Sportsman's Warehouse, Inc.
SPORTSMAN'S WAREHOUSE HOLDINGS, INC. (Form: 10-K, Received: 03/24/2017 09:28:01)

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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 28, 2017

 

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 001-36401


SPORTSMAN’S WAREHOUSE HOLDINGS, INC.

(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its Charter)


 

Delaware

 

39-1975614

(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization)

 

(I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)

 

 

 

7035 South High Tech Drive

Midvale, Utah

 

84047

(Address of principal executive offices)

 

(Zip Code)

 

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (801) 566-6681


Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act: Common Stock, Par Value $0.01 Per Share; Common stock traded on the NASDAQ stock market

 

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 15(d) of the Act. YES ☐ NO ☒ 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See the definition of “large accelerated filer”, “accelerated filer”, and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):

 

Large accelerated filer

 

 

Accelerated filer

 

 

 

 

 

 

Non-accelerated filer

 

☐  (Do not check if a smaller reporting company)

 

Smaller reporting company

 

 

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). YES ☐ NO ☒

 

As of July 29, 2016, the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second quarter, the aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates of the Registrant, based on the closing price of the shares of common stock on The NASDAQ Stock Market on such date, was $325,173,327. Shares held by each executive officer, director and by each person who owns 10% or more of the outstanding common stock have been excluded in that such persons may be deemed to be affiliates. The determination of affiliate status is not necessarily a conclusive determination for other purposes.

 

The number of shares of Registrant’s Common Stock outstanding as of March 24, 2017 was 42,269,940.

 

Portions of the Registrant’s Definitive Proxy Statement relating to the 2017 Annual Meeting of Shareholders, which will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission within 120 days after the end of the 2016 fiscal year, are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Report.

 

 


 

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Page

PART I  

 

 

Item 1.  

Business

Item 1A.  

Risk Factors

19 

Item 1B.  

Unresolved Staff Comments

33 

Item 2.  

Properties

33 

Item 3.  

Legal Proceedings

34 

Item 4.  

Mine Safety Disclosures

35 

 

 

 

PART II  

 

 

Item 5.  

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

35 

Item 6.  

Selected Financial Data

37 

Item 7.  

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

40 

Item 7A.  

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

51 

Item 8.  

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

52 

Item 9.  

Changes in and Disagreements With Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

75 

Item 9A.  

Controls and Procedures

75 

Item 9B.  

Other Information

75 

 

 

 

PART III  

 

 

Item 10.  

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

76 

Item 11.  

Executive Compensation

76 

Item 12.  

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

76 

Item 13.  

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

76 

Item 14.  

Principal Accountant Fees and Services

76 

 

 

 

PART IV  

 

 

Item 15.  

Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules

77 

 

 

 

 

Item 16.  

Form 10-K Summary

80 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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References throughout this document to “Sportsman’s Warehouse,” “we,” “us,” and “our” refer to Sportsman’s Warehouse Holdings, Inc. and its subsidiaries, and references to “Holdings” refer to Sportsman’s Warehouse Holdings, Inc. excluding its subsidiaries.

 

STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS  

 

This Annual Report on Form 10-K (this “10-K”) contains statements that constitute forward-looking statements as that term is defined by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements concern our business, operations and financial performance and condition as well as our plans, objectives and expectations for our business operations and financial performance and condition, which are subject to risks and uncertainties. All statements other than statements of historical fact included in this 10-K are forward-looking statements. These statements may include words such as “aim,” “anticipate,” “assume,” “believe,” “can have,” “could,” “due,” “estimate,” “expect,” “goal,” “intend,” “likely,” “may,” “objective,” “plan,” “potential,” “positioned,” “predict,” “should,” “target,” “will,” “would” and other words and terms of similar meaning in connection with any discussion of the timing or nature of future operating or financial performance or other events or trends. For example, all statements we make relating to our plans and objectives for future operations, growth or initiatives and strategies are forward-looking statements.

 

These forward-looking statements are based on current expectations, estimates, forecasts and projections about our business and the industry in which we operate and our management’s beliefs and assumptions. We derive many of our forward-looking statements from our own operating budgets and forecasts, which are based upon many detailed assumptions. While we believe that our assumptions are reasonable, we caution predicting the impact of known factors is very difficult, and we cannot anticipate all factors that could affect our actual results.

 

All of our forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause our actual results to differ materially from our expectations. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from our expectations include, but are not limited to:

 

·

our retail-based business model is impacted by general economic conditions and economic and financial uncertainties may cause a decline in consumer spending;

·

our concentration of stores in the Western United States makes us susceptible to adverse conditions in this region, which could affect our sales and cause our operating results to suffer;

·

we operate in a highly fragmented and competitive industry and may face increased competition;

·

we may not be able to anticipate, identify and respond to changes in consumer demands, including regional preferences, in a timely manner;

·

we may not be successful in operating our stores in any existing or new markets into which we expand; and

·

current and future government regulations, in particular regulations relating to the sale of firearms and ammunition, may impact the demand for our products and our ability to conduct our business.

