0000950170-22-002646.txt : 20220302 0000950170-22-002646.hdr.sgml : 20220302 20220302135629 ACCESSION NUMBER: 0000950170-22-002646 CONFORMED SUBMISSION TYPE: 10-K PUBLIC DOCUMENT COUNT: 81 CONFORMED PERIOD OF REPORT: 20220102 FILED AS OF DATE: 20220302 DATE AS OF CHANGE: 20220302 FILER: COMPANY DATA: COMPANY CONFORMED NAME: BIG 5 SPORTING GOODS Corp CENTRAL INDEX KEY: 0001156388 STANDARD INDUSTRIAL CLASSIFICATION: RETAIL-MISCELLANEOUS SHOPPING GOODS STORES [5940] IRS NUMBER: 954388794 STATE OF INCORPORATION: DE FISCAL YEAR END: 0102 FILING VALUES: FORM TYPE: 10-K SEC ACT: 1934 Act SEC FILE NUMBER: 000-49850 FILM NUMBER: 22702600 BUSINESS ADDRESS: STREET 1: 2525 EAST EL SEGUNDO BOULEVARD CITY: EL SEGUNDO STATE: CA ZIP: 90245-4632 BUSINESS PHONE: (310) 297-7706 MAIL ADDRESS: STREET 1: 2525 EAST EL SEGUNDO BOULEVARD CITY: EL SEGUNDO STATE: CA ZIP: 90245-4632 FORMER COMPANY: FORMER CONFORMED NAME: BIG 5 SPORTING GOODS CORP DATE OF NAME CHANGE: 20010822 FORMER COMPANY: FORMER CONFORMED NAME: BIG 5 HOLDINGS CORP DATE OF NAME CHANGE: 20010802 10-K 1 bgfv-20220102.htm 10-K 10-K
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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 January 2, 2022

or

 

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: 000-49850

BIG 5 SPORTING GOODS CORPORATION

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

Delaware

 

95-4388794

(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization)

 

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification No.)

 

 

 

2525 East El Segundo Boulevard

El Segundo, California

 

90245

(Address of principal executive offices)

 

(Zip Code)

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (310) 536-0611

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

 

Title of each class

 

Trading Symbol(s)

 

Name of each exchange on which registered

 

 

 

 

 

Common Stock, par value $0.01 per share

 

BGFV

 

The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC

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 every Interactive Data File required to be submitted 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 such files). Yes No

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

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 has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.

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 voting stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant was $510,240,815 as of July 4, 2021 (the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter) based upon the closing price of the registrant’s common stock on the NASDAQ Stock Market LLC reported for July 2, 2021. Shares of common stock held by each executive officer and director and by each person who, as of such date, may be deemed to have beneficially owned more than 5% of the outstanding voting stock have been excluded in that such persons may be deemed to be affiliates of the registrant under certain circumstances. This determination of affiliate status is not necessarily a conclusive determination of affiliate status for any other purpose.

The registrant had 22,219,839 shares of common stock outstanding at February 22, 2022.

Documents Incorporated by Reference

Part III of this Form 10-K incorporates by reference certain information from the registrant’s 2022 definitive proxy statement (the “Proxy Statement”) to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission no later than 120 days after the end of the registrant’s fiscal year.

 

 


TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

 

Page

PART I

 

 

ITEM 1. BUSINESS

 

4

ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS

 

10

ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

 

21

ITEM 2. PROPERTIES

 

21

ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

 

22

ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

 

22

 

 

 

PART II

 

 

ITEM 5. MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

 

23

ITEM 6. [RESERVED]

 

24

ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

 

25

ITEM 7A. QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK

 

35

ITEM 8. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA

 

35

ITEM 9. CHANGES IN AND DISAGREEMENTS WITH ACCOUNTANTS ON ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE

 

35

ITEM 9A. CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES

 

36

ITEM 9B. OTHER INFORMATION

 

38

ITEM 9C. DISCLOSURE REGARDING FOREIGN JURISDICTIONS THAT PREVENT INSPECTIONS...............

 

38

 

 

 

PART III

 

 

ITEM 10. DIRECTORS, EXECUTIVE OFFICERS AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

 

39

ITEM 11. EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION

 

39

ITEM 12. SECURITY OWNERSHIP OF CERTAIN BENEFICIAL OWNERS AND MANAGEMENT AND RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS

 

39

ITEM 13. CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS AND RELATED TRANSACTIONS, AND DIRECTOR INDEPENDENCE

 

39

ITEM 14. PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTANT FEES AND SERVICES

 

39

 

 

 

PART IV

 

 

ITEM 15. EXHIBITS, FINANCIAL STATEMENT SCHEDULES

 

40

 

 

 

EXHIBIT INDEX

 

41

SIGNATURES

 

43

INDEX TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

 

F-1

 

 

 

 


Forward-Looking Statements

This document includes certain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements relate to, among other things, our financial condition, our results of operations, our growth strategy and the business of our company generally. In some cases, you can identify such statements by terminology such as “may,” “could,” “project,” “estimate,” “potential,” “continue,” “should,” “expects,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “intends” or other such terminology. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results in current or future periods to differ materially from forecasted results. These risks and uncertainties include, among other things, the economic impacts of COVID-19, including any potential variants, on our business operations, including as a result of regulations that may be issued in response to COVID-19, changes in the consumer spending environment, fluctuations in consumer holiday spending patterns, increased competition from e-commerce retailers, breach of data security or other unauthorized disclosure of sensitive personal or confidential information, the competitive environment in the sporting goods industry in general and in our specific market areas, inflation, product availability and growth opportunities, changes in the current market for (or regulation of) firearm-related products, a reduction or loss of product from a key supplier, disruption in product flow, seasonal fluctuations, weather conditions, changes in cost of goods, operating expense fluctuations, increases in labor and benefit-related expense, changes in laws or regulations, including those related to tariffs and duties, public health issues (including those caused by COVID-19 or any potential variants), impacts from civil unrest or widespread vandalism, lower than expected profitability of our e-commerce platform or cannibalization of sales from our existing store base which could occur as a result of operating the e-commerce platform, litigation risks, stockholder campaigns and proxy contests, risks related to our historically leveraged financial condition, changes in interest rates, credit availability, higher expense associated with sources of credit resulting from uncertainty in financial markets and economic conditions in general. Those and other risks and uncertainties are more fully described in Part I, Item 1A, Risk Factors, in this report. We caution that the risk factors set forth in this report and the other reports that we file with the SEC are not exclusive. In addition, we conduct our business in a highly competitive and rapidly changing environment. Accordingly, new risk factors may arise. It is not possible for management to predict all such risk factors, nor to assess the impact of all such risk factors on our business or the extent to which any individual risk factor, or combination of factors, may cause results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement. We undertake no obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statement that may be made from time to time by us or on our behalf.

3


PART I

 

 

ITEM 1. BUSINESS

General

Big 5 Sporting Goods Corporation (“we,” “our,” “us” or the “Company”) is a leading sporting goods retailer in the western United States, operating 431 stores and an e-commerce platform under the “Big 5 Sporting Goods” name as of January 2, 2022. Throughout this section, our fiscal years ended January 2, 2022 and January 3, 2021 are referred to as fiscal 2021 and 2020, respectively. We provide a full-line product offering in a traditional sporting goods store format that averages approximately 11,000 square feet. Our product mix includes athletic shoes, apparel and accessories, as well as a broad selection of outdoor and athletic equipment for team sports, fitness, camping, hunting, fishing, home recreation, tennis, golf, and winter and summer recreation. We supplement our traditional sports merchandise mix with an assortment of other products that we purchase through opportunistic buys of vendor over-stock or close-out merchandise.

We believe that over our 67-year history we have developed a reputation with the competitive and recreational sporting goods customer as a convenient neighborhood sporting goods retailer that consistently delivers value on quality merchandise. Our stores carry a wide range of products at competitive prices from well-known brand name manufacturers, including adidas, Coleman, Columbia, Everlast, New Balance, Nike, Rawlings, Skechers, Spalding, Under Armour and Wilson. We also offer brand name merchandise produced exclusively for us, private label merchandise and specials on quality items we purchase through opportunistic buys of vendor over-stock and close-out merchandise. We reinforce our value reputation through digital marketing programs, print advertising in major and local newspapers, and direct mailers designed to generate customer traffic, drive net sales and maintain brand awareness. We also maintain social media sites to enhance distribution capabilities for our promotional offers and to enable communication with our customers.

Robert W. Miller co-founded our company in 1955 with the establishment of five retail locations in California. We sold World War II surplus items until 1963, when we began focusing exclusively on sporting goods and changed our trade name to “Big 5 Sporting Goods.” In 1971, we were acquired by Thrifty Corporation, which was subsequently purchased by Pacific Enterprises. In 1992, management bought our company in conjunction with Green Equity Investors, L.P., an affiliate of Leonard Green & Partners, L.P. In 1997, Robert W. Miller, Steven G. Miller and Green Equity Investors, L.P. recapitalized our company so that the majority of our common stock would be owned by our management and employees. In 2002, we completed an initial public offering of our common stock and became a publicly-traded company.

Our accumulated management experience and expertise in sporting goods merchandising, advertising, operations, store development and overall cost management have enabled us to generally produce profitable results. We believe our historical success can be attributed to a value-based and execution-driven operating philosophy, a controlled growth strategy and a proven business model. Additional information regarding our management experience is available in Item 1, Business, under the sub-heading “Management Experience,” of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

We are a holding company incorporated in Delaware on October 31, 1997. We conduct our business through Big 5 Corp., a 100%-owned subsidiary incorporated in Delaware on October 27, 1997. We conduct our gift card operations through Big 5 Services Corp., a 100%-owned subsidiary of Big 5 Corp. incorporated in Virginia on December 19, 2003.

Our corporate headquarters are located at 2525 East El Segundo Boulevard, El Segundo, California 90245. Our Internet address is www.big5sportinggoods.com. Our Annual Report on Form 10-K, our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, our Current Reports on Form 8-K and amendments, if any, to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act, are available on our website, free of charge, as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with, or furnish it to, the Securities and Exchange Commission.

4


COVID-19 Update

In March 2020, the World Health Organization declared the rapidly growing novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”) outbreak to be a global pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted health and economic conditions throughout the United States, as public concern about becoming ill with the virus has led to the issuance of recommendations and/or mandates from federal, state and local authorities to practice social distancing or self-quarantine.

Beginning on March 20, 2020 and continuing into the second quarter of fiscal 2020, we temporarily closed more than one-half of our retail store locations in response to state and local shelter orders related to the COVID-19 outbreak. We were subsequently able to gradually reopen all store locations based initially on qualifying as an “essential” business under applicable regulations and later as a result of the easing of regulatory restrictions on retail operations in our market areas. Throughout fiscal 2020, the pandemic and the shelter orders that were in place in our market areas negatively impacted customer traffic into our stores that were operating, and certain stores required additional closures during the remainder of the year. In an effort to promote social distancing protocols, we implemented reduced store hours for our open stores and limited the number of customers in our stores at any one time. While these temporary store closures, limited hours of operation and shelter orders in our market areas related to the initial COVID-19 outbreak had an unfavorable impact on our operations initially, as we began reopening stores we recognized significant shifts in consumer demand in favor of fitness and outdoor recreational products and we rapidly evolved our product assortment, which had a favorable impact on our operating results throughout the remainder of fiscal 2020. In fiscal 2021, as COVID-19 restrictions continued easing in many of our markets, we experienced strong consumer demand across a broad assortment of product categories, including increased consumer demand for team sports products, which was weak during the prior year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

During fiscal 2020, in response to COVID-19, we initially took measures to reduce expense and preserve capital across the organization, including negotiating lease concessions with landlords that would reduce or defer our lease-related payments, scaling back merchandise inventory orders and extending payment terms with merchandise vendors, implementing temporary and permanent workforce reductions throughout the organization, reducing advertising and the amount of planned capital spending, and suspending our quarterly dividend payment, among other measures. Although a certain portion of the expense reduction initiatives only benefited the second quarter of fiscal 2020, the remainder of fiscal 2020 continued to reflect labor expense savings due primarily to continued reduced store operating hours throughout most of the period, as well as advertising expense savings due to significantly reduced advertising activity. In fiscal 2021, our labor expense gradually increased as we increased wage rates in a tightening labor market and increased our store operating hours compared to the same period in the prior year. While store operating hours were higher in fiscal 2021 compared with the same period in the prior year, store operating hours remain below pre-pandemic levels for the comparable periods, and we expect this trend to continue during fiscal 2022. We continue to maintain reduced advertising expense in comparison to historical levels and expect this trend to continue during fiscal 2022 as we continue to evaluate the impact on our sales. We will continue to evaluate the impact of COVID-19 on our future operations.

Expansion and Store Development

Throughout our operating history, we have sought to expand our business with the addition of new stores through a disciplined strategy of controlled growth. Our expansion within the western United States has typically been systematic and designed to capitalize on our name recognition, economical store format and economies of scale related to distribution and advertising. Over the past five fiscal years, we have opened 18 stores including relocations, of which 56% were in California. Our store openings over the past five fiscal years reflect our cautious approach toward store expansion in the current retail environment, which includes increasing ecommerce competition and the COVID-19 pandemic in fiscal 2020 and 2021. The following table reflects our store opening, closing and relocation activity during the periods indicated:

 

 

 

Stores Opened

 

 

Stores

 

 

Stores

 

 

Number of Stores

 

Year

 

California

 

 

Other Markets

 

 

Total

 

 

Relocated

 

 

Closed

 

 

at Period End

 

2017

 

 

2

 

 

 

4

 

 

 

6

 

 

 

(1

)

 

 

(2

)

 

 

435

 

2018

 

 

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

 

 

 

(1

)

 

 

(2

)

 

 

436

 

2019

 

 

2

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

3

 

 

 

(1

)

 

 

(4

)

 

 

434

 

2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(4

)

 

 

430

 

2021

 

 

2

 

 

 

3

 

 

 

5

 

 

 

(2

)

 

 

(2

)

 

 

431

 

Our store format enables us to have substantial flexibility regarding new store locations. We have successfully operated stores in major metropolitan areas and in areas with as few as 30,000 people. Our 11,000 average square foot store format differentiates us from superstores that typically average over 35,000 square feet, require larger target markets, are more expensive to operate and require higher net sales per store for profitability.

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New store openings typically represent attractive investment opportunities due to the relatively low investment required and the relatively short time necessary before our stores typically become profitable. Our store format normally requires investments of approximately $0.6 million in fixtures, equipment and leasehold improvements, net of landlord allowances, and approximately $0.3 million in net working capital with limited pre-opening and real estate expense related to leased locations that are built to our specifications. We seek to maximize new store performance by staffing new store management with experienced personnel from our existing stores.

Our in-house store development personnel analyze new store locations with the assistance of real estate firms that specialize in retail properties. Historically, we seek expansion opportunities to further penetrate our established markets, develop recently entered markets and expand into new, contiguous markets with attractive demographic, competitive and economic profiles.

Merchandising

We target the competitive and recreational sporting goods customer with a full-line product offering at a wide variety of price points. We offer a product mix that includes athletic shoes, apparel and accessories, as well as a broad selection of outdoor and athletic equipment for team sports, fitness, camping, hunting, fishing, home recreation, tennis, golf, and winter and summer recreation. We believe we deliver consistent value to consumers by offering a distinctive merchandise mix that includes a combination of well-known brand name merchandise, merchandise produced exclusively for us under a manufacturer’s brand name, private label merchandise and specials on quality items we purchase through opportunistic buys of vendor over-stock and close-out merchandise.

Through our 67 years of experience across different demographic, competitive and economic markets, we have refined our merchandising strategy in an effort to offer a selection of products that meets customer demand. Specifically, we continue to strategically refine our merchandise and marketing strategies in order to better align our product mix and promotional efforts with today’s consumer.

