expected to be immaterial.

Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures

Not applicable.

32


 

PART II

Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

Our common stock has been listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “BOOT” since October 30, 2014, the day after our initial public offering. The following table sets forth the high and low sales prices of our common stock, as reported by the NYSE, for each quarterly period of our two most recent fiscal years:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fiscal 2018

 

Fiscal 2017

 

    

High

    

Low

 

High

    

Low

1st Quarter

 

$

11.17

 

$

5.90

 

$

10.10

 

$

5.59

2nd Quarter

 

 

9.74

 

 

6.10

 

 

13.11

 

 

7.84

3rd Quarter

 

 

17.68

 

 

7.37

 

 

17.26

 

 

10.59

4th Quarter

 

 

20.31

 

 

16.32

 

 

13.91

 

 

8.81

 

As of May 15, 2018, we had approximately 21 stockholders of record. The number of stockholders of record is based upon the actual number of stockholders registered at such date and does not include holders of shares in “street names” or persons, partnerships, associations, corporations or other entities identified in security position listings maintained by depositories.

Dividends

Our common stock began trading on October 30, 2014, following our initial public offering. Since that time, we have not declared any cash dividends, and we do not anticipate declaring any cash dividends in the foreseeable future. The agreements governing our indebtedness contain restrictions on dividends.

Securities Authorized for Issuance Under Equity Compensation Plans

The information required by this Item is incorporated herein by reference to the Company’s Proxy Statement for the 2018 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, which will be filed with the SEC no later than 120 days after the close of the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018 (the “2018 Proxy Statement”).

Stock Performance Graph

The graph set forth below compares the cumulative stockholder return on our common stock between October 30, 2014 (the day after our initial public offering) and March 31, 2018 to the cumulative return of (i) the NYSE Composite Total Return index and (ii) an index of peer and comparable companies as determined by the Company (“Peer Group”). The companies currently comprising the Peer Group are: The Buckle, Inc.; Caleres, Inc.; DSW, Inc.; Finish Line, Inc.; Foot Locker, Inc.; Genesco, Inc.; Tractor Supply Co.; Wolverine World Wide, Inc.; and Zumiez, Inc. Cabela’s Inc., which had previously been part of the Peer Group, was acquired in 2017 and is no longer a public company. As a result, Cabela’s Inc. has been removed from the Peer Group Index and Stock Performance Graph for the fiscal 2018 period presented. This graph assumes an initial investment of $100 on October 30, 2014 in our common stock, the NYSE Composite Total Return index and the Peer Group, and assumes the reinvestment of dividends, if any. The graph also assumes that the initial price of our common stock, the NYSE composite Total Return index and the Peer Group on October 30, 2014 were the closing prices on that trading day.

33


 

Comparison of Cumulative Total Return

Assumes Initial Investment of $100

March 2018

Picture 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cumulative Total Return

 

    

October 30,

    

March 28,

    

March 26,

 

April 1,

 

March 31,

 

 

2014

 

2015

 

2016

 

2017

 

2018

Boot Barn Holdings, Inc.

 

100

 

133.01

 

53.52

 

56.68

 

101.60

NYSE Composite—Total Return

 

100

 

102.80

 

97.53

 

114.09

 

126.75

Peer Group

 

100

 

115.14

 

109.27

 

109.84

 

100.19

 

 

Item 6. Selected Consolidated Financial Data

The following tables present our selected consolidated financial and other data as of and for the periods indicated. We have derived the selected consolidated statement of operations data for the fiscal years ended March 31, 2018, April 1, 2017, and March 26, 2016, and the selected consolidated balance sheet data as of March 31, 2018, and April 1, 2017 from the audited consolidated financial statements included in Item 8 of this report. The selected consolidated balance sheet data as of March 26, 2016, March 28, 2015, and March 29, 2014, and the selected consolidated statement of operations data for the fiscal years ended March 28, 2015, and March 29, 2014, are derived from audited consolidated financial statements that are not included elsewhere in this report. The historical results presented below are not necessarily indicative of the results that may be expected for any future period.

The consolidated statement of operations data and consolidated balance sheet data include the financial position, results of operations and cash flows of Baskins and Sheplers since their respective dates of acquisition in May 2013 and June 2015, respectively.