The above is not a complete list of factors or events that could cause actual results to differ from our expectations, and we cannot predict all of them. All written and oral forward-looking statements attributable to us, or persons acting on our behalf, are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements disclosed under “Risk Factors,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and elsewhere in this 10-K, as such disclosures may be amended, supplemented or superseded from time to time by other reports we file with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), including subsequent Annual Reports on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, and public communications. You should evaluate all forward-looking statements made in this 10-K and otherwise in the context of these risks and uncertainties.

 

Potential investors and other readers are urged to consider these factors carefully in evaluating the forward-looking statements and are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements we make. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this 10-K and are not guarantees of future performance or developments and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that are in many cases beyond our control. Except as required by law, we undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements publicly, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.

 

 

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PART I

 

Item 1. Business.  

 

Overview

 

Sportsman’s Warehouse is a high-growth outdoor sporting goods retailer focused on meeting the everyday needs of the seasoned outdoor veteran, the first-time participant and every enthusiast in between. Our mission is to provide a one-stop shopping experience that equips our customers with the right hunting, shooting, fishing and camping gear to maximize their enjoyment of the outdoors. We strive to accomplish this goal by tailoring our broad and deep merchandise assortment to meet local conditions and demand, offering everyday low prices, providing friendly support from our knowledgeable, highly trained staff and offering extensive in-store events and educational programming. These core strategies help position Sportsman’s Warehouse as the “local outdoor experts” and the preferred place to both shop and share outdoor-based experiences in the communities we serve. As a result, we are expanding our loyal customer base in existing markets and increasing our store footprint in new markets, which we believe will further drive our growth and profitability.

 

Sportsman’s Warehouse was founded in 1986 as a single retail store in Midvale, Utah and has grown to 75 stores across 20 states. Today, we have the largest outdoor specialty store base in the Western United States and Alaska. Our stores range from 15,000 to 65,000 gross square feet, with an average size of approximately 42,000 gross square feet. Our store layout is adaptable to both standalone locations and strip centers. Based on publicly available information, we believe it is less capital-intensive for us to open new stores compared to our principal competitors because our “no frills” store layout requires less initial cash investment to build out and our stores generally require less square footage than the stores of our competitors. Together, these features enable us to effectively serve markets of multiple sizes, from Metropolitan Statistical Areas, or MSAs, with populations of less than 75,000 to major metropolitan areas with populations in excess of 1,000,000, while generating consistent four-wall Adjusted EBITDA margins and returns on invested capital across a range of store sales volumes. We may post information that is important to investors on our website from time to time. The information provided on our website is not part of this report and is, therefore, not incorporated herein by reference.

 

Our Competitive Strengths

 

We believe the following competitive strengths allow us to capitalize on the growth opportunity within the outdoor activities and sporting goods market:

 

Differentiated Shopping Experience for the Seasoned Outdoor Veteran, the First-Time Participant and Every Enthusiast in Between. We place great emphasis on creating an inviting and engaging store experience for customers of all experience levels. For the seasoned outdoor veteran, we offer a one-stop, convenient store layout that promotes “easy-in, easy-out” access to replenish supplies, learn about local conditions and test products. We also serve first-time participants and casual users who are interested in enjoying the outdoors but enter our store without a clear sense for what equipment they need for their chosen activity. Our highly trained employees, who often are outdoor enthusiasts themselves and users of the products we sell, engage and interact with our customers in order to educate them and equip them with the right gear. Our sales associates draw upon both formal vendor sales training as well as first-hand experiences from using our products in local conditions. This selling approach allows us to offer a broad range of products and to deliver a shopping experience centered on the customer’s needs, which we believe results in increased customer loyalty, repeat visits and frequent referrals to other potential customers.

 

A customer’s shopping experience in our stores is further enhanced by a variety of helpful in-store offerings and features, including the issuance of hunting and fishing licenses, local fishing reports, availability of Sportsman’s News (our proprietary in-store newspaper), access to the Braggin’ Board (where customers can post photos of their outdoor adventures), indoor test ranges for archery equipment and displays of customer-owned taxidermy. In addition, we host a variety of in-store programs (such as “ladies night”), contests (such as Bucks & Bulls, a free-to-enter, big-game trophy contest) and a wide range of instructional seminars, from turkey frying to firearm operation and safety. These programs are all designed to help our customers connect with the outdoors and build the skill sets necessary to maximize enjoyment of their chosen activities. As a result, we believe our stores often serve as gathering spots where local enthusiasts can share stories, product knowledge and advice on outdoor recreation activities, which both drives traffic and fosters customer loyalty.