The following table illustrates our mix of soft goods, which are non-durable items such as shirts and shoes, and hard goods, which are durable items such as exercise equipment and baseball gloves, as a percentage of net sales. The change in sales mix for fiscal 2020 reflects the change in consumer demand resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, including higher sales related to fitness and outdoor recreational activities and reduced sales for team sports and back to school products:

 

 

 

Fiscal Year

 

 

 

2021

 

 

2020

 

 

2019

 

 

2018

 

 

2017

 

Hard goods

 

 

55.0

%

 

 

60.2

%

 

 

49.7

%

 

 

50.4

%

 

 

50.7

%

Soft goods

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Athletic and sport footwear

 

 

24.1

 

 

 

22.0

 

 

 

28.2

 

 

 

28.6

 

 

 

28.7

 

Athletic and sport apparel

 

 

20.9

 

 

 

17.8

 

 

 

22.1

 

 

 

21.0

 

 

 

20.6

 

Total soft goods

 

 

45.0

 

 

 

39.8

 

 

 

50.3

 

 

 

49.6

 

 

 

49.3

 

Total

 

 

100.0

%

 

 

100.0

%

 

 

100.0

%

 

 

100.0

%

 

 

100.0

%

 

We sell our popular branded merchandise from an extensive list of major sporting goods equipment, athletic footwear and apparel manufacturers. Below is a selection of some of the brands we carry:

 

adidas

Coleman

Footjoy

Impex

Nike

Skechers

Asics

Columbia

Franklin

JanSport

Rawlings

Spalding

Bearpaw

Crosman

Gildan

Lifetime

Razor

Speedo

Bushnell

Daisy

Head

McDavid

Remington

Timex

Callaway

Dickies

Heelys

Mizuno

Rollerblade

Titleist

Camp Chef

Easton

Hillerich & Bradsby

Mossberg

Russell Athletic

Under Armour

Carhartt

Everlast

iFit (Proform)

Mueller Sports Medicine

Saucony

Wilson

Casio

Fila

Igloo

New Balance

Shimano

Winchester

 

We believe we enjoy significant advantages in making opportunistic buys of vendor over-stock and close-out merchandise because of our strong vendor relationships, purchasing volume and rapid decision-making process. Our strong vendor relationships and purchasing volume also enable us to purchase merchandise produced exclusively for us under a manufacturer’s brand name which allows us to differentiate our product selection from competition, obtain volume pricing discounts from vendors and offer unique value to our customers. Our advertising highlights our opportunistic buys together with merchandise produced exclusively for us in order to reinforce our reputation as a retailer that offers attractive values to our customers.

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In order to complement our branded product offerings, we offer a variety of private label merchandise, which has historically represented approximately 2% of our net sales. Our sale of private label merchandise enables us to provide our customers with a broader selection of quality merchandise at a wider range of price points and allows us the potential to achieve higher margins than on sales of comparable name brand products. Our private label items include shoes, apparel, camping equipment, fishing supplies and snowsport equipment.

Seasonality influences our buying patterns and we purchase merchandise for seasonal activities in advance of a season and supplement our merchandise assortment as necessary and when possible during the season. We tailor our merchandise selection on a store-by-store basis in an effort to satisfy each region’s specific needs and seasonal buying habits. In the fourth fiscal quarter we normally experience higher inventory purchase volumes in anticipation of the winter and holiday selling season.

Our buyers, who average 14 years of experience with us, work in collaboration with senior management to determine and enhance product selection, promotion and pricing of our merchandise mix. Management utilizes integrated merchandising, business intelligence analytics, distribution, point-of-sale and financial information systems to continuously refine our merchandise mix, pricing strategy, advertising effectiveness and inventory levels to best serve the needs of our customers.

Advertising and Marketing

Through years of targeted advertising, we have solidified our reputation for offering quality products at attractive prices. We drive customer traffic through the effective use of both digital communications as well as print media.

We built our value-based brand through weekly print advertisements since 1955, and we provide print advertisements and other targeted promotional offers through carrier delivery and direct mail. Over the last several years we have been shifting our advertising spend away from print media towards digital advertising. In fiscal 2020, we accelerated the reduction of print advertising in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and our print advertising remained substantially reduced (from pre-pandemic levels) in fiscal 2021 as we continued to evaluate our advertising programs. The consistency and reach of our digital and print advertising programs have historically driven sales and create high customer awareness of the name “Big 5 Sporting Goods.”

We promote our products through digital marketing programs that include sending regular digital communications to our customers (e-mail marketing to our “E-Team”), search engine marketing, social media including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, mobile programs and other website initiatives.

Our digital promotional strategy is designed to provide opportunities to connect with potential customers and enable us to promote the Big 5 brand. Our e-mail marketing program invites our customers to subscribe to our E-Team for daily special deals, weekly advertisements and product information disseminated on a regular basis. We use search engine marketing methods as a means to reach those customers searching the Internet to gather information about our products. Within our social media program, our customers have the opportunity to engage in conversations with other sports-minded people and receive exclusive information about new products and unique weekly offers. All of these marketing methods are intended to simplify the shopping experience for our customers and further demonstrate our commitment to provide great brands at great values.

Our website features a broad representation of our product assortment and provides visibility of store inventory to our customers, thereby enabling them to determine if items featured on our website are in-stock in one or more of our store locations. Our e-commerce platform delivers an online shopping experience to our customers, and we continue to develop our online capabilities to meet customer expectations of being able to shop at their convenience.

We have developed a strong cause marketing platform through our support of the American Red Cross annual fundraising campaign and numerous other charities and organizations throughout our marketplace. We also build brand awareness by providing sponsorship support of established, high profile events that benefit our customers’ active lifestyles, such as the “LA Marathon” in Los Angeles, California, and the “Duke City Marathon” in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for which we are the title sponsor.

Vendor Relationships

We have developed strong vendor relationships over the past 67 years. We currently purchase merchandise from over 700 vendors. In fiscal 2021, only one vendor, Nike, represented greater than 5% of total purchases, at 7.6%, and accounted for 8.7% of our total sales in fiscal 2021. In early fiscal 2021, we were informed of an expansion of Nike’s direct-to-consumer initiatives that will impact certain multi-branded retailers, including us, and which will lead to a significant reduction in our future supply chain relative to this vendor. This transition is not expected to impact our ability to continue to purchase certain Nike branded products from authorized licensees, and did not have a material impact on our sales for fiscal 2021. We have been actively expanding our relationships with other new and existing vendors in an effort to replace the affected Nike product within our product mix. We believe current relationships with our vendors are good. We benefit from the long-term working relationships with vendors that our senior management and our buyers have carefully nurtured throughout our history.

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Information Technology Systems

We have fully integrated information technology (“IT”) systems that support critical business functions, such as sales reporting, inventory management and distribution functions and provide pertinent information for financial reporting, as well as robust business intelligence and retail analytics tools. We manage IT solutions for e-commerce, email and networks that connect our employees to appropriate technology solutions and tools. This includes connecting our stores via a managed wide area network connection for purchasing card (i.e., credit and debit card) encryption, tokenization, authorization and processing, as well as providing access to valuable tools such as collaboration, online training, workforce management, online hiring, Company website functions and corporate communications. Our separate disaster recovery facility and solutions, which we plan to migrate to a cloud-based environment beginning in fiscal 2022, provide redundant networks and applications to be used in the event of an emergency or unplanned outage. We believe our IT systems are effectively supporting our current operations and provide a foundation for future growth and new business initiatives.

The protection of our customer, employee and business data is critical to us. Our business, like that of most retailers, involves the receipt, storage and transmission of customers’ personal information, consumer preferences and payment card information, as well as confidential information about our employees, our suppliers and our Company. We rely on commercially available systems, software, tools and monitoring to provide security for processing, transmission and storage of all such data, including confidential information. Despite the security measures we have in place, our facilities and systems, and those of our third-party service providers, may be vulnerable to security breaches, acts of vandalism, computer viruses, data theft, misplaced or lost data, programming or human errors, or other similar events. Unauthorized parties may attempt to gain access to our systems or information through fraud or other means, including deceiving our employees or third-party service providers. The methods used to obtain unauthorized access, disable or degrade service, or sabotage systems are also constantly changing and evolving, and may be difficult to anticipate or detect for long periods of time. We have implemented and regularly review and update our control systems, processes and procedures to protect against unauthorized access to or use of secured data and to prevent data loss.

Distribution

We operate a distribution center located in Riverside, California, that services all of our stores. The facility has 953,000 square feet of storage and office space, along with an additional 172,000 square-foot distribution space adjacent to our distribution center that enables us to more efficiently fulfill our expanding distribution requirements. The distribution center warehouse management system is fully integrated with our enterprise-level IT systems and provides comprehensive warehousing and distribution capabilities. We regularly distribute merchandise from our distribution center to our stores using our fleet of leased tractors, as well as contract carriers.

Industry and Competition

The retail market for sporting goods is highly competitive. In general, competition tends to fall into the following six basic categories:

Sporting Goods Superstores. Stores in this category typically are larger than 35,000 square feet and tend to be free-standing locations. These stores emphasize high volume sales and a large number of stock-keeping units. Examples include Academy Sports & Outdoors and Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Traditional Sporting Goods Stores. This category consists of traditional sporting goods chains, including us. These stores range in size from 5,000 to 20,000 square feet and are frequently located in regional malls and multi-store shopping centers. The traditional chains typically carry a varied assortment of merchandise and attempt to position themselves as convenient neighborhood stores. Sporting goods retailers operating stores within this category include Hibbett.

Specialty Sporting Goods Stores. Specialty sporting goods retailers are stores that typically carry a wide assortment of one specific product category or brand, such as athletic shoes, golf, or outdoor equipment. Examples of these retailers include Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, Foot Locker, Sportsman’s Warehouse and REI. This category also includes pro shops that often are single-store operations.

Mass Merchandisers. This category includes discount retailers such as Walmart and Target and department stores such as JC Penney and Kohl’s. These stores range in size from 50,000 to 200,000 square feet and are primarily located in regional malls, shopping centers or on free-standing sites. Sporting goods merchandise and apparel represent a small portion of the total merchandise in these stores and the selection is often more limited than in other sporting goods retailers.

E-commerce Retailers. This category consists of many retailers that sell a broad array of new and used sporting goods products via e-commerce or catalogs, including Amazon.com. The types of retailers mentioned above may also sell their products through e-commerce. E-commerce has been a rapidly growing sales channel, particularly with younger consumers, and an increasing source of competition in the sporting goods retail industry.

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Athletic and Sporting Goods Brands. This category consists of athletic and sporting goods brands that engage in direct-to-consumer sales through traditional retail channels, e-commerce or a combination of both. These brands may also sell their products to us and other competitors. Examples of brands that sell directly to consumers include Nike, adidas and Under Armour.

In competing with the retailers discussed above, we focus on what we believe are the primary factors of competition in the sporting goods retail industry, including breadth, depth, price and quality of merchandise offered; advertising; purchasing and pricing policies; experienced and knowledgeable personnel; customer service; effective sales techniques; direct involvement of senior officers in monitoring store operations; enterprise-level IT systems; and convenience of store location and format.

Human Capital

We believe the experience and tenure of our professional staff in the retail industry contributes to enhanced performance and gives us a competitive advantage. The table below indicates the tenure of our professional staff in some of our key functional areas as of January 2, 2022:

 

 

 

Number of
Employees

 

 

Average
Number of
Years With Us

 

Executive Management

 

 

8

 

 

 

33

 

Vice Presidents

 

 

25

 

 

 

21

 

Buyers

 

 

20

 

 

 

14

 

Store District / Regional Supervisors

 

 

48

 

 

 

25

 

Store Managers

 

 

420

 

 

 

13

 

As of January 2, 2022, we had approximately 7,800 active employees, of which approximately 2,400 were full-time. The General Teamsters, Airline, Aerospace and Allied Employees, Warehousemen, Drivers, Construction, Rock and Sand, Local Union No. 986, affiliated with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (“Local 986”) represents approximately 400 hourly employees in our distribution center and select stores. In December 2017, we negotiated a five-year contract with Local 986 for the covered distribution center employees, and in January 2018, we negotiated a five-year contract with Local 986 for the covered store employees. Both contracts were retroactive to September 1, 2017, and expire on August 31, 2022. We have not had a strike or work stoppage in over 30 years, although such a disruption could have a significant negative impact on our business operations and financial results. We believe we provide working conditions and wages that are comparable to those offered by other retailers in the sporting goods industry and that employee relations are good.

We utilize an automated Learning Management System (“LMS”) and have developed comprehensive training that can be expressly tailored for store and corporate positions. Our LMS allows us to rapidly convey and track the dissemination of important information as it develops, such as product merchandising strategies, policy changes, safety rules, cash handling procedures, systems resolution and utilization, loss prevention updates and inventory control guidelines. All new store employees are assigned introductory LMS learning material as well as provided with a live orientation highlighting basic policies and responsibilities and our expectation that each employee strives to deliver excellence in customer service, product knowledge and salesmanship. New full-time store salespeople, cashiers and manager trainees receive supplementary training and evaluations specific to their job responsibilities and their ongoing development. The versatility of the LMS provides us with the ability to track and monitor many different types of training and the flexibility we need to deliver our message to widely dispersed personnel within the structure of our on-the-go work environment. Our employee training programs include self-directed online courses, live webinars, production of soft and hard copy reference materials, one-on-one training, hands-on training and progressive developmental training. In the stores, manager trainees are expected to complete a progressive series of outlines and evaluations in order to be considered for each successive level of advancement. Experienced store management training includes advanced merchandising, delegation, personnel management, scheduling, payroll control, harassment and discrimination prevention and loss prevention. Our overall training strategy and LMS enable us to efficiently manage, monitor, assign and report employee training results online and in real time.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, to provide for the safety of our employees and customers, we have taken many actions in our stores, corporate office and distribution center spaces based on the needs, risks, and regulations present in each community and facility. Measures we have taken include cleaning facilities professionally on a regular basis, equipping facilities with hand sanitizer stations and signage illustrating how to socially distance, requiring face coverings, limiting the number of people admitted to a facility at one time, installing protective shields at cash registers and other countertops and providing free masks and hand sanitizer. We continue to monitor the rapidly evolving situation and expect to continue to adapt our operations to address federal, state, and local requirements, as well as to implement standards or processes that we determine to be in the best interest of our employees and customers.

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Description of Service Marks and Trademarks

We use the “Big 5” and “Big 5 Sporting Goods” names as service marks in connection with our business operations and have registered these names as federal service marks. The renewal dates for these service mark registrations are in 2025 and 2023, respectively. We have also registered the names Golden Bear, Harsh, Pacifica and Rugged Exposure as federal trademarks under which we sell a variety of merchandise. The renewal dates for these trademark registrations range from 2026 to 2028. We intend to renew these service mark and trademark registrations if we are still using the marks in commerce and they continue to provide value to us at the time of renewal.

ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS

An investment in the Company entails risks and uncertainties including the following. You should carefully consider these risk factors when evaluating any investment in the Company. Any of these risks and uncertainties could cause our actual results to differ materially from the results contemplated by the forward-looking statements set forth herein, and could otherwise have a significant adverse impact on our business, prospects, financial condition or results of operations or on the price of our common stock.

Risks Related to Our Business and Industry

Intense competition in the sporting goods industry could limit our growth and reduce our profitability.

The retail market for sporting goods is highly fragmented and intensely competitive. We compete directly or indirectly with the following categories of companies, through traditional retail and e-commerce channels:

sporting goods superstores, such as Academy Sports & Outdoors and Dick’s Sporting Goods;
traditional sporting goods stores and chains, such as Hibbett Sports;
specialty sporting goods shops and pro shops, such as Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, Foot Locker, Sportsman’s Warehouse and REI;
mass merchandisers, discount stores and department stores, such as Walmart, Target, Kohl’s and JC Penney;
e-commerce retailers, such as Amazon.com; and
athletic and sporting goods brands that engage in direct-to-consumer sales, such as Nike, adidas and Under Armour.

Some of our competitors have a larger number of stores, greater e-commerce capabilities or greater financial, distribution, marketing and other resources than we have. If our competitors reduce their prices, it may be difficult for us to retain market share without reducing our prices, which could impact our margins. As a result of this competition, we may also need to spend more on advertising and promotion than we anticipate. Increased competition in our current markets or the adoption or proliferation by competitors of innovative store formats, aggressive pricing strategies and retail sales methods, such as e-commerce, could cause us to lose market share and could have a material adverse effect on our business.

While e-commerce has been a rapidly growing sales channel and an increasing source of competition in the retail industry, sales from our e-commerce channel are not material to our operations. We have no assurance that our e-commerce efforts will prove profitable, whether due to product preferences of online buyers, ability to compete with other (often more established) online retailers, or for other reasons, such as the cannibalization of sales from our existing store base. If we are unable to compete successfully, our operating results may suffer.

A reduction or loss of product from a key supplier could cause our net sales and profitability to suffer.