34


 

You should read the following selected consolidated financial and other data in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements and accompanying notes and the information under “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” appearing elsewhere in this report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fiscal Year Ended(1)

 

 

  

 

 

  

 

 

  

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

(in thousands, except per share and

 

March 31,

 

April 1,

 

March 26,

 

March 28,

 

March 29,

 

selected store data)

 

2018

 

2017

 

2016

 

2015

 

2014

 

Consolidated Statement of Operations Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net sales

 

$

677,949

 

$

629,816

 

$

569,020

 

$

402,684

 

$

345,868

 

Cost of goods sold

 

 

470,034

 

 

439,930

 

 

396,317

 

 

267,907

 

 

231,796

 

Amortization of inventory fair value adjustment

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 

(500)

 

 

 

 

867

 

Total cost of goods sold

 

 

470,034

 

 

439,930

 

 

395,817

 

 

267,907

 

 

232,663

 

Gross profit

 

 

207,915

 

 

189,886

 

 

173,203

 

 

134,777

 

 

113,205

 

Operating expenses:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Selling, general and administrative expenses

 

 

161,660

 

 

152,068

 

 

142,078

 

 

99,341

 

 

91,998

 

Acquisition-related expenses(2)

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 

891

 

 

 

 

671

 

Total operating expenses

 

 

161,660

 

 

152,068

 

 

142,969

 

 

99,341

 

 

92,669

 

Income from operations

 

 

46,255

 

 

37,818

 

 

30,234

 

 

35,436

 

 

20,536

 

Interest expense, net

 

 

15,076

 

 

14,699

 

 

12,923

 

 

13,291

 

 

11,594

 

Other income, net

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 

51

 

 

39

 

Income before income taxes

 

 

31,179

 

 

23,119

 

 

17,311

 

 

22,196

 

 

8,981

 

Income tax expense

 

 

2,300

 

 

8,922

 

 

7,443

 

 

8,466

 

 

3,321

 

Net income

 

 

28,879

 

 

14,197

 

 

9,868

 

 

13,730

 

 

5,660

 

Net income attributed to non-controlling interest

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 

 4

 

 

283

 

Net income attributed to Boot Barn Holdings, Inc.

 

$

28,879

 

$

14,197

 

$

9,868

 

$

13,726

 

$

5,377

 

Net income per share:(3)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic shares

 

$

1.08

 

$

0.54

 

$

0.38

 

$

0.56

 

$

0.28

 

Diluted shares

 

$

1.05

 

$

0.53

 

$

0.37

 

$

0.54

 

$

0.28

 

Weighted average shares outstanding:(3)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic shares

 

 

26,744

 

 

26,459

 

 

26,170

 

 

22,126

 

 

18,929

 

Diluted shares

 

 

27,528

 

 

26,939

 

 

26,955

 

 

22,888

 

 

19,175

 

Other Financial Data (unaudited):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EBITDA(4)

 

$

63,383

 

$

54,528

 

$

44,250

 

$

44,694

 

$

28,704

 

Adjusted EBITDA(4)

 

$

66,030

 

$

59,167

 

$

59,554

 

$

48,232

 

$

40,271

 

Adjusted EBIT(4)

 

$

48,902

 

$

42,457

 

$

45,538

 

$

39,025

 

$

32,142

 

Capital expenditures

 

$

24,418

 

$

22,293

 

$

36,127

 

$

14,074

 

$

11,400

 

Selected Store Data (unaudited):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Same Store Sales growth/(decline)

 

 

5.2

%  

 

0.3

%  

 

(0.1)

%  

 

7.3

%  

 

6.7

%  

Stores operating at end of period

 

 

226

 

 

219

 

 

208

 

 

169

 

 

152

 

Total retail store square footage, end of period (in thousands)

 

 

2,578

 

 

2,494

 

 

2,389

 

 

1,816

 

 

1,642

 

Average store square footage, end of period

 

 

11,407

 

 

11,389

 

 

11,488

 

 

10,748

 

 

10,801

 

Average net sales per store (in thousands)(5)

 

$

2,438

 

$

2,330

 

$

2,312

 

$

2,259

 

$

2,162

 

35


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

March 31,

    

April 1,

    

March 26,

 

March 28,

 

March 29,

(in thousands)

 

2018

 

2017

 

2016

 

2015

 

2014

Consolidated Balance Sheet Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash and cash equivalents

 

$

9,016

 