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Locally Relevant Merchandise Serving the Comprehensive Needs of Outdoor Enthusiasts at a Compelling Value . We offer our customers an extensive and carefully selected assortment of branded, high-quality outdoor products at competitive prices. We accomplish this in three principal ways:

 

·

Locally Relevant Merchandise: We carry over 72,000 SKUs on average in each store, out of a pool of approximately 140,000 total SKUs. Each store’s merchandise is tailored to meet local conditions and consumer demand, taking into account seasonal requirements, regional game and fishing species, geographic diversity, weather patterns and key demographic factors, so that our customers have the right product, at the right time, for the right location.

 

·

Breadth and Mix of Product Assortment: Our merchandise strategy is designed to serve a variety of purchasing occasions, from big-ticket items to replenishment activity, as well as to meet the wide-ranging needs of customers from first-time participants to seasoned outdoor veterans. We pride ourselves on carrying an extensive selection of branded, “good, better and best” hard goods at everyday low prices, including a broad array of in-stock consumable items. Approximately 36.0% of our unit sales and 20.0% of our dollar sales during fiscal year 2016 were consumable goods, such as ammunition, bait, cleaning supplies, food, lures, propane and reloading supplies. We believe this pairing of product breadth and consumable goods appeals to a broad range of customers and drives both repeat traffic and increased average ticket value.

 

·

Strong Vendor Relationships: We believe our vendors find our “brand-centric”, high-service store concept to be unique among national specialty outdoor retailers. Our attractive store locations, consistent presentation of merchandise and thorough product training present a compelling opportunity for our vendors to offer their brands to local markets that historically have been served primarily by “mom & pop” retailers. As a result, we believe we are able to negotiate terms with our vendors that are similar to those offered to our principal competitors that are larger in size. We share the benefits of these strategic vendor relationships with our customers through better pricing and enhanced access to certain products that are limited in production.

 

Flexible and Adaptable Real Estate Strategy . We believe that our store model, combined with our rigorous site selection process, is uniquely customizable to address the needs of the different markets we serve. Our stores can vary in size from approximately 15,000 to 65,000 gross square feet. We have had success with leasing existing sites as well as constructing new build-to-suit sites. Our flexible store model permits us to serve both large metropolitan areas, like Phoenix, Arizona, and smaller MSAs, like Soldotna, Alaska, while generating consistent four-wall Adjusted EBITDA margins and returns on invested capital across a range of store sales volumes. In small- to medium-sized markets, we are often able to establish ourselves as a standalone destination for our customers; in larger markets, we have successfully leveraged existing infrastructure to open stores in shopping plazas near complementary retailers, drawing upon existing foot traffic. We believe our low-cost, flexible model allows us to access both large and small markets more economically than many of our peers.

 

We maintain a disciplined approach to new store development and perform comprehensive market research before selecting a new site, including partnering with specialized, third-party local real estate firms. We select sites based on criteria such as local demographics, traffic patterns, density of hunting and fishing license holders in the area, abundance of hunting and fishing game and outdoor recreation activities, store visibility and accessibility, purchase data from our existing customer database and availability of attractive lease terms. We have established productive relationships with well-regarded commercial real estate firms and believe that we are a sought-after tenant, given the strength of the Sportsman’s Warehouse brand, the high volume of customers that visit our stores and our flexible approach to site locations. As a result, we continue to have access to desirable retail sites on attractive terms.

 

Low Cost Operating Structure with Attractive and Replicable Store Economics . We strive to maintain a lower operating cost structure than our principal competitors, which allows us to serve small- to medium-sized markets as well as larger MSAs. We achieve this by exercising tight control over store-level expenses, real estate costs and corporate overhead. In addition, our growing store base, efficient, localized marketing spend and “no frills” warehouse store layout help us maintain comparatively low operating costs and provide us with the opportunity to achieve four-wall Adjusted EBITDA margins of 10% or more for stores in most new markets. Our typical new store requires an average net investment of approximately $2.0 million, which includes store build-out (net of contributions from landlords) and pre-opening cash expenditures. In addition, we stock each new store with initial inventory at an average cost of approximately $2.3 million. We target a pre-tax return on invested capital within one year after opening of over 50% excluding initial inventory cost (or over 20% including initial inventory cost), although our historical returns have often

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exceeded these thresholds. As of the end of fiscal year 2016, all of our stores that had been open for more than twelve months were profitable and those stores had an average Adjusted EBITDA margin of 13.5%. We believe this low-cost, capital-efficient approach also allows us to successfully serve markets that are not well-suited for the more capital-intensive store models of our principal competitors. Approximately 62% of our markets currently lack another nationally recognized outdoor specialty retailer, which we believe is a result of these dynamics.