In fiscal 2021, we purchased merchandise from over 700 vendors, and our 20 largest vendors collectively accounted for 36.8% of our total purchases. One vendor, Nike, represented greater than 5% of total purchases, at 7.6%, in fiscal 2021 and accounted for 8.7% of our total sales in fiscal 2021. Early in fiscal 2021, we were informed of an expansion of Nike’s direct-to-consumer initiatives that will impact certain multi-branded retailers, including us, and which will lead to a significant reduction in our future supply chain relative to this vendor. This transition is not expected to impact our ability to continue to purchase certain Nike branded products from authorized licensees, and did not have a material impact on our sales for fiscal 2021. We have been actively expanding our relationships with other new and existing vendors in an effort to replace the affected Nike product within our product mix. If we are unable to develop a suitable alternative to satisfy product demand in fiscal 2022 and beyond, sales could decline which could negatively impact future operating results.

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Additionally, if there are other disruptions in supply from a principal supplier or distributor, we may be unable to obtain merchandise that we desire to sell and that consumers desire to purchase. A vendor could discontinue or restrict selling products to us at any time for reasons that may or may not be within our control. The increased development of direct-to-consumer initiatives by athletic and sporting goods brands could result in additional restrictions on the products available for us to purchase and sell. Our net sales and profitability could decline if we are unable to promptly replace a product vendor that is unwilling or unable to satisfy our requirements with a vendor providing equally appealing products. Moreover, many of our key suppliers provide us with incentives, such as return privileges, volume purchase allowances and co-operative advertising. A decline or discontinuation of these incentives could reduce our profits.

If we fail to anticipate changes in consumer preferences, we may experience lower net sales, higher inventory, higher inventory markdowns and lower margins.

Our products must appeal to a broad range of consumers whose preferences cannot be predicted with certainty. These preferences are also subject to change and can be impacted by various factors, including sports participation levels in our market areas, the performance of sports teams for which we sell licensed products, weather conditions in our market areas and regulatory or political changes. During the novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”) pandemic, our product offerings have resonated with consumers who are looking for ways to stay healthy and active to fulfill their fitness and outdoor recreational needs. Our success depends upon our ability to anticipate and respond in a timely manner to consumer trends and consumers’ participation in sports and other recreational activities for which we sell products. If we fail to identify and respond in a timely manner to these changes, our net sales and profitability may decline. In addition, because we often make commitments to purchase products from our vendors up to nine months in advance of the proposed delivery, if we misjudge the market for our merchandise or conditions change after we have committed to purchase products, we may overstock unpopular products and be forced to take inventory markdowns that could have a negative impact on profitability.

If we are unable to effectively and efficiently connect with our customers through our advertising and marketing programs, our operating results may suffer.

We historically utilized print advertising programs that included newspaper inserts, direct mailers and courier-delivered inserts in order to effectively deliver our message to our targeted markets. Newspaper circulation and readership has been declining, and in recent years we have been shifting more of our advertising from print to digital. In 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we accelerated the reduction of our print advertising programs. The consumer preferences for certain of our product categories that have driven positive sales during the COVID-19 outbreak may not continue after the outbreak has subsided, and we may need to increase advertising and promotional activity from the current historically low levels in an effort to drive customer traffic and sales, which could impact our profitability. If our efforts to evolve our advertising programs fail or we are unable to develop other effective strategies to reach potential customers within our desired markets, awareness of our stores, products and promotions could decline and our net sales could suffer.

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted and is expected to continue to disrupt our business, which could have a material adverse impact on our business, results of operations, liquidity and financial condition for an extended period of time.

In March 2020, the World Health Organization declared the rapidly growing COVID-19 outbreak to be a global pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted health and economic conditions throughout the United States, as public concern about becoming ill with the virus has led to the issuance of recommendations and/or mandates from federal, state and local authorities to practice social distancing or self-quarantine. Beginning on March 20, 2020, we temporarily closed more than one-half of our retail store locations in response to state and local shelter orders related to the COVID-19 outbreak. We were subsequently able to gradually reopen all of our store locations based on either qualifying as an “essential” business under applicable regulations or as a result of the easing of regulatory restrictions on retail operations in our market areas. New temporary closures of stores may be required if additional orders are issued in response to changing health conditions. We implemented reduced store hours, limited the number of customers in our stores at any one time and have generally implemented social-distancing guidelines throughout our store operating space. As a result of the reduced customer traffic and sales at the start of the pandemic, and in an effort to preserve capital, we implemented temporary and permanent workforce reductions throughout the Company, reduced advertising and planned capital spending in fiscal 2020 and initially suspended our quarterly dividend payment.

While these temporary store closures, limited hours of operation and shelter orders in our market areas related to the initial COVID-19 outbreak had an unfavorable impact on our operations initially, as we began reopening stores we recognized significant shifts in consumer demand in favor of fitness and outdoor recreational products and we rapidly evolved our product assortment, which had a favorable impact on our operating results throughout the remainder of fiscal 2020. In fiscal 2021, as COVID-19 restrictions continued easing in many of our markets, we experienced strong consumer demand across a broad assortment of product categories, including increased consumer demand for team sports products, which was weak during the prior year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, our store operating hours and advertising and promotional activity have been reduced as a result of COVID-19, which has resulted in lower expense and higher profitability.

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As the pandemic continues to evolve, we may be further required to restrict the operations of our stores or our distribution facility if we deem this necessary or if recommended or mandated by authorities. If the classification of what is an “essential” business changes in jurisdictions where our stores are located, or the restrictions on retail operations in our markets are reinstituted, or other government regulations are adopted pertaining to how we may operate our stores, we may be required to temporarily close or restrict operations at more, if not all, of our stores, or incur additional expense to operate our stores, which would significantly impact our sales and results of operations. For example, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) announced an emergency temporary standard on November 5, 2021, which would have required COVID-19 vaccinations or weekly COVID-19 testing for all employees of United States employers with 100 or more employees. While OSHA has since withdrawn this emergency temporary standard following review by the United States Supreme Court, similar mandates may be proposed or issued at the state and local level, which if enacted could negatively impact our ability to attract and retain employees, increase expenses, and pose operational issues with respect to testing requirements. Furthermore, certain jurisdictions in which we operate have mandated employer-paid supplemental leave benefits associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, and such programs may be extended into the future. The cost of maintaining such mandated benefits may increase our operating costs and negatively impact our results of operations. Additionally, if we do not respond appropriately to the pandemic, or if customers do not perceive our response to be adequate for a particular region or our company as a whole, we could suffer damage to our reputation and our brand, which could adversely affect our business in the future.

COVID-19 has also impacted our supply chain for products we sell, particularly those products that are sourced from Asia. To the extent one or more of our vendors is negatively impacted by COVID-19, including due to the closure of its distribution centers or manufacturing facilities, we may be unable to maintain delivery schedules or adequate inventory in our stores. Additionally, during the second half of fiscal 2021, we experienced significant shipping delays of products sourced from overseas vendors to be received at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, which reflected increased shipping volume and insufficient labor resources at the ports that have significantly increased cargo backlogs. These factors, in addition to workforce shortages in the trucking industry, have limited our ability to obtain desired quantities of inventory for various merchandise categories. While we have generally been able to sufficiently stock product in our stores to meet most consumer demand during the pandemic, future prolonged and sustained delays in product reaching our stores from overseas vendors, particularly during the holiday season, could result in our inability to obtain adequate levels of merchandise inventories to meet our consumers’ needs, which could have an adverse impact on our net sales and profitability.

The extent to which the COVID-19 outbreak impacts our business, results of operations, liquidity and financial condition will depend on future developments, which are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted, including, but not limited to the duration, spread, severity and impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, the effects of the outbreak on our customers, employees and vendors, the regulatory response and impact of stimulus measures adopted by local, state and federal governments, and to what extent normal economic and operating conditions can resume. Even after the COVID-19 outbreak has subsided, we could experience materially adverse impacts to our business as a result of any economic recession or depression that has occurred or may occur in the future due to a continued erosion in consumer sentiment or the effect of high unemployment on our consumer base. Additionally, the consumer preferences for certain product categories that have driven positive sales during the COVID-19 outbreak may not continue after the outbreak has subsided, and any change in consumer preferences could negatively impact our results of operations. We may need to increase advertising and promotional activity from the current historically low levels in an effort to drive customer traffic and sales, which could impact our profitability. As business conditions evolve, we may need to increase our staffing from the current reduced levels, which could impact profitability. Furthermore, the financial condition of our customers and vendors may be adversely impacted by the pandemic, which may result in a decrease in discretionary consumer spending and our store traffic and sales, and an increase in bankruptcies or insolvencies with respect to our vendors. These events may, in turn, have a material adverse impact on our business, results of operations, liquidity and financial condition. In the event of a prolonged material economic downturn, including circumstances that require us to close a large portion of our stores or cause us to experience a further reduction in store traffic, we may not be able to comply with the financial covenants in our credit facility, which could negatively impact our ability to borrow under that facility or with other lenders, negatively impact our liquidity position and may increase our risk of insolvency.

Because our stores are concentrated in the western United States, we are subject to regional risks.

Our stores are located in the western United States. Because of this, we are subject to regional risks, such as the economy, including downturns in the housing market, state financial conditions, unemployment and gas prices. Other regional risks include adverse weather and climate conditions, power outages, earthquakes and other natural disasters specific to the states in which we operate. For example, particularly in California where we have a high concentration of stores, seasonal factors such as unfavorable weather conditions or other localized conditions such as flooding, drought, fires (such as the wildfires of 2021 that resulted in the closing of certain national parks and led to a negative impact on various outdoor activities, particularly camping and watersports, and the wildfires of 2018 that destroyed our store located in Paradise, CA), earthquakes or electricity blackouts (such as the rolling blackouts of 2019 that impacted certain California stores) could impact our sales and harm our operations. State and local regulatory compliance, such as with recent minimum wage increases in our market areas, also can impact our financial results. Economic downturns or other adverse regional events could have an adverse impact upon our net sales and profitability and our ability to open additional stores in the manner that we have in the past.

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Additionally, California is subject to a property tax law commonly referred to as Proposition 13, which allows properties to be reassessed only at the time of change in ownership or completion of construction, and annual property reassessments are limited to a 2% increase from previously-assessed values thereafter. As a result, Proposition 13 generally results in significant below-market assessed values over time. From time to time, and recently, lawmakers and political coalitions have initiated efforts to repeal or amend Proposition 13 to eliminate its application to commercial and industrial properties. Since we lease all of our store locations, as well as our corporate offices and distribution center facilities in California, and are required under the terms of our leases to pay property taxes thereon, any repeal of Proposition 13 could substantially increase the assessed values and property taxes we pay for our leased properties in California.

A significant amount of our sales is impacted by seasonal weather conditions in our markets.

Because many of the products we sell are used for seasonal outdoor sporting and recreational activities, our business is significantly impacted by weather and climate conditions in our markets. For example, our winter sports and apparel sales are dependent on cold winter weather and snowfall in our markets and can be negatively impacted by unseasonably warm or dry weather in our markets during the winter product selling season. Conversely, sales of our spring products and summer products, such as baseball gear and camping and water sports equipment, can be adversely impacted by unseasonably cold or wet weather in those periods. Accordingly, our sales results and financial condition will typically suffer when weather and climate patterns do not conform to seasonal norms.

Our business is subject to seasonal fluctuations, and unanticipated changes in our customers’ seasonal buying patterns can impact our business.

We experience seasonal fluctuations in our net sales and operating results. Seasonality influences our buying patterns which directly impacts our merchandise and accounts payable levels and cash flows. We purchase merchandise for seasonal activities in advance of a season and supplement our merchandise assortment as necessary and when possible during the season. Our efforts to replenish products during a season are not always successful. In the fourth fiscal quarter, which includes the holiday selling season and the start of the winter selling season, we normally experience higher inventory purchase volumes and increased expense for staffing and advertising. If we miscalculate the consumer demand for our products generally or for our product mix in advance of a season, our net sales can decline, which can harm our financial performance. A significant shortfall from expected net sales, particularly in the fourth fiscal quarter, can negatively impact our annual operating results.

All of our stores rely on a single distribution center. Any disruption or other operational difficulties at this distribution center could reduce our net sales or increase our operating expense.

We rely on a single distribution center facility located in Riverside, California to service our business. Any natural disaster or other serious disruption to the distribution center due to fire, earthquake or any other cause could damage a significant portion of our inventory and could materially impair both our ability to adequately stock our stores and our net sales and profitability. If the security measures used at our distribution center do not prevent inventory theft, our gross profit may significantly decrease. Our distribution center is staffed in part by employees represented by Local 986. We have not had a strike or work stoppage in over 30 years, although such a disruption could have a significant negative impact on our business operations and financial results. Further, in the event that we are unable to grow our net sales sufficiently to allow us to leverage the costs of this distribution center in the manner we anticipate, our financial results could be negatively impacted.

Additionally, because we rely on a single distribution center, our store growth could be limited to the geographic areas to which we can efficiently distribute products from this facility. Our store growth also could be limited if our distribution center reaches full capacity. Such constraints could result in a loss of market share and our inability to execute our business plan, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

If we are unable to successfully implement our controlled growth strategy or manage our growing business, our future operating results could suffer.

One of our strategies includes opening profitable stores in new and existing markets. Our ability to successfully implement and capitalize on our growth strategy could be negatively affected by various factors including:

we may slow our expansion efforts, or close underperforming stores, as a result of challenging conditions in the retail industry and the economy overall;
we may not be able to find suitable sites available for leasing within our existing market areas, and our distribution capabilities may limit our ability to expand beyond our current market areas;
we may not be able to negotiate acceptable lease terms;
we may not be able to hire and retain qualified store personnel; and
we may not have the financial resources necessary to fund our expansion plans.

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In recent years, we have slowed our store openings and strategically closed certain stores as we maintained a cautious approach toward store expansion in the current retail environment, which included increasing e-commerce competition and the COVID-19 pandemic in fiscal 2020 and 2021. If we are unable to resume our store expansion efforts for any of the reasons discussed above, our operating results could suffer.

In addition, our expansion in new and existing markets may present competitive, merchandising, marketing and distribution challenges that differ from our current challenges. These potential new challenges include competition among our stores, added strain on our distribution center, additional information to be processed by our information technology (“IT”) systems, diversion of management attention from ongoing operations and challenges associated with managing a larger enterprise. We face additional challenges in entering new markets, including consumers’ lack of awareness of us, difficulties in hiring personnel and problems due to our unfamiliarity with local real estate markets and demographics. New markets may also have different competitive conditions, consumer tastes, responsiveness to print advertising and discretionary spending patterns than our existing markets. To the extent that we are not able to meet these new challenges, our net sales could decrease and our operating expense could increase.

Because many of the products that we sell are manufactured abroad, we may face delays, increased cost or quality control deficiencies in the importation of these products, which could reduce our net sales and profitability.

Like many other sporting goods retailers, a significant portion of the products that we purchase for resale, including those purchased from domestic suppliers, is manufactured abroad in Asia. In addition, we believe most, if not all, of our private label merchandise is manufactured abroad. Foreign imports subject us to the risks of changes in, or the imposition of new, import tariffs, duties or quotas, new restrictions on imports, loss of “most favored nation” status with the United States for a particular foreign country, antidumping or countervailing duty orders, retaliatory actions in response to illegal trade practices, work stoppages, delays in shipment, freight expense increases, product cost increases due to foreign currency fluctuations or revaluations, public health issues that could lead to temporary closures of or delays at facilities or shipping ports, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, and other economic uncertainties. If any of these or other factors were to cause a disruption of trade from the countries in which the suppliers of our vendors are located or impose additional costs in connection with the purchase of our products, we may be unable to obtain sufficient quantities of products to satisfy our requirements and our results of operations could be adversely affected.

To the extent that any foreign manufacturers which supply products to us directly or indirectly utilize quality control standards, labor practices or other practices that vary from those legally mandated or commonly accepted in the United States, we could be hurt by any resulting negative publicity or increases in operating costs or, in some cases, face potential liability.

In addition, instability in the political and economic environments of the countries in which our vendors or we obtain our products, or general international instability, could have an adverse effect on our operations. In the event of disruptions or delays in supply due to economic or political conditions in foreign countries, such disruptions or delays could adversely affect our results of operations unless and until alternative supply arrangements could be made. In addition, merchandise purchased from alternative sources may be of lesser quality or more expensive than the merchandise we currently purchase abroad.

Disruptions in transportation, including disruptions at shipping ports through which our products are imported, could prevent us from timely distribution and delivery of inventory, which could reduce our net sales and profitability.