$

8,035

 

$

7,195

 

$

1,448

 

$

1,118

Working capital(6)

 

 

102,119

 

 

102,803

 

 

93,575

 

 

75,134

 

 

56,325

Total assets

 

 

587,941

 

 

565,581

 

 

539,326

 

 

326,128

 

 

289,482

Total debt, net

 

 

204,206

 

 

225,853

 

 

242,429

 

 

89,826

 

 

125,743

Stockholders’ equity

 

 

214,606

 

 

179,909

 

 

161,490

 

 

142,422

 

 

84,575


(1)

We operate on a fiscal calendar that results in a 52- or 53-week fiscal year ending on the last Saturday of March unless April 1st is a Saturday, in which case the fiscal year ends on April 1st. In a 52-week fiscal year, each quarter includes thirteen weeks of operations; in a 53-week fiscal year, the first, second and third quarters each include thirteen weeks of operations and the fourth quarter includes fourteen weeks of operations. The data presented contains references to fiscal 2018, fiscal 2017, fiscal 2016, fiscal 2015 and fiscal 2014, which represent our fiscal years ended March 31, 2018, April 1, 2017, March 26, 2016, March 28, 2015, and March 29, 2014, respectively. Fiscal 2018, 2016, 2015, and 2014 were each 52-week periods, and fiscal 2017 was a 53-week period. The data includes the activities of Baskins from May 2013 and Sheplers from June 2015, their respective dates of acquisition.

(2)

Represents costs incurred in connection with the acquisitions of Baskins and Sheplers.

(3)

The indicated data gives effect to the 25-for-1 stock split of our common stock effected October 27, 2014.

(4)

EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBIT are financial measures that are not calculated in accordance with GAAP. We define EBITDA as net income adjusted to exclude income tax expense, net interest expense and depreciation and intangible asset amortization. We define Adjusted EBITDA as EBITDA adjusted to exclude certain non-cash expenses, such as stock‑based compensation and the non‑cash accrual for future award redemptions, and other costs and expenses that are not directly related to our operations, including acquisition-related expenses, acquisition‑related integration costs, amortization of inventory fair value adjustment, loss on disposal of assets and contract termination costs from store closures, store impairment charges, secondary offering costs and other due diligence expenses. Similar to Adjusted EBITDA, Adjusted EBIT excludes the aforementioned adjustments while maintaining the impact of depreciation and amortization on our financial results. We include EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBIT in this report because they are important financial measures used by our management, board of directors and lenders to assess our operating performance. See “Item 7—Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—How We Assess the Performance of Our Business—EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBIT” for more information about management’s use of these measures and why we consider them to be important. EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBIT should not be considered in isolation or as alternatives to net income or any other measure of financial performance calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP. Given that EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBIT are measures not deemed to be in accordance with GAAP and are susceptible to varying calculations, our EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBIT may not be comparable to similarly titled measures of other companies, including companies in our industry, because other companies may calculate EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBIT in a different manner than we calculate these measures. The following table presents a reconciliation of EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBIT to our net income, the most directly comparable financial measure calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP, for each of the periods indicated:

36


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fiscal Year Ended(1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 31,

 

April 1,

 

March 26,

 

March 28,

 

March 29,

 

(in thousands)

2018

 

2017

 

2016

 

2015

 

2014

 

EBITDA Reconciliation (Unaudited):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net income

$

28,879

 

$

14,197

 

$

9,868

 

$

13,730

 

$

5,660

 

Income tax expense

 

2,300

 

 

8,922

 

 

7,443

 

 

8,466

 

 

3,321

 

Interest expense, net

 

15,076

 

 

14,699

 

 

12,923

 

 

13,291

 

 

11,594

 

Depreciation and intangible asset amortization

 

17,128

 

 

16,710

 

 

14,016

 

 

9,207

 

 

8,129

 

EBITDA

 

63,383

 

 

54,528

 

 

44,250

 

 

44,694

 

 

28,704

 

Non-cash stock-based compensation(a)

 

2,248

 

 

3,023

 

 

2,881

 

 

2,048

 

 

1,291

 

Non-cash accrual for future award redemptions(b)

 

(230)

 

 

85

 

 

 4

 

 

(49)

 

 

591

 

Acquisition-related expenses(c)

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 

891

 

 

 —

 

 

671

 

Acquisition-related integration costs(d)