 

Significant New Store Growth Opportunity within Existing and New Markets . We operate 75 stores across 20 states, primarily in the Western United States and Alaska, with a presence in these markets that is nearly three times that of the next largest outdoor retailer. We believe our leadership position in the Western United States, combined with our existing scalable infrastructure, provides a strong foundation for continued expansion within our core markets. Over the longer term, we believe our distinct retail concept has the potential to expand to more than 300 locations   throughout the United States based on research conducted for us by Buxton Company, an independent consumer research and analytics firm.

 

  Passionate and Experienced Management Team with Proven Track Record . We are focused on delivering an unsurpassed shopping experience to anyone who enjoys the excitement of the outdoors. This passion and commitment is shared by team members throughout our entire organization, from senior management to the employees in our stores. Our senior management team has an average of 20 years of retail experience, with extensive capabilities across a broad range of disciplines, including merchandising, real estate, finance, compliance, store operations, supply chain management and information technology. We also pride ourselves on the long tenure of our more than 200 store managers and corporate employees, who have been with us for an average of approximately nine years.

 

Our Growth Strategy

 

We are pursuing a number of strategies designed to continue our growth and strong financial performance, including:

 

Expanding Our Store Base . We believe that our compelling new store economics and our track record of opening successful new stores provide a strong foundation for continued growth through new store openings in existing, adjacent and new markets. Over the last three fiscal years, we have opened an average of nine stores per year. We have opened two new stores to date in fiscal year 2017 and currently plan to open an additional ten new stores in the remainder of fiscal year 2017. For the next several years thereafter, we intend to grow our square footage at a rate of greater than 10 percent annually and expect that most of our near-term growth will occur within the Western United States with our growth also focusing on expansion to the eastern United States. Our longer-term plans include expanding our store base to serve the outdoor needs of enthusiasts in markets across the United States. We believe our existing infrastructure, including distribution, information technology, loss prevention and employee training, is capable of sustaining 100 or more stores without significant additional capital investment.

 

Increasing Same Store Sales Growth . We are committed to increasing same store sales through a number of ongoing and new initiatives, including: addition of the ability to purchase firearms using our website and pick up the firearm in the store, expansion of our clothing offerings and private label program (such as our proprietary Rustic Ridge TM and Killik TM clothing lines), our loyalty program, the implementation of kiosks and mobile point-of-sale in our stores and expansion of our “store-within-a-store” programs with major brands such as Carhartt, Columbia Sportswear and Under Armour. Each of these initiatives is designed to foster additional shopping convenience, add deeper merchandise selection and provide more product information to the customer. We believe these initiatives will drive additional traffic, improve conversion and increase average ticket value.

 

Continuing to Enhance Our Operating Margins . We believe that our planned expansion of our store base and growth in same store sales will result in improved Adjusted EBITDA margins as we take advantage of economies of scale in product sourcing and leverage our existing infrastructure, supply chain, corporate overhead and other fixed costs. Furthermore, we expect to increase our gross profit margin by expanding product offerings in our private label program, including our proprietary Rustic Ridge TM and Killik TM clothing lines, and continuing marketing initiatives in our higher-margin clothing and footwear departments.

 

Growing the Sportsman’s Warehouse Brand . We are committed to supporting our stores, product offerings and brand through a variety of marketing programs, private label offerings and corporate partnerships. Our marketing and promotional strategy includes coordinated print, digital and social media platforms. In-store, we offer a wide range of

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outdoor-themed activities and seminars, from turkey frying to firearm operation and safety. In addition, we sponsor community outreach and charity programs to more broadly connect with our local communities with the aim of promoting our brand and educating consumers. Finally, we are committed to local chapters of national, regional and local wildlife federations and other outdoor-focused organizations, such as Ducks Unlimited and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. Many of our store managers and employees serve in senior positions in these organizations, which further strengthens our place as leaders in the local outdoor community. We believe all of these programs promote our mission of engaging with our customers and serving outdoor enthusiasts.

 

Our Stores

 

We operate 75 stores across 20 states as of January 28, 2017. Most of our stores are located in power, neighborhood and lifestyle centers. Power centers are large, unenclosed shopping centers that are usually anchored by three or more national supercenters, such as Target, Wal-Mart and Costco. Neighborhood centers are shopping centers anchored by a supermarket or drugstore that provide convenience goods and services to a neighborhood. Lifestyle centers are shopping centers that combine the traditional functions of a shopping mall with leisure amenities such as pedestrian friendly areas, open air seating and inviting meeting spaces. We also operate several single-unit, stand-alone locations. Our stores average approximately 42,000 gross square feet.