A substantial amount of our inventory is manufactured abroad. From time to time, shipping ports experience capacity constraints, labor strikes, work stoppages or other disruptions that may delay the delivery of imported products. A contract dispute at the ports through which our products travel, particularly the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, could lead to protracted delays in the movement of our products, which could further delay the delivery of products to our stores and impact net sales and profitability. In addition, other conditions outside of our control, such as adverse weather conditions, acts of terrorism or public health issues that could lead to temporary closures of or delays at facilities or shipping ports, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, could significantly disrupt operations at shipping ports or otherwise impact transportation of the imported merchandise we sell. During the second half of fiscal 2021, we experienced significant shipping delays of products sourced from overseas vendors to be received at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, which reflected increased shipping volume and insufficient labor resources at the ports that have significantly increased cargo backlogs. These factors, in addition to workforce shortages in the trucking industry, have limited our ability to obtain desired quantities of inventory for various merchandise categories. While we have generally been able to sufficiently stock product in our stores to meet most consumer demand during the pandemic, future prolonged and sustained delays in product reaching our stores from overseas vendors, particularly during the holiday season, could result in our inability to obtain adequate levels of merchandise inventories to meet our consumers’ needs, which could have an adverse impact on our net sales and profitability.

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Our costs may change as a result of currency exchange rate fluctuations or inflation in the purchase cost of merchandise manufactured abroad.

We and our suppliers source goods from various countries, including Asia, and thus changes in the value of the U.S. dollar compared to other currencies, or foreign labor and raw material cost inflation, may affect the cost of goods that we purchase. If the cost of goods that we purchase increases, we may not be able to similarly increase the retail prices of goods that we charge consumers without impacting our sales and our operating profits may suffer.

Increases in transportation costs due to rising fuel costs, climate change regulation and other factors may negatively impact our operating results.

We rely upon various means of transportation, including ship and truck, to deliver products from vendors to our distribution center and from our distribution center to our stores. Consequently, our results can vary depending upon the price of fuel. The price of oil has fluctuated drastically over the last few years, creating volatility in our fuel costs. In addition, efforts to combat climate change through reduction of greenhouse gases may result in higher fuel costs through taxation or other means. Any such future increases in fuel costs would increase our transportation costs for delivery of product to our distribution center and distribution to our stores, as well as our vendors’ transportation costs, which could decrease our operating profits.

In addition, labor shortages or other factors in the transportation industry could negatively affect transportation costs and our ability to supply our stores in a timely manner. In particular, our business is highly dependent on the trucking industry to deliver products to our distribution center and our stores. Our operating results may be adversely affected if we or our vendors are unable to secure adequate trucking resources at competitive prices to fulfill our delivery schedules to our distribution center or stores.

Risks Related to Our Capital Structure

Our future cash flows may not be sufficient to meet our obligations and we might have difficulty obtaining more financing or refinancing any existing indebtedness on favorable terms.

As of January 2, 2022, our long-term revolving credit borrowings outstanding were zero. However, we have historically maintained a leveraged financial position. This means:

our ability to obtain financing in the future for working capital, capital expenditures and general corporate purposes might be impeded;
we are more vulnerable to economic downturns and our ability to withstand competitive pressures is limited; and
we are more vulnerable to increases in interest rates, which may affect our interest expense and negatively impact our operating results.

If our business declines, our future cash flows might not be sufficient to meet our obligations and commitments.

If we fail to make any required payment under our revolving credit facility, our debt payments may be accelerated under this agreement. In addition, in the event of bankruptcy, insolvency or a material breach of any covenant contained in our revolving credit facility, our debt may be accelerated. This acceleration could also result in the acceleration of other indebtedness that we may have outstanding at that time.

The level of our indebtedness, and our ability to service our indebtedness, is directly affected by our cash flows from operations. If we are unable to generate sufficient cash flows from operations to meet our obligations, commitments and covenants of our revolving credit facility, we may be required to refinance or restructure our indebtedness, raise additional debt or equity capital, sell material assets or operations, delay or forego expansion opportunities, or cease or curtail our quarterly dividends or share repurchase plans. These alternative strategies might not be effected on satisfactory terms, if at all.

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The terms of our revolving credit facility impose operating and financial restrictions on us, which may impair our ability to respond to changing business and economic conditions.

The terms of our revolving credit facility impose operating and financial restrictions on us, including, among other things, covenants that require us to maintain a fixed-charge coverage ratio of not less than 1.0 to 1.0 in certain circumstances, restrictions on our ability to incur liens, incur additional indebtedness, transfer or dispose of assets, change the nature of the business, guarantee obligations, pay dividends or make other distributions or repurchase stock, and make advances, loans or investments. For example, our ability to engage in the foregoing transactions will depend upon, among other things, our level of indebtedness at the time of the proposed transaction and whether we are in default under our revolving credit facility. As a result, our ability to respond to changing business and economic conditions and to secure additional financing, if needed, may be significantly restricted, and we may be prevented from engaging in transactions that might further our growth strategy or otherwise benefit us and our stockholders without obtaining consent from our lenders. In addition, our revolving credit facility is secured by a perfected security interest in our assets. In the event of our insolvency, liquidation, dissolution or reorganization, the lenders under our revolving credit facility would be entitled to payment in full from our assets before distributions, if any, were made to our stockholders.

Disruptions in the economy and financial markets may adversely impact our lenders.

Volatility in capital and credit markets can impact the ability of financial institutions to meet their lending obligations. Based on information available to us, the lender under our revolving credit facility is currently able to fulfill its commitments thereunder. However, circumstances could arise that may impact its ability to fund its obligations in the future. Although we believe the commitments from our lenders under the revolving credit facility, together with our cash on hand and anticipated operating cash flows, should be sufficient to meet our near-term borrowing requirements, if Bank of America, National Association, our lender, or any other lender under the credit facility from time to time, is for any reason unable to perform its lending or administrative commitments under the facility, then disruptions to our business could result and may require us to replace this facility with a new facility or to raise capital from alternative sources on less favorable terms, including higher rates of interest.

Risks Related to Regulatory, Legislative and Legal Matters

Current and future government regulation may negatively impact demand for our products and increase our cost of conducting business.

The conduct of our business, and the distribution, sale, advertising, labeling, safety, transportation and use of many of our products are subject to various laws and regulations administered by federal, state and local governmental agencies in the United States, as well as regulations administered by various youth sports leagues and organizations. These laws and regulations may change, sometimes dramatically, as a result of political, economic or social events, such as the state and local stay-at-home orders issued in our markets in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Changes in laws, regulations or governmental policy may alter the environment in which we do business and the demand for our products and, therefore, may impact our financial results or increase our liabilities. Some of these laws and regulations include:

laws and regulations governing how our stores may operate during the COVID-19 pandemic;
laws and regulations governing the manner in which we advertise or sell our products;
laws and regulations that prohibit or limit the sale, in certain localities, of certain products we offer, such as firearm-related products;
laws and regulations governing the activities for which we sell products, such as hunting and fishing;
laws and regulations governing consumer products generally, such as the federal Consumer Product Safety Act and Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, as well as similar state laws;
labor and employment laws, such as minimum wage or living wage laws, paid time off and other wage and hour laws;
laws requiring mandatory health insurance for employees, such as the Affordable Care Act;
U.S. customs laws and regulations pertaining to duties and tariffs, including proper item classification, quotas and payment of duties and tariffs; and
laws and regulations governing consumer privacy, such as the California Consumer Privacy Act.

Changes in these and other laws and regulations or additional regulation could cause the demand for and sales of our products to decrease. Moreover, complying with increased or changed regulations could cause our cost of obtaining products and our operating expense to increase. This could adversely affect our net sales and profitability.

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We may be subject to periodic litigation that may adversely affect our business and financial performance.

From time to time, we may be involved in lawsuits and regulatory actions relating to our business, certain of which may be maintained in jurisdictions with reputations for aggressive application of laws and procedures against corporate defendants. Due to the inherent uncertainties of litigation and regulatory proceedings, we cannot accurately predict the ultimate outcome of any such proceedings. An unfavorable outcome could have a material adverse impact on our business, results of operations and financial condition. In addition, regardless of the outcome of any litigation or regulatory proceedings, these proceedings could result in substantial costs and may require that we devote substantial resources to defend against these claims, which could impact our results of operations.

In particular, we may be involved in lawsuits related to employment, advertising and other matters, including class action lawsuits brought against us for alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, state wage and hour laws, state or federal advertising laws and other laws. An unfavorable outcome or settlement in any such proceeding could, in addition to requiring us to pay any settlement or judgment amount, increase our operating expense as a consequence of any resulting changes we might be required to make in employment, advertising or other business practices.

In addition, we sell products manufactured by third parties, some of which may be defective. Many such products are manufactured overseas in countries which may utilize quality control standards that vary from those legally allowed or commonly accepted in the United States, which may increase our risk that such products may be defective. If any products that we sell were to cause physical injury or injury to property, the injured party or parties could bring claims against us as the retailer of the products based upon strict product liability. In addition, our products are subject to the federal Consumer Product Safety Act and the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, which empower the Consumer Product Safety Commission to protect consumers from hazardous products. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has the authority to exclude from the market and recall certain consumer products that are found to be hazardous. Similar laws exist in some states and cities in the United States. If we fail to comply with government and industry safety standards or reporting requirements, we may be subject to claims, lawsuits, product recalls, fines and negative publicity that could harm our results of operations and financial condition.

We also sell firearm-related products, which may be associated with an increased risk of injury and related lawsuits. We may incur losses due to lawsuits relating to our compliance with firearm and ammunition laws as mandated by city, municipality, state and federal law, or the performance of background checks in connection with firearms or ammunition purchases, or the improper use of firearms sold by us. This may include, for example, lawsuits by individuals, government entities or other organizations attempting to recover damages or costs from firearms manufacturers and retailers relating to the sale, advertisement, misuse, loss, or release of firearms or ammunition. Commencement of these lawsuits against us could reduce our net sales and decrease our profitability. The sale of firearm-related products also may present reputational risks and negative publicity that could affect consumers’ perception of us or willingness to shop with us, which could harm our results of operations and financial condition.

The insurance coverage under policies that we maintain or that our product vendors maintain and under which we may be insured may not be adequate to cover claims that could be asserted against us. If a successful claim was to be brought against us in excess of our insurance coverage, or for which we have no insurance coverage, it could harm our business. Even unsuccessful claims could result in the expenditure of substantial funds and management time and could have a negative impact on our business. In addition, the cost of maintaining adequate insurance coverage could increase based on claims asserted against us, the type of products that we sell and market conditions generally.

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The sale of firearm-related products is subject to strict regulation, which could affect our operating results.

Because we sell firearm-related products, we are required to comply with federal, state and local laws and regulations pertaining to the purchase, storage, transfer and sale of such products. These laws and regulations require us to, among other things, obtain and maintain federal, state or local permits or licenses in order to sell firearms or ammunition, ensure that certain employees obtain licenses to sell firearms or ammunition, ensure that all purchasers of firearms are subjected to a pre-sale background check and other requirements, record the details of each firearm sale on appropriate government-issued forms, record each receipt or transfer of a firearm at our distribution center or any store location on acquisition and disposition records, and maintain these records for a specified period of time. Additionally, in certain jurisdictions we are required to obtain a license to sell ammunition or record the details of each ammunition sale and maintain these records for a specified period of time. We also are required to timely respond to traces of firearms by law enforcement agencies. Over the past several years, the purchase and sale of firearm-related products has been the subject of increased federal, state and local regulation, such as requirements related to performing a safe-handling demonstration of firearms in California, new minimum age restriction laws, ammunition sales laws, and new security laws. These regulatory efforts are likely to continue in our current markets and other markets into which we may expand. If enacted, new laws and regulations could limit the types of firearm-related products that we are permitted to purchase and sell, impose new restrictions and requirements on the manner in which we purchase, sell and store these products, increase regulatory fees charged to the consumer and impact our ability to offer these products in certain retail locations or markets. If we fail to comply with existing or newly enacted laws and regulations relating to the purchase and sale of firearm-related products, our permits or licenses to sell firearm-related products at our stores or maintain inventory of firearm-related products at our distribution center may be suspended or revoked. We may also incur losses related to these products if we fail to obtain or timely renew a necessary license. If this occurs, our net sales and profitability could suffer. Further, complying with increased regulation relating to the sale of firearm-related products could cause our operating expense to increase and this could adversely affect our results of operations.

Risks Related to Investing in Our Common Stock

The declaration of discretionary dividend payments or the repurchase of our common stock pursuant to our share repurchase program may not continue.

We currently pay quarterly dividends subject to capital availability and periodic determinations by our Board of Directors that cash dividends are in the best interest of us and our stockholders. In fiscal 2021, we also paid two special dividends. Our dividend policy may be affected by, among other items, business conditions, our financial condition, our views on potential future capital requirements, the terms of our debt instruments, legal risks, changes in federal income tax law and challenges to our business model. In early fiscal 2020, we suspended dividend payments in an effort to preserve capital in response to the initial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. While we have since reinstated and increased our quarterly dividend and paid special dividends, our dividend policy may change from time to time and we may or may not continue to declare discretionary dividend payments. Additionally, although we repurchased shares in fiscal 2021 pursuant to our share repurchase program authorized by our Board of Directors, we are not obligated to make any purchases under the program and we may reduce the amount of purchases we make under the program or discontinue the program at any time.

Our anti-takeover provisions could prevent or delay a change in control of our Company, even if such change of control would be beneficial to our stockholders.

Provisions of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws as well as provisions of Delaware law could discourage, delay or prevent a merger, acquisition or other change in control of our Company, even if such change in control would be beneficial to our stockholders. The provisions of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation, amended and restated bylaws and Delaware law that could discourage, delay or prevent a merger, acquisition or other change in control include:

a Board of Directors that is classified such that two or three of the seven directors, depending on classification, are elected each year and each director is elected for a three-year term;
limitations on the ability of stockholders to call special meetings of stockholders;
prohibition of stockholder action by written consent and requiring all stockholder actions to be taken at a meeting of our stockholders;
a requirement in our certificate of incorporation that stockholder amendments to our bylaws and certain amendments to our certificate of incorporation must be approved by 80% of the outstanding shares of our capital stock;
authorization of the issuance of “blank check” preferred stock that could be issued by our Board of Directors to increase the number of outstanding shares and thwart a takeover attempt; and
establishment of advance notice requirements for nominations for election to the Board of Directors or for proposing matters that can be acted upon by stockholders at stockholder meetings.

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In addition, Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporations Law limits business combination transactions with 15% stockholders that have not been approved by the Board of Directors. These provisions and other similar provisions make it more difficult for a third party to acquire us without negotiation. These provisions may apply even if the transaction may be considered beneficial by some stockholders.

Significant stockholders or potential stockholders may attempt to effect changes or acquire control over our Company, which could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.

Stockholders may from time to time attempt to effect changes, engage in proxy solicitations or advance stockholder proposals. Responding to proxy contests and other actions by activist stockholders can be costly and time-consuming, disrupting our operations and diverting the attention of our Board of Directors and senior management from the pursuit of business strategies. As a result, stockholder campaigns could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.

General Risk Factors

Disruptions in the overall economy and the financial markets may adversely impact our business and results of operations.

The retail industry can be greatly affected by macroeconomic factors, including changes in national, regional and local economic conditions, as well as consumers’ perceptions of such economic factors. In general, sales represent discretionary spending by our customers. Discretionary spending is affected by many factors, including general business conditions, interest rates, inflation, consumer debt levels, the availability of consumer credit, currency exchange rates, taxation, gasoline prices, income, unemployment trends, home values and other matters that influence consumer confidence and spending. Many of these factors are outside of our control. We are experiencing, and may continue to experience, increased inflationary pressure on our product costs. The higher product purchase costs we are experiencing reflect increased labor and freight costs initially resulting from shortages related to COVID-19, as well as strong consumer demand. Shipping capacity constraints and labor shortages at the ports are also contributing to higher freight costs and are adversely impacting our ability to obtain sufficient quantities of certain products in our stores to meet the higher demand. Our customers’ purchases of discretionary items, including our products, generally decline during periods when disposable income is lower, when prices increase in response to rising costs, or in periods of actual or perceived unfavorable economic conditions. Deterioration of the consumer spending environment could be harmful to our financial position and results of operations, could adversely affect our ability to comply with covenants under our credit facility and, as a result, may negatively impact our ability to continue payment of our quarterly dividend, to repurchase our stock and to open additional stores in the manner that we have in the past.

Our quarterly net sales and operating results, reported and expected, can fluctuate substantially, which may adversely affect the market price of our common stock.