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 

10,338

 

 

 —

 

 

6,167

 

Amortization of inventory fair value adjustment(e)

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 

(500)

 

 

 —

 

 

867

 

Loss on disposal of assets and contract termination costs(f)

 

252

 

 

367

 

 

1,373

 

 

134

 

 

1,980

 

Store impairment charge(g)

 

83

 

 

1,164

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

Secondary offering costs(h)

 

294

 

 

 —

 

 

317

 

 

541

 

 

 —

 

Other due diligence expenses(i)

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 

864

 

 

 —

 

Adjusted EBITDA

$

66,030

 

$

59,167

 

$

59,554

 

$

48,232

 

$

40,271

 

Depreciation and intangible asset amortization

 

(17,128)

 

 

(16,710)

 

 

(14,016)

 

 

(9,207)

 

 

(8,129)

 

Adjusted EBIT

$

48,902

 

$

42,457

 

$

45,538

 

$

39,025

 

$

32,142

 


(a)

Represents non‑cash compensation expenses related to stock options, restricted stock awards and restricted stock units granted to certain of our employees and directors.

(b)

Represents the non‑cash accrual for future award redemptions in connection with our customer loyalty program.

(c)

Includes direct costs and fees related to the acquisitions of Baskins and Sheplers, which we acquired in May 2013 and June 2015, respectively.

(d)

Represents certain store integration, remerchandising, inventory obsolescence and corporate consolidation costs incurred in connection with the integration of Baskins and Sheplers, which we acquired in May 2013 and June 2015, respectively. Fiscal 2016 includes an adjustment to normalize the gross margin impact of sales of discontinued inventory from Sheplers, which was sold at a discount or written off. The adjustment assumes such inventory was sold at Sheplers’ normalized margin rate.

(e)

Represents the amortization of purchase‑accounting adjustments that adjusted the value of inventory acquired to its fair value.

(f)

Represents loss on disposal of assets and contract termination costs from store closures and unused office and warehouse space.

(g)

Represents store impairment charges recorded in order to reduce the carrying amount of the assets to their estimated fair values.

(h)

Represents professional fees and expenses incurred in connection with secondary offerings conducted in January 2018 and February 2015 and a Form S-1 Registration Statement filed in July 2015 and withdrawn in November 2015.

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(i)

Represents professional fees and expenses incurred in connection with a prior due diligence process of Sheplers.

(5)

Average net sales per store are calculated by dividing net sales for the applicable period by the number of stores operating at the end of the period. For the purpose of calculating net sales per store, e‑commerce sales and certain other revenues are excluded from net sales.

(6)

Working capital is calculated as current assets, excluding cash and cash equivalents, minus current liabilities, excluding the current portion of debt under our credit facilities.

Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

You should read the following discussion in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements and the accompanying notes included elsewhere in this annual report, as well as the information presented under “Selected Consolidated Financial Data”. The statements in the following discussion and analysis regarding expectations about our future performance, liquidity and capital resources and any other non‑historical statements in this discussion and analysis are forward‑looking statements. These forward‑looking statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, those described under “Risk Factors” and “Forward‑Looking Statements” elsewhere in this annual report. Our actual results could differ materially from those contained in or implied by any forward‑looking statements.

Overview

We are the largest lifestyle retail chain devoted to western and work‑related footwear, apparel and accessories in the U.S. As of March 31, 2018, we operated 226 stores in 31 states, as well as three e-commerce websites, consisting of www.bootbarn.com,  www.sheplers.com and www.countryoutfitter.com. Our stores feature a comprehensive assortment of brands and styles, coupled with attentive, knowledgeable store associates. Our product offering is anchored by an extensive selection of western and work boots and is complemented by a wide assortment of coordinating apparel and accessories. Many of the items that we offer are basics or necessities for our customers’ daily lives and typically represent enduring styles that are not meaningfully impacted by changing fashion trends.

We strive to offer an authentic, one‑stop shopping experience that fulfills the everyday lifestyle needs of our customers, and as a result, many of our customers make purchases in both the western and work wear sections of our stores. We target a broad and growing demographic, ranging from passionate western and country enthusiasts, to workers seeking dependable, high‑quality footwear and clothing. Our broad geographic footprint, which comprises approximately three times as many stores as our nearest direct competitor that sells primarily western and work wear, provides us with significant economies of scale, enhanced supplier relationships, the ability to recruit and retain high quality store associates and the ability to reinvest in our business at levels that we believe exceed those of our competition.