 

The following table lists the location by state of our 77 stores open as of March 24, 2017:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

Number of Stores

    

 

    

Number of Stores

Utah 

 

 9

 

Nevada 

 

 3

Washington 

 

 9

 

New Mexico 

 

 3

Oregon 

 

 8

 

Iowa 

 

 1

Arizona 

 

 7

 

Kentucky 

 

 1

California 

 

 7

 

Louisiana

 

 1

Idaho

 

 6

 

Mississippi 

 

 1

Alaska 

 

 5

 

North Dakota

 

 1

Colorado 

 

 5

 

South Carolina 

 

 1

Wyoming

 

 4

 

Tennessee 

 

 1

Montana

 

 3

 

Virginia 

 

 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Store Design and Layout

 

We present our broad and deep array of products in a convenient and engaging atmosphere to meet the everyday needs of all outdoor enthusiasts, from the seasoned veteran to the first-time participant. We maintain a consistent floor layout across our store base that we believe promotes an “easy-in, easy-out” shopping experience. All of our stores feature wide aisles, high ceilings, visible signage and central checkouts with multiple registers. Sportsman’s Warehouse stores, true to their name, are designed in a “no frills” warehouse format that welcomes customers directly from or on the way to an outdoor activity. All of our stores also feature “store-within-a-store” concepts for certain popular brand partners, such as Carhartt, Columbia Sportswear and Under Armour, through which we dedicate a portion of our floor

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space to these brands to help increase visibility and drive additional sales. The diagram below demonstrates our typical store layout.

 

PICTURE 3

 

Our stores include locally relevant features such as a large fishing board at the entrance that displays current fishing conditions in local lakes and rivers with coordinating gear in end-cap displays in the fishing aisles. We actively engage our customers through in-store features such as the Braggin’ Board, various contests (such as Bucks & Bulls and Fish Alaska), and customer-owned taxidermy displays on the walls. We also host in-store programs such as “ladies night” and a wide range of instructional seminars, from Dutch oven cooking to choosing the right binocular. Annually, we organize approximately 3,000 programs across our stores for the benefit of our customers. We believe these programs help us connect with the communities in which we operate and encourage first time participants to build the skills necessary to become outdoor enthusiasts and loyal customers.

 

Expansion Opportunities and Site Selection

 

We have developed a rigorous and flexible process for site selection. We select sites for new store openings based on criteria such as local demographics, traffic patterns, density of hunting and fishing license holders in the area, abundance of hunting and fishing game and outdoor recreation activities, store visibility and accessibility, purchase data from our existing customer database and availability of attractive lease terms. Our store model is adaptable to markets of multiple sizes, from MSAs with populations of less than 75,000 to major metropolitan areas with populations in excess of 1,000,000. We have been successful both in remodeling existing buildings and in constructing new build-to-suit locations.

 

Our store model is designed to be profitable in a variety of real estate venues, including power, neighborhood and lifestyle centers as well as single-unit, stand-alone locations. In small- to medium-sized markets, we generally seek anchor locations within high-traffic, easily accessible shopping centers. In larger metropolitan areas, we generally seek locations in retail areas with major discount retailers (such as Wal-Mart), wholesale retailers (such as Costco), other specialty hardline retailers (such as The Home Depot) or supermarkets. As we continue to expand our store base, we believe that small- to medium-sized markets offer a significant opportunity. In these markets, we believe our store size, which is smaller than many of our national competitors but larger than many independent retailers, enables us to find convenient, easily accessible store locations while still offering the broad and deep selection of merchandise that our customers desire. In addition, our store format and size allow us to open multiple stores in local areas within major MSAs, which gives our customers convenient, easy access to our products without having to travel long distances.

 

Members of our real estate team spend considerable time evaluating prospective sites before bringing a proposal to our real estate committee. Our real estate committee, which is comprised of senior management including our Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Vice President of Real Estate, and Senior Vice President of Stores, approves all prospective locations before a lease is signed.

 

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We believe there is a significant opportunity to expand our store base in the United States. Based on research conducted for us by Buxton Company, we believe that we can grow our store base from 77 locations to more than 300 locations   in the United States.

 

We opened eleven new stores in fiscal year 2016. We have opened two new stores to date in fiscal year 2017 and currently plan to open an additional ten new stores in the remainder of fiscal year 2017. For the next several years thereafter, we intend to grow our square footage at a rate of greater than 10 percent annually. Our new store openings are planned in existing, adjacent and new markets.