Our net and same store sales and results of operations, reported and expected, have fluctuated in the past and will vary from quarter to quarter in the future. These fluctuations may adversely affect our financial condition and the market price of our common stock. A number of factors, many of which are outside our control, have historically caused and will continue to cause variations in our quarterly net and same store sales and operating results, including changes in consumer demand for our products, competition in our markets, inflation, increases in operating expense, changes in pricing or other actions taken by our competitors, weather conditions in our markets, natural disasters, litigation, political events, government regulation, changes in accounting standards, changes in management’s accounting estimates or assumptions and economic conditions, including those specific to our western United States markets.

If we lose key management or are unable to attract and retain the talent required for our business, our operating results could suffer.

Our future success depends to a significant degree on the skills, experience and efforts of Steven G. Miller, our Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, and other key personnel with longstanding tenure who are not obligated to stay with us. The loss of the services of any of these individuals for any reason could harm our business and operations. In addition, as our business grows, we will need to attract and retain additional qualified personnel in a timely manner and develop, train and manage an increasing number of management-level sales associates and other employees. Competition for qualified employees and increases in the cost of living in our market areas could require us to pay higher wages and benefits to attract a sufficient number of qualified employees, and increases in the minimum wage or other employee benefit costs could increase our operating expense. If we are unable to attract and retain personnel as needed in the future, our net sales growth and operating results may suffer.

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Our information technology systems are critical to the functioning of our business and are vulnerable to failure, damage, theft or intrusion that could harm our operations.

Our success, in particular our ability to successfully manage inventory levels and process customer transactions, largely depends upon the efficient operation of our IT systems. We use IT systems to track inventory at the store level and aggregate daily sales information, communicate customer information and process purchasing card transactions, process shipments of goods and report financial information. These systems and our operations are vulnerable to damage or interruption from:

earthquake, fire, flood and other natural disasters;
failed system implementations;
power loss, computer systems failures, Internet and telecommunications or data network failures, third-party vendor system failures, operator negligence, improper operation by or supervision of employees;
physical and electronic loss of data, security breaches, misappropriation, data theft and similar events; and
computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses, intrusions, or other external threats.

Any failure of our IT systems that causes an interruption in our operations, loss of data, or a decrease in inventory tracking could result in reduced net sales and profitability. Additionally, if any data intrusion, security breach, misappropriation or theft were to occur, we could incur significant costs in responding to such event, including responding to any resulting claims, litigation or investigations, which could harm our operating results.

Breach of data security or other unauthorized disclosure of sensitive or confidential information could harm our business, employees and standing with our customers.

The protection of our customer, employee and business data is critical to us. Our business, like that of most retailers, involves the receipt, storage and transmission of customers’ personal information, consumer preferences and payment card information, as well as confidential information about our employees, our suppliers and our Company. We rely on commercially available systems, software, tools and monitoring to provide security for processing, transmission and storage of all such data, including confidential information. Despite the security measures we have in place, our facilities and systems, and those of our third-party service providers, may be vulnerable to security breaches, acts of vandalism, computer viruses, data theft, misplaced or lost data, programming or human errors, or other similar events. Unauthorized parties may attempt to gain access to our systems or information through fraud or other means, including deceiving our employees or third-party service providers. The methods used to obtain unauthorized access, disable or degrade service, or sabotage systems are also constantly changing and evolving, and may be difficult to anticipate or detect for long periods of time. We have implemented and regularly review and update our control systems, processes and procedures to protect against unauthorized access to or use of secured data and to prevent data loss. However, the ever-evolving threats mean we must continually evaluate and adapt our systems and processes, and there is no guarantee that they will be adequate to safeguard against all data security breaches or misuses of data. Any security breach involving the misappropriation, loss or other unauthorized disclosure of customer payment card or personal information or employee personal or confidential information, whether by us or our vendors, could damage our reputation, expose us to risk of regulatory enforcement, litigation and liability, disrupt our operations, harm our business and have an adverse impact upon our net sales and profitability. In addition, as the regulatory environment related to information security, data collection and use, and privacy becomes increasingly rigorous, with new and changing requirements applicable to our business, compliance with those requirements could also result in additional costs.

Terrorism and the uncertainty of war may harm our operating results.

Terrorist attacks or acts of war may cause damage or disruption to us and our employees, facilities, information systems, vendors and customers, which could significantly impact our net sales, profitability and financial condition. Terrorist attacks could also have a significant impact on ports or international shipping on which we are substantially dependent for the supply of much of the merchandise we sell. Our corporate headquarters is located near Los Angeles International Airport and the Port of Los Angeles, which have been identified as potential terrorism targets. The potential for future terrorist attacks, the national and international responses to terrorist attacks and other acts of war or hostility may cause greater uncertainty and cause our business to suffer in ways that we cannot currently predict. Military action taken in response to such attacks could also have a short or long-term negative economic impact upon the financial markets, international shipping and our business in general.

20


Changes in accounting standards and subjective assumptions, estimates and judgments by management related to complex accounting matters could significantly affect our financial results.

Accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America and related accounting standards, implementation guidelines and interpretations with regard to a wide range of matters that are relevant to our business, such as revenue recognition; income taxes; the carrying amount of merchandise inventories, property and equipment, lease assets and lease liabilities; valuation allowances for receivables, sales returns and deferred income tax assets; estimates related to stored-value card breakage and the valuation of share-based compensation awards; and obligations related to litigation, self-insurance liabilities and employee benefits are highly complex and may involve many subjective assumptions, estimates and judgments by our management. Changes in these rules or their interpretation or changes in underlying assumptions, estimates or judgments by our management could significantly change our reported or expected financial performance.

ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

None.

ITEM 2. PROPERTIES

Properties

Our primary corporate headquarters are located at 2525 East El Segundo Boulevard, El Segundo, California 90245, with a satellite office located nearby at 2401 East El Segundo Boulevard, El Segundo, California 90245. We lease 55,000 square feet of office and adjoining retail space related to our primary corporate headquarters, and we lease 11,500 square feet related to our satellite office. The lease for the primary corporate headquarters is scheduled to expire on February 28, 2026 and provides us with one five-year renewal option, while the lease for the satellite office is scheduled to expire on February 28, 2026 and provides us with no remaining options.

We own a parcel of land with an existing building adjacent to our corporate headquarters location. We currently lease a portion of the parcel of land, including the building, to a restaurant retailer. The lease is scheduled to expire on February 28, 2030, or earlier by providing the lessee with a one-year written notice. The remaining portion of the parcel of land includes a parking lot that we currently use for our corporate headquarters.

Our distribution facility is located in Riverside, California and has 953,000 square feet of warehouse and office space. Our lease for the distribution center is scheduled to expire on August 31, 2025 and includes one additional five-year renewal option. We lease 172,000 square feet of additional distribution space adjacent to our distribution center in Riverside, California that enables us to more efficiently fulfill our expanding distribution requirements. Our lease for this additional facility is scheduled to expire on August 31, 2025 and includes three additional five-year renewal options.

We lease all of our retail store sites. Most of our store leases contain multiple fixed-price renewal options having a typical duration of five years per option. As of January 2, 2022, of our total store leases, 53 leases are due to expire in the next five years without renewal options. In most cases, as current leases expire, we believe we will be able to obtain lease renewals for existing store locations or new leases for substantially equivalent locations in the same general area.

21


Our Stores

Throughout our history, we have focused on operating traditional, full-line sporting goods stores. Our stores generally range from 8,000 to 15,000 square feet and average approximately 11,000 square feet. Our typical store is located in either a free-standing street location or a multi-store shopping center. Our numerous convenient locations and accessible store format encourage frequent customer visits, resulting in approximately 25.2 million sales transactions and an average transaction size of approximately $46 in fiscal 2021. The following table details our store locations by state as of January 2, 2022:

 

State

 

Year
Entered

 

Number
of Stores

 

 

Percentage of Total
Number of Stores

 

California

 

1955

 

 

222

 

 

 

51.5

%

Washington

 

1984

 

 

46

 

 

 

10.7

 

Arizona

 

1993

 

 

41

 

 

 

9.5

 

Oregon

 

1995

 

 

29

 

 

 

6.7

 

Colorado

 

2001

 

 

23

 

 

 

5.3

 

New Mexico

 

1995

 

 

19

 

 

 

4.4

 

Nevada

 

1978

 

 

18

 

 

 

4.2

 

Utah

 

1997

 

 

18

 

 

 

4.2

 

Idaho

 

1994

 

 

11

 

 

 

2.6

 

Texas

 

1995

 

 

3

 

 

 

0.7

 

Wyoming

 

2010

 

 

1

 

 

 

0.2

 

Total

 

 

 

 

431

 

 

 

100.0

%

Our same store sales per square foot were approximately $234 for fiscal 2021. Our same store sales per square foot combined with our efficient store-level operations and low store maintenance costs have allowed us to historically generate strong store-level returns.

The Company is involved in various claims and legal actions arising in the ordinary course of business. In the opinion of management, the ultimate disposition of these matters is not expected to have a material adverse effect on the Company’s results of operations or financial condition.

ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

None.

22


PART II

 

 

ITEM 5. MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

Our common stock, par value $0.01 per share, trades on The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC under the symbol “BGFV.”

As of February 22, 2022, there were 22,219,839 shares of common stock outstanding held by 473 holders of record.

Dividend Policy

Dividends are paid at the discretion of the Board of Directors. In the first quarter of fiscal 2020, we paid a quarterly cash dividend of $0.05 per share of outstanding common stock. In the second quarter of fiscal 2020, our Board of Directors suspended our quarterly cash dividend as a result of COVID-19. In response to the improved strength of our balance sheet, operations and cash flow generation, in the third quarter of fiscal 2020, our Board of Directors reinstated our quarterly cash dividend at the previous rate of $0.05 per share of outstanding common stock and declared a cash dividend of $0.10 per share of outstanding common stock. The $0.10 cash dividend reflected our reinstated quarterly cash dividend of $0.05 per share of outstanding common stock for the third quarter of fiscal 2020, and also included an additional $0.05 per share in recognition that we did not pay a dividend in the second quarter of fiscal 2020. In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020, first quarter of fiscal 2021, second quarter of fiscal 2021 and third quarter of fiscal 2021, our Board of Directors declared increases in our quarterly cash dividends to $0.10 per share of outstanding common stock, $0.15 per share of outstanding common stock, $0.18 per share of outstanding common stock and $0.25 per share of outstanding common stock, respectively. Additionally, in the second quarter of fiscal 2021, our Board of Directors declared a special cash dividend of $1.00 per share of outstanding common stock, which was paid on June 1, 2021. In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021, our Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.25 per share of outstanding common stock, which was paid on December 15, 2021 to stockholders of record as of December 1, 2021, and also declared a special cash dividend of $1.00 per share of outstanding common stock, which was paid on December 1, 2021 to stockholders of record as of November 17, 2021. In the first quarter of fiscal 2022, our Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.25 per share of outstanding common stock, which will be paid on March 25, 2022 to stockholders of record as of March 11, 2022.

The agreement governing our revolving credit facility imposes restrictions on our ability to make dividend payments. For example, our ability to pay cash dividends on our common stock will depend upon, among other things, our compliance with certain availability and fixed charge coverage ratio requirements at the time of the proposed dividend or distribution, and whether we are in default under the agreement. Our future dividend policy will also depend on the requirements of any future credit or other financing agreements to which we may be a party and other factors considered relevant by our Board of Directors, including the General Corporation Law of the State of Delaware, which provides that dividends are only payable out of surplus or current net profits.

23


Issuer Purchases

The following tabular summary reflects our share repurchase activity during the fiscal quarter ended January 2, 2022:

ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

 

Period

 

Total Number
of Shares
Purchased

 

 

Average
Price Paid
per Share

 

 

Total Number of
Shares Purchased
as Part of Publicly
Announced Plans
or Programs
(1)(2)

 

 

Maximum Number (or
Approximate Dollar
Value) of Shares that
May Yet Be Purchased
Under the Plans or
Programs
(1)(2)(3)

 

October 4 – October 31

 

 

 

 

$

 

 

 

 

 

$

13,005,000

 

November 1 – November 28

 

 

 

 

$

 

 

 

 

 

$

13,005,000

 

November 29 – January 2

 

 

260,825

 

 

$

20.43

 

 

 

260,825

 

 

$

7,678,000

 

Total

 

 

260,825

 

 

 

 

 

 

260,825

 

 

$

7,678,000

 

 

(1)

In the first quarter of fiscal 2022, the Company’s Board of Directors authorized a new share repurchase program for the purchase of up to an additional $25.0 million of the Company’s common stock. This program replaced the Company’s previous share repurchase program, under which $7.7 million remained available for repurchase. All share repurchases shown in this table were made under the Company’s previous share repurchase program. Under these programs, the Company may purchase shares from time to time in the open market or in privately negotiated transactions in compliance with the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission. However, the timing and amount of such purchases, if any, would be at the discretion of the Company’s management and Board of Directors and would depend upon market conditions and other considerations. Since the inception of its initial share repurchase program in May 2006 through its previous share repurchase program as of January 2, 2022, the Company repurchased a total of 3,890,295 shares for $49.4 million.

(2)

The Company’s dividends and stock repurchases are generally funded by distributions from its subsidiary, Big 5 Corp. The Company’s Loan Agreement generally permits the Company to declare or pay cash dividends or repurchase stock only if, among other things, no default or event of default then exists or would arise from such dividend or repurchase of stock and, after giving effect to such dividend or repurchase, certain availability and/or fixed charge coverage ratio requirements are satisfied, although the Company is permitted to make up to $5.0 million of dividend payments or stock repurchases per year without satisfaction of the availability or fixed charge coverage ratio requirements, but dividends or stock repurchases made without satisfying the availability and/or fixed charge coverage ratio requirements will require the establishment of an additional reserve that will reduce borrowing availability under the Loan Agreement for 75 days.

(3)

This amount reflects the dollar value of shares remaining available to repurchase under the Company’s previous share repurchase program, which was replaced by a new share repurchase program in the first quarter of fiscal 2022.

 

ITEM 6. [RESERVED]

24


ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

Throughout this section, the Big 5 Sporting Goods Corporation (“we,” “our,” “us”) fiscal years ended January 2, 2022 and January 3, 2021 are referred to as fiscal 2021 and 2020, respectively. The following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations for fiscal 2021 and 2020 includes information with respect to our plans and strategies for our business and should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements and related notes, the risk factors and the cautionary statement regarding forward-looking information included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Our fiscal year ends on the Sunday nearest December 31. Fiscal 2021 included 52 weeks and fiscal 2020 included 53 weeks.

Impact of COVID-19

In March 2020, the World Health Organization declared the rapidly growing novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”) outbreak to be a global pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted health and economic conditions throughout the United States, as public concern about becoming ill with the virus has led to the issuance of recommendations and/or mandates from federal, state and local authorities to practice social distancing or self-quarantine.

Beginning on March 20, 2020 and continuing into the second quarter of fiscal 2020, we temporarily closed more than one-half of our retail store locations in response to state and local shelter orders related to the COVID-19 outbreak. We were subsequently able to gradually reopen all store locations based initially on qualifying as an “essential” business under applicable regulations and later as a result of the easing of regulatory restrictions on retail operations in our market areas. Throughout fiscal 2020, the pandemic and the shelter orders that were in place in our market areas negatively impacted customer traffic into the stores that were operating, and certain stores required additional closures during the remainder of the year. In an effort to promote social distancing protocols, we implemented reduced store hours for our open stores and limited the number of customers in our stores at any one time. While these temporary store closures, limited hours of operation and shelter orders in our market areas related to the initial COVID-19 outbreak had an unfavorable impact on our operations initially, as we began reopening stores we recognized significant shifts in consumer demand in favor of fitness and outdoor recreational products and we rapidly evolved our product assortment, which had a favorable impact on our operating results throughout the remainder of fiscal 2020. In fiscal 2021, as COVID-19 restrictions continued easing in many of our markets, we experienced strong consumer demand across a broad assortment of product categories, including increased consumer demand for team sports products, which was weak during the prior year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

During fiscal 2020, in response to COVID-19, we also initially took measures to reduce expense and preserve capital across the organization, including negotiating lease concessions with landlords that would reduce or defer our lease-related payments, scaling back merchandise inventory orders and extending payment terms with merchandise vendors, implementing temporary and permanent workforce reductions throughout the organization, reducing advertising and the amount of planned capital spending, and suspending our quarterly dividend payment, among other measures. Although a certain portion of the expense reduction initiatives only benefited the second quarter of fiscal 2020, the remainder of fiscal 2020 continued to reflect labor expense savings due primarily to continued reduced store operating hours throughout most of the period, as well as advertising expense savings due to significantly reduced advertising activity. In fiscal 2021, our labor expense gradually increased as we increased wage rates in a tightening labor market and increased our store operating hours compared to the same period in the prior year. While store operating hours were higher in fiscal 2021 compared with the same period last year, store operating hours remained below pre-pandemic levels for the comparable periods, and we expect this trend to continue during fiscal 2022. We continue to maintain reduced advertising expense in comparison to historical levels and expect this trend to remain during fiscal 2022 as we continue to evaluate the impact on our sales. We will continue to evaluate the impact of COVID-19 on our future operations.