For a discussion of factors that affect the comparability of our results of operations, see “Item 1—Business—Recent Acquisitions and Corporate Transactions.”

Growth Strategies and Outlook

We plan to continue to expand our business, increase our sales growth and profitability and enhance our competitive position by executing the following strategies:

·

continuing omni-channel leadership;

·

driving same store sales growth;

·

building our private brand portfolio;

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·

expanding our store base;

·

enhancing brand awareness; and

·

increasing profitability.

Since the founding of Boot Barn in 1978, we have grown both organically and through successful strategic acquisitions of competing chains. We have rebranded and remerchandised the acquired chains under the Boot Barn banner, resulting in sales increases over their original concepts. We believe that our business model and scale provide us with competitive advantages that have contributed to our consistent financial performance, generating sufficient cash flow to support national growth.

How We Assess the Performance of Our Business

In assessing the performance of our business, we consider a variety of performance and financial measures. The key indicators we use to evaluate the financial condition and operating performance of our business are net sales and gross profit. In addition, we also review other important metrics, such as same store sales, new store openings, selling, general and administrative (“SG&A”) expenses, EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBIT. See “Item 6, Selected Consolidated Financial Data” for our definition of EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBIT, and for a reconciliation of our EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBIT to net income, the most directly comparable financial measure calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP. See “EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBIT” below for further discussion of why we present EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBIT.

Net sales

Net sales reflect revenue from the sale of our merchandise at retail locations, as well as sales of merchandise through our e‑commerce websites. We recognize revenue upon the purchase of merchandise by customers at our stores and upon delivery of the product in the case of our e‑commerce websites. Net sales also include shipping and handling fees for e‑commerce shipments that have been delivered to our customers. Net sales are net of returns on sales during the period as well as an estimate of returns and award redemptions expected in the future stemming from current period sales. Revenue from the sale of gift cards is deferred until the gift cards are used to purchase merchandise.

Our business is moderately seasonal and as a result our revenues fluctuate from quarter to quarter. In addition, our revenues in any given quarter can be affected by a number of factors including the timing of holidays and weather patterns. The third quarter of our fiscal year, which includes the Christmas shopping season, has historically produced higher sales and disproportionately higher operating results than the other quarters of our fiscal year. In addition, neither the western nor the work component of our business has been meaningfully impacted by fashion trends or seasonality historically. We believe that many of our customers are driven primarily by utility and brand, and our best‑selling styles.

Same store sales

The term “same store sales” generally refers to net sales from stores that have been open at least 13 full fiscal months as of the end of the current reporting period, although we include or exclude stores from our calculation of same store sales in accordance with the following additional criteria:

·

stores that are closed for five or fewer days in any fiscal month are included in same store sales;

·

stores that are closed temporarily, but for more than five days in any fiscal month, are excluded from same store sales beginning in the fiscal month in which the temporary closure begins until the first full month of operation once the store re‑opens;

·

stores that are closed temporarily and relocated within their respective trade areas are included in same store sales;

39


 

·

stores that are permanently closed are excluded from same store sales beginning in the month preceding closure; and

·

acquired stores are added to same store sales beginning on the later of (a) the first day of the first fiscal month following its applicable acquisition date and (b) the first day of the first fiscal month after the store has been open for at least 13 full fiscal months regardless of whether the store has been operated under our management or predecessor management.

If the criteria described above are met, then all net sales of an acquired store, excluding those net sales before our acquisition of that store, are included for the period presented. However, when an acquired store is included for the period presented, the net sales of such acquired store for periods before its acquisition are included (to the extent relevant) for purposes of calculating “same stores sales growth” and illustrating the comparison between the applicable periods. Pre‑acquisition net sales numbers are derived from the books and records of the acquired company, as prepared prior to the acquisition, and have not been independently verified by us.

In addition to retail store sales, same store sales also includes e‑commerce sales, e‑commerce shipping and handling revenue and actual retail store or e‑commerce sales returns. We exclude gift card escheatment, provision for sales returns and future loyalty award redemptions from sales in our calculation of net sales per store. Beginning on September 11, 2017, the date of acquisition, sales from the four acquired Wood’s Boots stores have been included in same store sales. Sales as a result of an e-commerce asset acquisition, such as Country Outfitter, are excluded from same-store sales until the 13th full fiscal month subsequent to the Company’s acquisition of such assets.