 

Our new store growth plan is supported by our target new unit economics, which we believe to be compelling. A typical store location ranges in size from 30,000 to 50,000 gross square feet. Our net investment to open a new store is approximately $2.0 million, consisting of pre-opening expenses and capital investments, net of tenant allowances. In addition, we stock each new store with initial inventory at an average cost of approximately $2.3 million. For the first twelve month period after opening a new store, we target net sales of $8.0 million to $11.0 million, a four-wall Adjusted EBITDA margin of more than 10% and a pre-tax return on invested capital of over 50% excluding initial inventory cost (or over 20% including initial inventory cost). Our new stores typically reach a mature sales growth rate within three to four years after opening, with net sales increasing approximately 25% in the aggregate during this time period. For the 29 stores opened since 2010 that have been open for a full twelve months, we achieved an average four-wall Adjusted EBITDA margin of 13.5% and an average ROIC of 81.7% excluding initial inventory cost (and 30.1% including initial inventory cost) during the first twelve months of operations. In addition, we achieved an average pre-tax payback period of less than one year (excluding initial inventory cost) and expect to achieve an average pre-tax payback period of approximately 2.5 years (including initial inventory cost).

 

E-Commerce Platform and Digital Strategy

 

We believe our website is an extension of our brand and our retail stores. Our website, www.sportsmanswarehouse.com , serves as both a sales channel and a platform for marketing and product education, and allows us to engage more fully with the local outdoor community. Our website features a similar merchandise assortment as offered in our stores as well as certain products found exclusively online. Regulatory restrictions create certain structural barriers to the online sale of approximately 33% of our revenue, such as firearms, ammunition, certain cutlery, propane and reloading powder. As a result, this portion of our business is currently more protected from online-only retailers, such as Amazon.

 

We also provide our online customers with convenient multi-channel services. To ensure that our customers have access to our entire assortment of products available on the e-commerce website, our retail stores feature kiosks that allow customers to place orders for items that are available only on our website or that are out of stock or not regularly stocked. We view our kiosk offering as an important complement to our larger format stores, as well as a key differentiator and extension of our smaller format stores. Our in-store pickup offering allows customers to order products through our e-commerce website and pick up the products in our retail stores without incurring shipping costs. We believe our ship-to-store functionality is a valuable service offering to customers, as well as a means to generate additional foot traffic to our retail stores.

 

Our website also features an online version of our Braggin’ Board, which complements our retail store Braggin’ Board forum. In addition, our website features local area content, including fishing reports and event schedules, as well as online educational resources, including tips, advice and links to video demonstrations on our dedicated YouTube channel. In fiscal year 2014, we launched enhanced department and product pages, detailed buyer’s guides, and additional instructional product videos. We have also rolled out our social media strategy through our Facebook page and Instagram feed. These platforms allow us to reach our customers more directly with targeted postings of advertisements and in-store events. We believe our online educational resources and community outreach drive traffic to our website and retail stores, while improving user engagement as shoppers move from single-purchase users to loyal customers. We provide online customer service support and fulfill all orders in-house through our distribution center. During fiscal year 2016, our e-commerce platform generated total sales of $9.3 million, or 1.2% of our total sales. Over the same period, our website received greater than 17.0 million visits, which we believe demonstrates our position as a leading resource for outdoor products and product education.

 

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Our Products and Services

 

Merchandise Strategy

 

We offer a broad range of products at a variety of price points and carry a deep selection of branded merchandise from well-known manufacturers, such as Browning, Carhartt, Coleman, Columbia Sportswear, Federal Premium Ammunition, Honda, Johnson Outdoors, Remington, Shakespeare, Shimano, Smith & Wesson and Under Armour. To reinforce our convenient shopping experience, we offer our products at competitive, everyday low prices. We believe our competitive pricing strategy supports our strong value proposition, instills price confidence in both our customers and our sales associates and is a critical element of our competitive position.

 

We believe we offer a wider selection of hard goods than many of our principal competitors. We employ a “good, better, and best” merchandise strategy, with an emphasis on “better” products that meet the needs of customers of all experience levels. We strive to keep our merchandise mix fresh and exciting by continuously searching for new, innovative products and introducing them to our customers. Our hunting and shooting department, which is strategically located at the back of the store, is a key driver of store traffic and one of the reasons for our high frequency of customer visits. We carry a large array of consumable goods, which includes ammunition, bait, cleaning supplies, food, lures, propane and reloading supplies.  During fiscal year 2016, sales of consumable goods accounted for approximately 36.0% of our unit sales and 20.0% of our dollar sales. We believe the sale of consumables and replenishment items drives repeat traffic, with approximately 67% of our customers visiting our stores seven or more times per year (according to our internal surveys). During such visits, our customers frequently browse and purchase other items, including additional gear and accessories.