The initial unfavorable impacts caused by the COVID-19 outbreak also led us to take various actions to enhance our liquidity. We initially increased borrowings and exercised the accordion feature under our previous revolving credit facility, and we drew down additional amounts that resulted in our highest borrowing level of $143.3 million as of March 31, 2020. However, with our favorable operating results throughout the remainder of fiscal 2020, we were able to fully repay our borrowings while increasing our levels of cash and cash equivalents. Our financial condition was further enhanced during fiscal 2021, reflecting our strong sales and operating cash flow for the period. As of January 2, 2022 and January 3, 2021, we had zero revolving credit borrowings and cash and cash equivalents of $97.4 million and $64.7 million, respectively.

25


A substantial amount of our inventory is manufactured abroad. COVID-19, and surging consumer demand initially associated with the pandemic, has impacted our supply chain for products sold, particularly those products that are sourced from Asia. To the extent one or more vendors is negatively impacted by continued supply chain disruptions or by COVID-19, including due to interruptions at or closure of those vendors’ distribution centers or manufacturing facilities, or we or our vendors are unable to obtain the necessary shipping capacity to transport products to our distribution center, we may be unable to maintain delivery schedules or adequate inventory in our stores. During the second half of fiscal 2021, we experienced significant shipping delays of products sourced from overseas vendors to be received at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, which reflected increased shipping volume and insufficient labor resources at the ports that have significantly increased cargo backlogs. These factors, in addition to workforce shortages in the trucking industry, have limited our ability to obtain desired quantities of inventory for various merchandise categories. While we have generally been able to sufficiently stock product in our stores to meet most consumer demand during the pandemic, future prolonged and sustained delays in product reaching our stores from overseas vendors, particularly during the holiday season, could result in our inability to obtain adequate levels of merchandise inventories to meet our consumers’ needs, which could have an adverse impact on our net sales and profitability.

Overview

We are a leading sporting goods retailer in the western United States, operating 431 stores and an e-commerce platform under the name “Big 5 Sporting Goods” as of January 2, 2022. We provide a full-line product offering in a traditional sporting goods store format that averages approximately 11,000 square feet. Through our e-commerce platform, we also offer selected products online. E-commerce sales for fiscal 2021 and 2020 were not material. Our product mix includes athletic shoes, apparel and accessories, as well as a broad selection of outdoor and athletic equipment for team sports, fitness, camping, hunting, fishing, home recreation, tennis, golf, and winter and summer recreation.

We believe that over our 67-year history we have developed a reputation with the competitive and recreational sporting goods customer as a convenient neighborhood sporting goods retailer that consistently delivers value on quality merchandise. Our stores carry a wide range of products at competitive prices from well-known brand name manufacturers, including adidas, Coleman, Columbia, Everlast, New Balance, Nike, Rawlings, Skechers, Spalding, Under Armour and Wilson. We also offer brand name merchandise produced exclusively for us, private label merchandise and specials on quality items we purchase through opportunistic buys of vendor over-stock and close-out merchandise. We reinforce our value reputation through digital marketing and print advertising in major and local newspapers and direct mailers, in an effort to generate customer traffic, drive sales and build brand awareness. We have gradually been decreasing our print advertising over recent years while simultaneously increasing our digital advertising, which we believe allows us to more effectively manage our advertising expense while expanding our consumer outreach. We also maintain social media sites to enhance distribution capabilities for our promotional offers and to enable communication with our customers.

Throughout our history, we have emphasized controlled growth. Our store openings during recent years reflect our cautious approach toward store expansion in the current retail environment, which includes increasing e-commerce competition, especially in response to changing consumer buying habits resulting from concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. The following table summarizes our store count for the periods presented:

 

 

 

Fiscal Year

 

 

 

2021

 

 

2020

 

Beginning of period

 

 

430

 

 

 

434

 

New stores

 

 

5

 

 

 

 

Stores relocated

 

 

(2

)

 

 

 

Stores closed

 

 

(2

)

 

 

(4

)

End of period

 

 

431

 

 

 

430

 

Stores opened (closed) per year, net

 

 

1

 

 

 

(4

)

 

(1)
Stores that are relocated are classified as new stores. Sales from the prior location are treated as sales from a closed store and thus are excluded from same store sales calculations.

For fiscal 2022, we anticipate opening approximately six new stores and closing two stores.

26


Executive Summary

Our increased net income for fiscal 2021 compared to fiscal 2020 was mainly attributable to higher net sales and merchandise margins, partially offset by higher selling and administrative expense year over year. Higher net sales in fiscal 2021 primarily reflected strong consumer demand for various sporting goods products as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and consumers’ desire to recreate and stay active. Merchandise margins increased in fiscal 2021 due primarily to reduced promotional activity, a shift in our product sales mix and higher sales prices in response to increases in product purchase costs. Selling and administrative expense for fiscal 2021 increased over the prior year mainly reflecting higher employee labor and benefit-related expense and higher company performance-based incentive accruals.

Net sales for fiscal 2021 increased 11.6% to $1,161.8 million compared to $1,041.2 million for fiscal 2020. The increase in net sales was primarily attributable to an increase in sales from same stores and added sales from new stores, partially offset by lower sales from closed stores. As a result of our fiscal calendar, net sales in fiscal 2020 also reflected one extra week of activity compared with fiscal 2021.
Our same store sales for fiscal 2021, which are computed on a comparable 52-week basis, increased 13.9% versus the prior year. We experienced strong same store sales increases for each of our major merchandise categories of apparel, footwear and hardgoods in fiscal 2021. Same store sales for a period reflect sales from stores that operated throughout the period as well as the full corresponding prior-year period, and same store sales comparisons exclude sales from stores closed during the comparable periods.
Gross profit for fiscal 2021 represented 37.5% of net sales, compared with 33.5% in the prior year. Merchandise margins were 250 basis points higher than the prior year, while occupancy expense as a percentage of net sales and distribution expense, including costs capitalized into inventory, as a percentage of net sales were lower compared with fiscal 2020.
Selling and administrative expense for fiscal 2021 increased 8.9% to $299.8 million, or 25.8% of net sales, compared to $275.4 million, or 26.5% of net sales, for fiscal 2020. The increase in selling and administrative expense primarily reflects higher employee labor expense, due in part to store closures in the prior year as a result of COVID-19, and higher company performance-based incentive accruals year over year.
Net income for fiscal 2021 was $102.4 million, or $4.55 per diluted share, compared to net income of $55.9 million, or $2.58 per diluted share, for fiscal 2020. The increase was driven primarily by increased net sales and merchandise margins, partially offset by increased selling and administrative expense in fiscal 2021.

Our principal liquidity requirements are for working capital, capital expenditures and cash dividends. We fund our liquidity requirements primarily through cash and cash equivalents, cash flows from operations and borrowings from our revolving credit facility.

Operating cash flow for fiscal 2021 was a positive $115.5 million compared to a positive $148.7 million in the prior year. The decrease in operating cash flow primarily reflected increased funding for merchandise inventory as a result of healthy consumer demand for various products, after reducing inventory in fiscal 2020 in response to COVID-19, partially offset by higher net income in fiscal 2021.
Capital expenditures for fiscal 2021 increased to $10.9 million from $7.3 million in fiscal 2020, primarily reflecting the opening of new stores in fiscal 2021 compared with fiscal 2020, in which no new stores were opened.
Borrowings under our credit facility were zero as of January 2, 2022 and January 3, 2021, which reflected a full pay-down of the credit facility since the end of the third quarter of fiscal 2020. We had cash and cash equivalents of $97.4 million and $64.7 million as of January 2, 2022 and January 3, 2021, respectively, which included cash equivalents of $75.0 million and $50.0 million, respectively, related to investments in highly-liquid U.S. Treasury bills.
We paid cash dividends in fiscal 2021 of $61.8 million, or $2.83 per share, compared with $5.5 million, or $0.25 per share, in fiscal 2020. In response to the improved strength of our balance sheet, operations and cash flow generation, in the first quarter of fiscal 2021, second quarter of fiscal 2021 and third quarter of fiscal 2021, our Board of Directors declared increases in our quarterly cash dividends to $0.15 per share of outstanding common stock, $0.18 per share of outstanding common stock and $0.25 per share of outstanding common stock, respectively. Additionally, in the second quarter of fiscal 2021, our Board of Directors declared a special cash dividend of $1.00 per share of outstanding common stock. In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021, our Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.25 per share of outstanding common stock and also declared a special cash dividend of $1.00 per share of outstanding common stock.
We repurchased 361,323 shares of common stock for $7.6 million in fiscal 2021.

27


Results of Operations

The following table sets forth selected items from our consolidated statements of operations by dollar and as a percentage of our net sales, and other financial data, for the periods indicated:

 

 

 

Fiscal Year (1)

 

 

 

2021

 

 

2020

 

 

 

(Dollars in thousands)

 

Statement of Operations Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net sales

 

$

1,161,820

 

 

 

100.0

%

 

$

1,041,212

 

 

 

100.0

%

Cost of sales (2)

 

 

725,991

 

 

 

62.5

 

 

 

692,041

 

 

 

66.5

 

Gross profit

 

 

435,829

 

 

 

37.5

 

 

 

349,171

 

 

 

33.5

 

Selling and administrative expense (3)

 

 

299,812

 

 

 

25.8

 

 

 

275,406

 

 

 

26.5

 

Other income

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(2,500

)

 

 

(0.2

)

Operating income

 

 

136,017

 

 

 

11.7

 

 

 

76,265

 

 

 

7.2

 

Interest expense

 

 

893

 

 

 

0.1

 

 

 

1,880

 

 

 

0.2

 

Income before income taxes

 

 

135,124

 

 

 

11.6

 

 

 

74,385

 

 

 

7.0

 

Income tax expense

 

 

32,738

 

 

 

2.8

 

 

 

18,445

 

 

 

1.8

 

Net income

 

$

102,386

 

 

 

8.8

%

 

$

55,940

 

 

 

5.2

%

Other Financial Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net sales change

 

 

 

 

 

11.6

%

 

 

 

 

 

4.5

%

Same store sales change (4)

 

 

 

 

 

13.9

%

 

 

 

 

 

3.0

%

 

(1)
Fiscal 2021 and 2020 included 52 weeks and 53 weeks, respectively.
(2)
Cost of sales includes the cost of merchandise, net of discounts or allowances earned, freight, inventory reserves, buying, distribution center expense, including depreciation, and store occupancy expense. Store occupancy expense includes rent, amortization of leasehold improvements, common area maintenance, property taxes and insurance.
(3)
Selling and administrative expense includes store-related expense, other than store occupancy expense, as well as advertising, depreciation and amortization, expense associated with operating our corporate headquarters and impairment charges, if any.
(4)
Same store sales for a period reflect net sales from stores that operated throughout the period as well as the full corresponding prior-year period and sales from e-commerce. For purposes of reporting same store sales comparisons to the prior year for fiscal 2021, we used comparable 52-week periods. For purposes of reporting same store sales comparisons to the prior year for fiscal 2020, we used comparable 53-week periods.

Net Sales. Net sales increased by $120.6 million, or 11.6%, to $1,161.8 million for fiscal 2021 from $1,041.2 million for fiscal 2020. The change in net sales was primarily attributable to the following:

Same store sales increased by $139.7 million, or 13.9%, for fiscal 2021 versus the comparable prior-year period. The increase in same store sales reflected the following:
o
We experienced strong same store sales increases for each of our major merchandise categories of apparel, footwear and hardgoods.
o
Continued healthy demand for many categories of sporting goods products, particularly winter-related products, was a result of COVID-19 and consumers’ desire to recreate and stay active during the pandemic, and increased consumer demand for team sports products was a result of COVID-19 restrictions easing in many of our markets over the course of the year. Sales were negatively impacted by an active wildfire season in some of our markets during the third quarter of fiscal 2021 that resulted in the closing of certain national parks and affected various outdoor activities, including camping and watersports.
o
The increase in same store sales in fiscal 2021 was based on a 52-week comparison to the prior fiscal year, which reflected temporary store closures related to COVID-19 in the prior year and unfavorable winter weather in the first quarter of fiscal 2020.
o
Same store sales for a period normally consist of sales for stores that operated throughout the period and the full corresponding prior-year period, along with sales from e-commerce. Same store sales comparisons exclude sales from stores permanently closed, or stores in the process of permanently closing, during the comparable periods. Sales from e-commerce in fiscal 2021 and 2020 were not material.
We experienced increased customer transactions and a slightly higher average sale per transaction in fiscal 2021 compared to the prior year.
The net sales increase in fiscal 2021 was partially offset by a reduction of $19.4 million in sales due to one less week of activity compared with fiscal 2020 as a result of the 53-week fiscal year in 2020.

28


Gross Profit. Gross profit increased by $86.6 million to $435.8 million, or 37.5% of net sales, in fiscal 2021 from $349.2 million, or 33.5% of net sales, in fiscal 2020. The change in gross profit was primarily attributable to the following:

Net sales increased by $120.6 million, or 11.6%, in fiscal 2021 compared to the prior year.
Merchandise margins, which exclude buying, occupancy and distribution expense, increased by a favorable 250 basis points compared with fiscal 2020, when merchandise margins increased by a favorable 190 basis points over the prior year. The increase primarily reflects lower promotional activities, a shift in our product sales mix and higher sales prices in response to increases in product purchase costs. The higher product purchase costs we are experiencing reflect increased labor and freight costs initially resulting from shortages related to COVID-19, as well as strong consumer demand. Shipping capacity constraints and labor shortages at the ports are also contributing to higher freight costs and are adversely impacting our ability to obtain sufficient quantities of certain products in our stores to meet the higher demand.
Distribution expense, including costs capitalized into inventory, decreased by $0.3 million, or a favorable 56 basis points, compared to the prior year. The decrease primarily reflected higher costs capitalized into inventory corresponding to the increase in merchandise inventories compared with fiscal 2020, largely offset by higher employee labor and benefit-related expense, as well as higher trucking and fuel expense, in order to meet the increased demand for our products. Higher fuel expense also resulted from gas price inflation, which we experienced over the last three quarters of fiscal 2021.
Store occupancy expense increased by $1.7 million, but declined by a favorable 83 basis points as a percentage of net sales, year over year in fiscal 2021. Store occupancy expense for fiscal 2020 reflected the favorable impact from lease concessions in the amount of $3.1 million that we negotiated in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Selling and Administrative Expense. Selling and administrative expense increased by $24.4 million, or 8.9%, to $299.8 million, or 25.8% of net sales, in fiscal 2021 from $275.4 million, or 26.5% of net sales, in fiscal 2020. The change in selling and administrative expense was primarily attributable to the following:

Store-related expense, excluding occupancy, increased by $17.1 million, due largely to increased employee labor and benefit-related expense as a result of increased store operating hours compared to the same period in the prior year that reflected temporary workforce reductions and reduced store operating hours in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and increased wage rates in a tightening labor market, as well as increases in credit card fees and business insurance premiums.
o
The increase in employee labor-related expense included wage pressures that continue to reflect the incremental impact of legislated minimum wage rate increases primarily in California, where over fifty percent of our stores are located. In April 2016, California passed legislation to enact additional state-wide minimum wage rate increases from $10.00 to $15.00 per hour to be implemented in annual increments through fiscal 2022, with annual increases of $1.00 per hour effective in fiscal 2019 through fiscal 2022. Additionally, certain other jurisdictions within California, including Los Angeles and San Francisco, as well as various other states in which we do business, are implementing their own scheduled increases, which may also include interim impacts effective at various points throughout the year. We estimate that the impact of the California state-wide minimum wage rate increase, combined with the impact of the additional minimum wage rate increases in certain other jurisdictions within California and other states, caused our labor expense to increase by approximately $1.9 million for fiscal 2021 compared with fiscal 2020.
o
The increase in employee labor and benefit-related expense included an increase in sick leave expense reflecting a California regulatory requirement that employers provide two weeks of COVID-19-related sick-time benefits to employees while they are self-quarantining.
o
The increase in employee labor and benefit-related expense also reflects an employee retention credit provided by the U.S. Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”) to provide relief for employers subject to closure due to the impact of COVID-19, which reduced employee labor and benefit-related expense by $0.9 million for fiscal 2020.
Administrative expense increased by $6.9 million, primarily attributable to an increase in company performance-based incentive accruals and certain increased staffing-related expenses, as well as comparison to an insurance recovery of $1.7 million recognized in fiscal 2020 related to a store damaged as a result of a fire.
Advertising expense increased by $0.3 million, due mainly to increased digital advertising in fiscal 2021, partially offset by lower print advertising in the prior fiscal year. Advertising expense in fiscal 2020 was significantly lower than fiscal 2019 as a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other Income. Other income in fiscal 2020 consisted of a cash condemnation settlement related to eminent domain proceedings, as more fully described in Note 12 to the Consolidated Financial Statements included in Part II, Item 8, Financial Statements and Supplementary Data, of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Interest Expense. Interest expense decreased to $0.9 million in fiscal 2021 compared with $1.9 million in fiscal 2020, primarily reflecting a zero balance in borrowings under our existing credit facility since July 2020.