Measuring the change in year‑over‑year same store sales allows us to evaluate how our store base is performing. Numerous factors affect our same store sales, including:

·

national and regional economic trends;

·

our ability to identify and respond effectively to regional consumer preferences;

·

changes in our product mix;

·

changes in pricing;

·

competition;

·

changes in the timing of promotional and advertising efforts;

·

holidays or seasonal periods; and

·

weather.

Opening new stores is an important part of our growth strategy. We opened 5, 12, and 22 new stores in fiscal 2018, 2017 and 2016, and acquired 4, 0, and 25 stores in fiscal 2018, 2017 and 2016, respectively. We also closed two Boot Barn stores, one Boot Barn store, and two Boot Barn stores and six Sheplers stores in fiscal 2018, 2017, and 2016, respectively. We anticipate that a percentage of our net sales in the near future will come from stores not included in our same store sales calculation. Accordingly, same store sales are only one measure we use to assess the success of our business and growth strategy. Some of our competitors and other retailers may calculate “same” or “comparable” store sales differently than we do. As a result, data in this annual report regarding our same store sales may not be comparable to similar data made available by other retailers.

40


 

New store openings

New store openings reflect the number of stores, excluding acquired stores, that are opened during a particular reporting period. In connection with opening new stores, we incur pre‑opening costs. Pre‑opening costs consist of costs incurred prior to opening a new store and primarily consist of manager and other employee payroll, travel and training costs, marketing expenses, initial opening supplies and costs of transporting initial inventory and certain fixtures to store locations, as well as occupancy costs incurred from the time that we take possession of a store site to the opening of that store. Occupancy costs are included in cost of goods sold and the other pre‑opening costs are included in SG&A expenses. All of these costs are expensed as incurred.

New stores often open with a period of high sales levels, which subsequently decrease to normalized sales volumes. In addition, we experience typical inefficiencies in the form of higher labor, advertising and other direct operating expenses, and as a result, store‑level profit margins at our new stores are generally lower during the start‑up period of operation. The number and timing of store openings has had, and is expected to continue to have, a significant impact on our results of operations. In assessing the performance of a new store, we review its actual sales against the sales that we projected that store to achieve at the time we initially approved its opening. We also review the actual number of stores opened in a fiscal year against the number of store openings that we included in our budget at the beginning of that fiscal year.

Gross profit

Gross profit is equal to our net sales less our cost of goods sold. Cost of goods sold includes the cost of merchandise, obsolescence and shrinkage provisions, store and warehouse occupancy costs (including rent, depreciation and utilities), inbound and outbound freight, supplier allowances, occupancy‑related taxes, compensation costs for merchandise purchasing and warehouse personnel, and other inventory acquisition‑related costs. These costs are significant and can be expected to continue to increase as we grow. The components of our reported cost of goods sold may not be comparable to those of other retail companies, including our competitors.

Our gross profit generally follows changes in net sales. We regularly analyze the components of gross profit, as well as gross profit as a percentage of net sales. Specifically, we examine the initial markup on purchases, markdowns and reserves, shrinkage, buying costs, distribution costs and occupancy costs. Any inability to obtain acceptable levels of initial markups, or a significant increase in our use of markdowns or in inventory shrinkage, or a significant increase in freight and other inventory acquisition costs could have an adverse impact on our gross profit and results of operations.

Gross profit is also impacted by shifts in the proportion of sales of our private brand products compared to third‑party brand products, as well as by sales mix shifts within and between brands and between major product categories such as footwear, apparel or accessories.

Selling, general and administrative expenses

Our selling, general and administrative (“SG&A”) expenses are composed of labor and related expenses, other operating expenses, and general and administrative expenses not included in cost of goods sold. Specifically, our SG&A expenses include the following:

·

Labor and related expenses—Labor and related expenses include all store‑level salaries and hourly labor costs, including salaries, wages, benefits and performance incentives, labor taxes and other indirect labor costs.

·

Other operating expenses—Other operating expenses include all operating costs, including those for advertising, pay-per-click, marketing campaigns, operating supplies, utilities, and repairs and maintenance, as well as credit card fees and costs of third‑party services.