 

We also carry a variety of private label offerings under the Rustic Ridge TM , Killik TM , Vital Impact TM , Yukon Gold, Lost River and Sportsman’s Warehouse brands. These products are designed and priced to complement our branded assortment, by offering our customers a quality alternative at all price points. We believe the clothing, footwear and camping categories present a compelling near-term opportunity to expand our private label offering. In order to address these segments, we introduced our proprietary Rustic Ridge TM and Killik TM clothing lines. During fiscal year 2016, private label offerings accounted for approximately 4.0% of our total sales, compared to more than 20% for many of our sporting goods retail peers. We believe our private label products are an important opportunity to drive sales and increase margins alongside our branded merchandise.

 

In addition to outfitting our customers with the correct gear, we provide our customers with various in-store, value-added, technical support services. All of our stores offer full-service archery technician services, fishing-reel line winding, gun bore sighting and scope mounting, among other services. We also help first-time participants enjoy the outdoors responsibly by issuing hunting and fishing licenses. We believe the support services provided by our highly trained staff technicians differentiate us from our competitors and drive customer loyalty and repeat traffic to our stores.

 

Products

 

Our stores are organized into six departments. The table below summarizes the key product lines and brands by department:

 

 

 

 

Department

    

Product Offerings

Camping

 

Backpacks, camp essentials, canoes and kayaks, coolers, outdoor cooking equipment, sleeping bags, tents and tools

Clothing

 

Camouflage, jackets, hats, outerwear, sportswear, technical gear and work wear

Fishing

 

Bait, electronics, fishing rods, flotation items, fly fishing, lines, lures, reels, tackle and small boats

Footwear

 

Hiking boots, socks, sport sandals, technical footwear, trail shoes, casual shoes, waders and work boots

Hunting and Shooting

 

Ammunition, archery items, ATV accessories, blinds and tree stands, decoys, firearms, reloading equipment and shooting gear

Optics, Electronics and Accessories

 

Gift items, GPS devices, knives, lighting, optics -e.g., binoculars and two-way radios

 

Each department has buying and planning teams that are responsible for monitoring product availability from vendors and sales volume within the department and across all stores. We actively monitor the profitability of each

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product category within each department and adjust our assortment and selling space accordingly. This flexibility enables us to provide customers with more preferred product choices and to enhance the profit potential of each store.

 

Hunting and shooting has historically been the largest contributor to our sales. Hunting and shooting department products are generally sold at significantly higher price points than other merchandise but often have lower margins. Camping is our second largest department, and family-oriented camping equipment in particular continues to be a high growth product category. Although clothing sales decreased as a percentage of total sales during fiscal year 2016, overall clothing sales have grown as we have introduced new brands and styles, including our selections for women and children. We view clothing sales as an important opportunity, given this department’s high gross margins and appeal to a broad, growing demographic.

 

The following table shows our sales during the past three fiscal years presented by department:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fiscal Year Ended

 

 

 

January 28,

 

January 30,

 

January 31,

 

Department

    

2017

    

2016

    

2015

 

Camping

 

14.6%

 

14.6%

 

13.9%

 

Clothing

 

8.7%

 

8.9%

 

9.8%

 

Fishing

 

10.0%

 

9.9%

 

9.8%

 

Footwear

 

7.1%

 

7.3%

 

7.7%

 

Hunting and Shooting

 

50.9%

 

50.2%

 

49.4%

 

Optics, Electronics and Accessories (Giftbar)

 

9.0%

 

9.6%

 

9.8%

 

Other

 

(0.3%)

 

(0.5%)

 

(0.4%)

 

Total

 

100.0%

 

100.0%

 

100.0%

 

 

Camping . Camping represented approximately 14.6% of our net sales during fiscal year 2016. Our camping assortment addresses both the technical requirements of the heavy-use camper, including gear for long-duration or deep-woods excursions, as well as the needs of the casual camper. We offer a broad selection of tents and shelters for both multi-day back country use and weekend outings, sleeping bags for the most extreme conditions as well as the summer overnight trip, backpacks and backpacking gear, including camouflaged styles for hunting, generators for home and camp use, cooking and food preparation equipment, including stoves and extended-use coolers, as well as dehydrated foods. Our camping department also includes canoes, kayaks and a selection of recreational family camping equipment, including basic automotive accessories, camp chairs and canopies. Our camping department includes brands such as Alps Mountaineering, Camp Chef, Coleman, Honda, Teton Sports, and Yeti Coolers.

 

Clothing. Clothing represented approximately 8.7% of our net sales during fiscal year 2016 and includes camouflage, outerwear, sportswear, technical gear, work-wear, jackets and hats. We primarily offer well-known brands in our clothing department, such as Carhartt, Columbia, Kings Mountain Shadow, Sitka, and Under Armour. We also intend to grow our proprietary clothing lines, Rustic Ridge TM and Killik TM . Our clothing selection offers technical performance capabilities for a variety of hunting activities, including upland game, waterfowl, archery, big game hunting, turkey hunting and shooting sports. Performance attributes include waterproofing, temperature control, scent control features and visual capabilities, such as blaze orange and camouflage in a wide range of patterns. Outerwear, particularly performance rainwear, is an important product category for customers who are fishing, hiking, hunting or marine enthusiasts. We furthermore complement our technical clothing with an assortment of casual clothing that fits our customers’ lifestyles, including a variety of branded graphic t-shirts, and private label motto t-shirts.