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Income Taxes. The provision for income taxes increased to $32.7 million for fiscal 2021 compared to $18.4 million for fiscal 2020, primarily reflecting higher pre-tax income in fiscal 2021 compared to fiscal 2020. Our effective tax rate of 24.2% for fiscal 2021 compared with 24.8% for fiscal 2020. Our effective tax rate for fiscal 2021 reflects an increased tax benefit related to the deduction for share-based compensation, a $0.3 million favorable reduction of our previously established valuation allowance related to unused California Enterprise Zone Tax Credits and a $0.2 million disaster recovery credit related to fires in California. Our effective tax rate for fiscal 2020 reflects a $0.4 million favorable reduction of our previously established valuation allowance related to unused California Enterprise Zone Tax Credits and the write-off of deferred tax assets related to share-based compensation of $0.3 million. As a result of the U.S. Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act enacted on March 27, 2020, to provide relief from the impact of COVID-19, we amended our 2018 income tax return and our effective tax rate for fiscal 2020 reflects the carryback of our 2018 net operating loss to a period with a higher statutory income tax rate.

Liquidity and Capital Resources

Our principal liquidity requirements are for working capital, capital expenditures and cash dividends. We fund our liquidity requirements primarily through cash and cash equivalents, cash flows from operations and borrowings from our revolving credit facility. We believe our cash and cash equivalents, future cash flows from operations and borrowings from our revolving credit facility will be sufficient to fund our cash requirements for at least the next 12 months.

We ended fiscal 2021 and 2020 with $97.4 million and $64.7 million of cash and cash equivalents, respectively, and no revolving credit borrowings. The following table summarizes our cash flows from operating, investing and financing activities for each of the past two fiscal years:

 

 

 

Fiscal Year

 

 

 

2021

 

 

2020

 

 

 

(In thousands)

 

Total cash provided by (used in):

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating activities

 

$

115,528

 

 

$

148,743

 

Investing activities

 

 

(10,615

)

 

 

(5,360

)

Financing activities

 

 

(72,147

)

 

 

(86,952

)

Net increase in cash and cash equivalents

 

$

32,766

 

 

$

56,431

 

 

The seasonality of our business historically provides greater cash flows from operations during the holiday and winter selling season. We use operating cash flows and borrowings under our revolving credit facility, if necessary, to fund inventory increases in anticipation of the holidays and our inventory levels are normally at their highest in the months leading up to Christmas. As holiday sales typically reduce inventory levels, this reduction, combined with net income, historically provides us with strong cash flows from operations at the end of our fiscal year.

For fiscal 2021, as COVID-19 restrictions continued easing in many of our markets, we experienced continued strong consumer demand across a broad assortment of product categories, including increased consumer demand for team sports products, which was weak last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This strong consumer demand for fiscal 2021 contributed to higher sales and margins and increased net income year-over-year. After reducing merchandise inventory in fiscal 2020 in response to COVID-19, we increased purchases of merchandise inventory in fiscal 2021 to support the strong consumer demand. Although our operating cash flow for fiscal 2021 was healthy, reflecting our higher earnings, the increased funding of merchandise inventory for the year contributed to reduced operating cash flow compared to fiscal 2020.

For fiscal 2020, we experienced weak customer demand for winter-related products in the first quarter as a result of unfavorable warm and dry weather in most of our markets which contributed to higher merchandise inventory and lower operating cash flow compared to the first quarter of 2019. Also beginning on March 20, 2020, we temporarily closed more than one-half of our retail store locations in response to state and local shelter orders related to the COVID-19 outbreak and took measures to reduce expenses across the organization and enhance liquidity, including scaling back merchandise inventory orders and extending payment terms with merchandise vendors, among other measures. We were subsequently able to gradually reopen all store locations during the second quarter and, as we began reopening stores, we recognized significant increases in consumer demand. The combination of increasing sales and margins, reduced expenses and scaled back inventory purchases contributed to substantially higher operating cash flow for the second quarter and first half of fiscal 2020. In the second half of fiscal 2020, strong consumer demand related to COVID-19 continued to drive higher sales and margins which, combined with a reduced cost structure and lower merchandise inventory, produced meaningfully-higher operating cash flow for the year and enabled us to entirely pay down our credit facility borrowings.

30


Operating Activities. Operating cash flows for fiscal 2021 and 2020 were a positive $115.5 million and a positive $148.7 million, respectively. While we experienced strong cash flows from operating activities for both periods, the decrease in cash flow from operating activities for fiscal 2021 compared to fiscal 2020 primarily reflects increased funding for merchandise inventory as a result of strong consumer demand for various products, after reducing merchandise inventory in the prior year in response to COVID-19. The lower operating cash flow year over year also reflects decreased accrued expenses primarily related to taxes, partially offset by higher net income and decreased credit card receivables in fiscal 2021.

Investing Activities. Net cash used in investing activities for fiscal 2021 and 2020 was $10.6 million and $5.4 million, respectively. Capital expenditures, excluding non-cash acquisitions, represented substantially all of the cash used in investing activities for each period. In fiscal 2021, capital expenditures of $10.9 million were partially offset by a portion of settlement proceeds related to a civil unrest insurance recovery of $0.2 million, and in fiscal 2020, capital expenditures of $7.3 million were partially offset by proceeds from insurance recoveries of $1.8 million and a portion of settlement proceeds from an eminent domain condemnation of $0.2 million. Our capital spending is primarily to fund store-related remodeling, the opening of new stores, distribution center equipment, and computer hardware and software purchases. Capital expenditures by category for each of the last two fiscal years are as follows:

 

 

Fiscal Year

 

 

 

2021

 

 

2020

 

 

 

(In thousands)

 

Store-related remodels

 

$

5,381

 

 

$

4,849

 

New stores

 

 

2,727

 

 

 

169

 

Computer hardware, software and other

 

 

1,579

 

 

 

1,489

 

Distribution center

 

 

1,177

 

 

 

840

 

Total

 

$

10,864

 

 

$

7,347

 

 

Capital expenditures in both fiscal years included investment in existing store remodeling to support our merchandising initiatives and enhancement of information security measures to support our infrastructure. Our capital expenditures included five new stores, including relocations, in fiscal 2021 and, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, our capital expenditures included no new stores in fiscal 2020.

Financing Activities. Financing cash flows for fiscal 2021 and 2020 were a negative $72.1 million and a negative $87.0 million, respectively. For fiscal 2021, net cash was used primarily to fund dividend payments, treasury stock purchases and finance lease payments, partially offset by proceeds received from the exercise of share option awards. For fiscal 2020, net cash was used primarily to pay down borrowings under the credit facility and fund payments of outstanding checks, dividend payments and finance lease payments. The decreased cash flow used in financing activities for fiscal 2021 compared to the prior year primarily reflects a full pay-down of borrowings under the credit facility during fiscal 2020 to zero, partially offset by substantially higher dividends paid in fiscal 2021, as a result of improved profitability and cash generation.

As of January 2, 2022, we had no revolving credit borrowings and letter of credit commitments of $1.1 million outstanding. These balances compare to no revolving credit borrowings and letter of credit commitments of $2.6 million outstanding as of January 3, 2021.

In the first quarter of fiscal 2020, we paid a quarterly cash dividend of $0.05 per share of outstanding common stock. In the second quarter of fiscal 2020, our Board of Directors suspended our quarterly cash dividend as a result of COVID-19. In response to the improved strength of our balance sheet, operations and cash flow generation, in the third quarter of fiscal 2020, our Board of Directors reinstated our quarterly cash dividend at the previous rate of $0.05 per share of outstanding common stock and declared a cash dividend of $0.10 per share of outstanding common stock. The $0.10 cash dividend reflected our reinstated quarterly cash dividend of $0.05 per share of outstanding common stock for the third quarter of fiscal 2020, and also included an additional $0.05 per share in recognition that we did not pay a dividend in the second quarter of fiscal 2020. In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020, first quarter of fiscal 2021, second quarter of fiscal 2021 and third quarter of fiscal 2021, our Board of Directors declared increases in our quarterly cash dividends to $0.10 per share of outstanding common stock, $0.15 per share of outstanding common stock, $0.18 per share of outstanding common stock and $0.25 per share of outstanding common stock, respectively. Additionally, in the second quarter of fiscal 2021, our Board of Directors declared a special cash dividend of $1.00 per share of outstanding common stock. In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021, our Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.25 per share of outstanding common stock and also declared a special cash dividend of $1.00 per share of outstanding common stock. In the first quarter of fiscal 2022, our Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.25 per share of outstanding common stock, which will be paid on March 25, 2022 to stockholders of record as of March 11, 2022.

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Periodically, we repurchase our common stock in the open market pursuant to programs approved by our Board of Directors. We may repurchase our common stock for a variety of reasons, including, among other things, our alternative cash requirements, existing business conditions and the current market price of our stock. In fiscal 2016, our Board of Directors authorized a share repurchase program for the purchase of up to $25.0 million of our common stock, which was in effect through the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021 and under which a total of $7.7 million remained available for share repurchases as of January 2, 2022. In the first quarter of fiscal 2022, our Board of Directors authorized a new share repurchase program of up to $25.0 million of our common stock, which replaced the previous share repurchase program. Under these programs, we may purchase shares from time to time in the open market or in privately negotiated transactions in compliance with the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission. However, the timing and amount of such purchases, if any, would be at the discretion of our management and Board of Directors, and would depend on market conditions and other considerations. We repurchased 361,323 shares of common stock in fiscal 2021 and no shares of common stock in fiscal 2020. Since the inception of our initial share repurchase program in May 2006 through January 2, 2022, we have repurchased a total of 3,890,295 shares for $49.4 million.

Loan Agreement. As of January 3, 2021, we had a credit agreement with Wells Fargo Bank, National Association (“Wells Fargo”), as administrative agent, and a syndicate of other lenders, as amended (the “Prior Credit Agreement”), which was terminated and replaced on February 24, 2021 as discussed below.

On February 24, 2021, we terminated the Prior Credit Agreement and entered into a Loan, Guaranty and Security agreement with Bank of America, N.A. (“BofA”), as agent and lender, which was amended on November 22, 2021 (as so amended, the “Loan Agreement”). The Loan Agreement has a maturity date of February 24, 2026 and provides for a revolving credit facility with an aggregate committed availability of up to $150.0 million. We may also request additional increases in aggregate availability, up to a maximum of $200.0 million, in which case the existing lender under the Loan Agreement will have the option to increase their commitment to accommodate the requested increase. If the lender does not exercise that option, we may (with the consent of BofA in its role as the administrative agent, not to be unreasonably withheld) seek other lenders willing to provide such commitments. The credit facility includes a $50.0 million sublimit for issuances of letters of credit.

Similar to the Prior Credit Agreement, we may borrow under the Loan Agreement from time to time, provided the amounts outstanding will not exceed the lesser of the then aggregate committed availability (as discussed above) and the Borrowing Base (such lesser amount being referred to as the “Line Cap”). As defined in the Loan Agreement, the “Borrowing Base” generally is comprised of the sum, at the time of calculation, of (a) 90.00% of eligible credit card receivables; plus (b) the cost of eligible inventory (other than eligible in-transit inventory), net of inventory reserves, multiplied by 90.00% of the appraised net orderly liquidation value of eligible inventory (expressed as a percentage of the cost of eligible inventory); plus (c) the cost of eligible in-transit inventory, net of inventory reserves, multiplied by 90.00% of the appraised net orderly liquidation value of eligible in-transit inventory (expressed as a percentage of the cost of eligible in-transit inventory), minus (d) certain agreed-upon reserves as well as other reserves established by BofA in its role as the administrative agent in its reasonable discretion.

Generally, we may designate specific borrowings under the Loan Agreement as either base rate loans or LIBO rate loans. The applicable interest rate on our borrowings is a function of the daily average, over the preceding fiscal quarter, of the excess of the Line Cap over amounts borrowed (such amount being referred to as the “Average Daily Availability”). Those loans designated as LIBO rate loans bear interest at a rate equal to the then applicable adjusted LIBO rate plus an applicable margin as shown in the table below. Those loans designated as base rate loans bear interest at a rate equal to the applicable margin for base rate loans (as shown below) plus the highest of (a) the Federal funds rate, as in effect from time to time, plus one-half of one percent (0.50%), (b) the LIBO rate, plus one percentage point (1.00%), or (c) the rate of interest in effect for such day as announced from time to time within BofA as its “prime rate.” The applicable margin for all loans will be a function of Average Daily Availability for the preceding fiscal quarter as set forth below.

Level

 

Average Daily Availability

 

LIBO Rate
Applicable
Margin

 

Base Rate
Applicable Margin

I

 

Greater than or equal to $70,000,000

 

1.375%

 

0.375%

II

 

Less than $70,000,000

 

1.500%

 

0.500%

The commitment fee assessed on the unused portion of the credit facility is 0.20% per annum.

32


Obligations under the Loan Agreement are secured by a general lien on and security interest in substantially all of our assets. The Loan Agreement contains covenants that require us to maintain a fixed charge coverage ratio of not less than 1.0:1.0 in certain circumstances, and limits the ability to, among other things, incur liens, incur additional indebtedness, transfer or dispose of assets, change the nature of the business, guarantee obligations, pay dividends or make other distributions or repurchase stock, and make advances, loans or investments. We may generally declare or pay cash dividends or repurchase stock only if, among other things, no default or event of default then exists or would arise from such dividend or repurchase of stock and, after giving effect to such dividend or repurchase, certain availability and/or fixed charge coverage ratio requirements are satisfied, although we are permitted to make up to $5.0 million of dividend payments or stock repurchases per year without satisfaction of the availability or fixed charge coverage ratio requirements, but dividends or stock repurchases made without satisfying the availability and/or fixed charge coverage ratio requirements will require the establishment of an additional reserve that will reduce borrowing availability under the Loan Agreement for 75 days. The Loan Agreement contains customary events of default, including, without limitation, failure to pay when due principal amounts with respect to the credit facility, failure to pay any interest or other amounts under the credit facility, failure to comply with certain agreements or covenants contained in the Loan Agreement, failure to satisfy certain judgments against us, failure to pay when due (or any other default which permits the acceleration of) certain other material indebtedness in principal amount in excess of $5.0 million, and certain insolvency and bankruptcy events. As amended, the Loan Agreement provides for a transition to an alternative benchmark reference rate following the cessation of the LIBO rate.

The Prior Credit Agreement had a maturity date of September 29, 2022 and, as amended, provided for a line of credit up to $140.0 million, which amount could be increased at our option up to a maximum of $165.0 million. We could also request additional increases in aggregate availability, on an uncommitted basis up to a maximum of $200.0 million. The prior revolving credit facility included a $25.0 million sublimit for issuances of letters of credit and a $20.0 million sublimit for swingline loans. The Prior Credit Agreement provided for LIBO rate loans to bear interest at a rate equal to the applicable adjusted LIBO rate plus an applicable margin, as shown in the table below. The loans designated as base rate loans bore interest at a rate equal to the applicable margin for base rate loans plus the highest of (a) the Federal funds rate in effect plus one-half of one percent, (b) the LIBO rate, plus one percentage point, or (c) the prime interest rate. Under the Prior Credit Agreement, the applicable margin for all loans was a function of Average Daily Availability for the preceding fiscal quarter as set forth below.

Level

 

Average Daily Availability

 

LIBO Rate
Applicable
Margin

 

Base Rate
Applicable Margin

I

 

Greater than or equal to $70,000,000

 

1.250%

 

0.250%

II

 

Less than $70,000,000

 

1.375%

 

0.500%

The commitment fee assessed on the unused portion of the prior credit facility was 0.20% per annum.

In the first quarter of fiscal 2021, we paid and capitalized $0.7 million in new creditor and third-party fees associated with the Loan Agreement, which will be amortized over the term of the Loan Agreement, and extinguished $0.2 million of deferred financing fees associated with the Prior Credit Agreement.

In order to support our liquidity in response to the rapidly growing COVID-19 outbreak, in March 2020 we exercised the accordion feature under our $140.0 million prior credit facility and drew down additional amounts under that facility that resulted in long-term revolving credit borrowings of $143.3 million as of March 31, 2020, our highest borrowing level. As a result of improved profitability and cash generation activities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we paid down to zero our long-term revolving credit borrowings and we had letter of credit commitments of $1.1 million outstanding as of January 2, 2022, compared with zero borrowings and letter of credit commitments of $2.6 million as of January 3, 2021. Total remaining borrowing availability, after subtracting letters of credit, was $148.9 million and $162.4 million as of January 2, 2022 and January 3, 2021, respectively.

The following table provides information about our revolving credit borrowings as of and for the periods indicated:

 

 

 

Fiscal Year

 

 

 

2021

 

 

2020

 

 

 

(Dollars in thousands)

 

Fiscal year-end balance

 

$

 

 

$

 

Average interest rate

 

 

 

 

2.7

%

Maximum outstanding during the year

 

$

 

 

$

143,275

 

Average outstanding during the year

 

$

 

 

$

45,838

 

Future Capital Requirements. We had cash and cash equivalents on hand of $97.4 million as of January 2, 2022. We expect capital expenditures for fiscal 2022, excluding non-cash acquisitions, to range from approximately $15.0 million to $20.0 million, primarily for the opening of new stores, store-related remodeling, distribution center equipment and computer hardware and software purchases. For fiscal 2022, we anticipate opening approximately six new stores and closing two stores.

33


Dividends are paid at the discretion of the Board of Directors. In fiscal 2021 and 2020 we paid annual cash dividends of $2.83 per share and $0.25 per share, respectively, of outstanding common stock. Dividends declared in fiscal 2021 included special dividends in the amount of $2.00 per share of outstanding common stock. In the first quarter of fiscal 2022, our Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.25 per share of outstanding common stock, which will be paid on March 25, 2022 to stockholders of record as of March 11, 2022.

As of January 2, 2022, a total of $7.7 million remained available for share repurchases under our previous share repurchase program. In the first quarter of fiscal 2022, our Board of Directors authorized a new share repurchase program of up to $25.0 million of our common stock, which replaced the previous share repurchase program. We consider several factors in determining when and if we make share repurchases including, among other things, our alternative cash requirements, existing business conditions and the market price of our stock.

Contractual Obligations. Our material contractual obligations include operating lease commitments associated with our leased properties and other occupancy expense, finance lease obligations, borrowings under our credit facility, if any, and other liabilities. Operating lease commitments consist principally of leases for our retail store facilities, distribution center and corporate offices. These leases frequently include options which permit us to extend the terms beyond the initial fixed lease term, and we intend to renegotiate most of these leases as they expire. Operating lease commitments also consist of information technology (“IT”) systems hardware and distribution center delivery tractors. Additional information regarding our operating leases is available in Item 2, Properties and Note 7, Lease Commitments, of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in Item 8, Financial Statements and Supplementary Data, of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

In the ordinary course of business, we enter into arrangements with vendors to purchase merchandise in advance of expected delivery. Because most of these purchase orders do not contain any termination payments or other penalties if cancelled, they are not considered as outstanding contractual obligations.

Critical Accounting Estimates

Our critical accounting estimates detailed below are included in our significant accounting policies as described in Note 2 of the Consolidated Financial Statements included in Item 8, Financial Statements and Supplementary Data, of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Those consolidated financial statements were prepared in accordance with GAAP. Critical accounting estimates are those that we believe are most important to the portrayal of our financial condition and results of operations. The preparation of our consolidated financial statements requires us to make estimates and judgments that affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, revenue and expense. Our estimates are evaluated on an ongoing basis and drawn from historical experience, current trends and other factors that management believes to be relevant at the time our consolidated financial statements are prepared. Actual results may differ from our estimates. Management believes that the following accounting estimates are critical and reflect the more significant judgments and estimates we use in preparing our consolidated financial statements.

Valuation of Merchandise Inventories, Net

Our merchandise inventories are made up of finished goods and are valued at the lower of cost or net realizable value using the weighted-average cost method that approximates the first-in, first-out (“FIFO”) method. Average cost consists of the direct purchase price of merchandise inventory, net of vendor allowances and cash discounts, in-bound freight-related costs and allocated overhead costs associated with our distribution center.

We record valuation reserves on a quarterly basis for merchandise items with slow-moving or obsolescence exposure and merchandise that has a carrying value that exceeds net realizable value. These reserves are estimates of a reduction in value to reflect inventory valuation at the lower of cost or net realizable value. Factors included in determining slow-moving or obsolescence reserve estimates include recent customer demand, merchandise aging, seasonal trends and decisions to discontinue certain products. Because of our merchandise mix, we have not historically experienced significant occurrences of obsolescence. Our inventory valuation reserves for damaged and defective merchandise, slow-moving or obsolete merchandise and for lower of cost or net realizable value provisions totaled $2.7 million and $3.5 million as of January 2, 2022 and January 3, 2021, respectively, representing approximately 1% of our merchandise inventory for both periods.

A 10% change in our inventory valuation reserves estimate in total as of January 2, 2022, would result in a change in reserves of $0.3 million and a change in pre-tax earnings by the same amount. Our reserves are estimates, which could vary significantly, either favorably or unfavorably, from actual results if future economic conditions, consumer demand and competitive environments differ from our expectations. At this time, we do not believe that there is a reasonable likelihood that there will be a material change in the future estimates or assumptions that we use to calculate our inventory reserves.

34


Seasonality and Impact of Inflation

We experience seasonal fluctuations in our net sales and operating results, which can suffer when weather does not conform to seasonal norms, such as the first quarter of fiscal 2020 when we experienced warm and dry winter-weather conditions across our markets. Seasonality in our net sales influences our buying patterns which directly impacts our merchandise and accounts payable levels and cash flows. We purchase merchandise for seasonal activities in advance of a season and supplement our merchandise assortment as necessary and when possible during the season. Our efforts to replenish products during a season are not always successful. In the fourth fiscal quarter, which includes the holiday selling season and the start of the winter selling season, we normally experience higher inventory purchase volumes and increased expense for staffing and advertising. If we miscalculate the consumer demand for our products generally or for our product mix in advance of a season, particularly the fourth quarter, our net sales can decline, which can harm our financial performance. A significant shortfall from expected net sales, particularly during the fourth quarter, can negatively impact our annual operating results.

In fiscal 2021 and 2020, we experienced greater inflation in the cost of products that we purchase for resale as well as higher freight costs than in previous years. While our merchandise inventory costs in fiscal 2021 and 2020 were impacted by these inflationary pressures, up to this point we have generally been able to adjust our selling prices in response to these higher product purchase costs. However, if we are unable to continue to adjust our selling prices for product purchase cost increases that might occur in the future, then our merchandise margins could decline, which would adversely impact our operating results.

Recently Issued Accounting Updates

See Note 2 to the Consolidated Financial Statements included in Item 8, Financial Statements and Supplementary Data, of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

ITEM 7A. QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK

Because we are a smaller reporting company as defined by Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act, we are not required to provide the information under this item.

ITEM 8. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA

The financial statements and the supplementary financial information required by this Item and included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K are listed in the “Index to Consolidated Financial Statements” beginning on page F-1.

ITEM 9. CHANGES IN AND DISAGREEMENTS WITH ACCOUNTANTS ON ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE

None.

35


ITEM 9A. CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES

Evaluation of Disclosure Controls and Procedures

We maintain a system of disclosure controls and procedures that are designed to provide reasonable assurance that information which is required to be timely disclosed is accumulated and communicated to our management, including our Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) and Chief Financial Officer (“CFO”), in a timely fashion. We conducted an evaluation, under the supervision and with the participation of our CEO and CFO, of the effectiveness of the design and operation of our disclosure controls and procedures (as such term is defined in Rules 13a-15(e) and 15d-15(e) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”)) as of January 2, 2022. Based on such evaluation, our CEO and CFO have concluded that, as of January 2, 2022, our disclosure controls and procedures are effective, at a reasonable assurance level, in recording, processing, summarizing and reporting, on a timely basis, information required to be disclosed by us in the reports that we file or submit under the Exchange Act and are effective in ensuring that information required to be disclosed by us in the reports that we file or submit under the Exchange Act is accumulated and communicated to our management, including our CEO and CFO, as appropriate to allow timely decisions regarding required disclosure.

Management’s Annual Report on Internal Control Over Financial Reporting

Management is responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting as defined in Rule 13a-15(f) under the Exchange Act.

Our internal control over financial reporting includes policies and procedures that pertain to the maintenance of records that, in reasonable detail, accurately and fairly reflect transactions and disposition of assets; provide reasonable assurance that transactions are recorded as necessary to permit preparation of consolidated financial statements in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America, and that receipts and expenditures are being made only in accordance with the authorization of our management and directors; and provide reasonable assurance regarding prevention or timely detection of unauthorized acquisition, use or disposition of our assets that could have a material effect on our consolidated financial statements.

Because of its inherent limitations, internal control over financial reporting may not prevent or detect misstatements. Also, projection of any evaluation of effectiveness to future periods is subject to the risk that controls may become inadequate because of changes in conditions, or that the degree of compliance with the policies or procedures may deteriorate.

Management conducted an assessment of the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting as of January 2, 2022, based upon the Internal Control—Integrated Framework (2013) issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission. Based on this assessment, management has concluded that, as of January 2, 2022, we maintained effective internal control over financial reporting. The attestation report issued by Deloitte & Touche LLP, our independent registered public accounting firm, on our internal control over financial reporting is included herein.

Changes in Internal Control Over Financial Reporting

There has been no change in our internal control over financial reporting (as defined in Rule 13a-15(f) under the Exchange Act) during the most recent fiscal quarter that has materially affected, or is reasonably likely to materially affect, our internal control over financial reporting.

 

36


Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

To the Stockholders and the Board of Directors of

Big 5 Sporting Goods Corporation
El Segundo, California

Opinion on Internal Control over Financial Reporting

We have audited the internal control over financial reporting of Big 5 Sporting Goods Corporation and subsidiaries (the “Company”) as of January 2, 2022, based on criteria established in Internal Control — Integrated Framework (2013) issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO). In our opinion, the Company maintained, in all material respects, effective internal control over financial reporting as of January 2, 2022, based on criteria established in Internal Control — Integrated Framework (2013) issued by COSO.

We have also audited, in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (PCAOB), the consolidated financial statements as of and for the year ended January 2, 2022, of the Company and our report dated March 2, 2022, expressed an unqualified opinion on those financial statements.

Basis for Opinion

The Company’s management is responsible for maintaining effective internal control over financial reporting and for its assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting, included in the accompanying Management’s Annual Report on Internal Control Over Financial Reporting. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the Company’s internal control over financial reporting based on our audit. We are a public accounting firm registered with the PCAOB and are required to be independent with respect to the Company in accordance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.

We conducted our audit in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether effective internal control over financial reporting was maintained in all material respects. Our audit included obtaining an understanding of internal control over financial reporting, assessing the risk that a material weakness exists, testing and evaluating the design and operating effectiveness of internal control based on the assessed risk, and performing such other procedures as we considered necessary in the circumstances. We believe that our audit provides a reasonable basis for our opinion.

Definition and Limitations of Internal Control over Financial Reporting

A company’s internal control over financial reporting is a process designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. A company’s internal control over financial reporting includes those policies and procedures that (1) pertain to the maintenance of records that, in reasonable detail, accurately and fairly reflect the transactions and dispositions of the assets of the company; (2) provide reasonable assurance that transactions are recorded as necessary to permit preparation of financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and that receipts and expenditures of the company are being made only in accordance with authorizations of management and directors of the company; and (3) provide reasonable assurance regarding prevention or timely detection of unauthorized acquisition, use, or disposition of the company’s assets that could have a material effect on the financial statements.

Because of its inherent limitations, internal control over financial reporting may not prevent or detect misstatements. Also, projections of any evaluation of effectiveness to future periods are subject to the risk that controls may become inadequate because of changes in conditions, or that the degree of compliance with the policies or procedures may deteriorate.

/s/ Deloitte & Touche LLP

Los Angeles, California

March 2, 2022

37


ITEM 9B. OTHER INFORMATION

None.

ITEM 9C. DISCLOSURE REGARDING FOREIGN JURISDICTIONS THAT PREVENT INSPECTIONS

None.

38


PART III

ITEM 10. DIRECTORS, EXECUTIVE OFFICERS AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

The information required by this Item has been omitted and will be incorporated herein by reference, when filed, to our Proxy Statement, which is expected to be filed not later than 120 days after the end of our fiscal year ended January 2, 2022.

ITEM 11. EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION

The information required by this Item has been omitted and will be incorporated herein by reference, when filed, to our Proxy Statement, which is expected to be filed not later than 120 days after the end of our fiscal year ended January 2, 2022.

ITEM 12. SECURITY OWNERSHIP OF CERTAIN BENEFICIAL OWNERS AND MANAGEMENT AND RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS

The information required by this Item has been omitted and will be incorporated herein by reference, when filed, to our Proxy Statement, which is expected to be filed not later than 120 days after the end of our fiscal year ended January 2, 2022.

The information required by this Item has been omitted and will be incorporated herein by reference, when filed, to our Proxy Statement, which is expected to be filed not later than 120 days after the end of our fiscal year ended January 2, 2022.

ITEM 14. PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTANT FEES AND SERVICES

The information required by this Item has been omitted and will be incorporated herein by reference, when filed, to our Proxy Statement, which is expected to be filed not later than 120 days after the end of our fiscal year ended January 2, 2022.

 

39


PART IV

 

 

ITEM 15. EXHIBITS, FINANCIAL STATEMENT SCHEDULES

(a)
Documents filed as part of this report:
(1)
Financial Statements.

See Index to Consolidated Financial Statements on page F-1 hereof.

(2)
Financial Statement Schedule.

See Index to Consolidated Financial Statements on page F-1 hereof.

(3)
Exhibits.

The exhibits listed in the Index to Exhibits shown beginning on the next page are filed as part of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, or are incorporated by reference from documents previously filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission as required by Item 601 of Regulation S-K.

40


BIG 5 SPORTING GOODS CORPORATION

EXHIBIT INDEX

 

Exhibit

Number

 

Exhibit Description

 

 

 

  3.1

 

Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation of Big 5 Sporting Goods Corporation. (1)

 

 

 

  3.2

 

Amended and Restated Bylaws. (11)

 

 

 

  4.1

 

Specimen of Common Stock Certificate. (2)

 

 

 

  4.2

 

Description of Registrant’s Common Stock. (18)

 

 

 

10.1

 

Second Amended and Restated Employment Agreement, dated as of December 31, 2008, between Steven G. Miller and Big 5 Sporting Goods Corporation. (14)

 

 

 

10.2

 

Amended and Restated Indemnification Implementation Agreement between Big 5 Corp. (successor to United Merchandising Corp.) and Thrifty PayLess Holdings, Inc. dated as of April 20, 1994. (1)

 

 

 

10.3

 

Agreement and Release among Pacific Enterprises, Thrifty PayLess Holdings, Inc., Thrifty PayLess, Inc., Thrifty and Big 5 Corp. (successor to United Merchandising Corp.) dated as of March 11, 1994. (1)

 

 

 

10.4

 

Form of Indemnification Agreement. (1)

 

 

 

10.5

 

Form of Indemnification Letter Agreement. (2)

 

 

 

10.6

 

Lease dated as of April 14, 2004 by and between Pannatoni Development Company, LLC and Big 5 Corp. (3)

 

 

 

10.7

 

Employment Offer Letter dated August 15, 2005 between Barry D. Emerson and Big 5 Corp. (5)

 

 

 

10.8

 

Severance Agreement dated as of August 9, 2006 between Barry D. Emerson and Big 5 Corp. (6)