 

Fishing   . Fishing represented approximately 10.0% of our net sales during fiscal year 2016 and includes products for fresh-water fishing, salt-water fishing, fly-fishing, ice-fishing and boating. Our broad assortment appeals to the beginning and weekend angler, as well as avid and tournament anglers. In addition to lures, rods and reels, our fishing assortment features a wide selection of products in tackle management and organization, electronics, fly-fishing, ice-fishing and marine accessories sub-categories. We also provide fishing-reel line winding services in all of our stores and live bait in most of our stores. We offer products for boat care and maintenance, as well as safety equipment and aquatic products such as float tubes and pontoons. All of our stores also sell fishing licenses. Our fishing department includes brands such as Johnson Outdoors, Normark, Plano, Pure Fishing, Rivers Wild Flies, and Shimano.

 

Footwear   . Footwear represented approximately 7.1% of our net sales during fiscal year 2016 and includes work boots, technical footwear, hiking boots, trail shoes, socks, sport sandals and waders. As with clothing, our footwear selection offers a variety of technical performance capabilities, such as different levels of support and types of tread,

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waterproofing, temperature control and visual attributes. Our footwear department includes brands such as Danner, Keen, Merrell, Red Wing, and Under Armour.

 

Hunting and Shooting . Hunting and shooting is our largest merchandise department, representing approximately 50.9% of our net sales during fiscal year 2016. Products such as ammunition, cleaning supplies, firearms and reloading selections are typically key drivers of traffic in our stores. Our hunting and shooting merchandise assortment provides equipment, accessories and consumable supplies for virtually every type of hunting and shooting sport. A backroom shop staffed with technicians allows us to support our hunting assortments for the benefit of the hunter, shooter, and archery enthusiast.

 

Our merchandise selection includes a wide variety of firearms designed for hunting, shooting sports and home and personal defense, including air guns, black powder muzzle loaders, handguns, rifles and shotguns. We carry a wide selection of ammunition, archery equipment, dog training products, hunting equipment, reloading equipment and shooting accessories. Our hunting and shooting department includes brands such as Federal Premium Ammunition, Hornady, Remington Arms, Ruger, Smith & Wesson, and Winchester.

 

Optics, Electronics and Accessories. Our optics, electronics and accessories department represented approximately 9.0% of our net sales during fiscal year 2016. This department supplements our other equipment departments with complementary products, such as optics (including binoculars, spotting scopes and rangefinders), GPS devices and other navigation gear, GoPro video cameras, two-way radios, specialized and basic cutlery and tools, including hunting and other knives, lighting, bear spray and other accessories. Our optics, electronics and accessories department includes brands such as Garmin, Leica, Nikon, Swarovski Optik and Vortex Optics.

 

Other. Our other department represented approximately (0.3)% of our net sales during fiscal year 2016 and includes hunting and fishing licenses and background check revenue, net of revenue discounts. See Note 2 to our Consolidated Financial Statements for a discussion how, in fiscal year 2016, we changed the way revenue from state fish and game licenses, duck stamps, and state government-mandated firearm backgroud checks is recorded (Gross vs. Net).

 

Loyalty Programs

 

We launched a loyalty program in the fall of 2013, through which our consumers are able to earn “points” towards Sportsman’s Warehouse gift cards on most of their purchases. The program is free to join and accepted through all channels for both purchases and the use of redemption cards. As of January 28, 2017, we had approximately 1.2 million participants in our loyalty program.

 

Customers may obtain a loyalty program card when making a purchase in-store or online. After obtaining a card, the customer must register on our website in order to redeem loyalty rewards. Customers earn one point for each dollar spent, with the exception of certain items, such as gift cards and fish and game licenses. For every 100 points accumulated, the customer is entitled to a $1.00 credit in loyalty rewards, which may be redeemed by logging into our website to request a redemption card for any whole dollar amount (subject to the customer’s available point balance). The redemption card is then mailed to the customer and operates as a gift card to be used for both in-store and online purchasing. The rewards points expire after 18 months of dormancy.

 

In addition, we offer our customers the multi-use Sportsman’s Warehouse Rewards VISA Platinum credit card issued by US Bank. US Bank extends credit directly to cardholders and provides all servicing for the credit card accounts, funds the rewards and bears all credit and fraud losses. This card allows customers to earn points whenever and wherever they use their card. Customers may redeem earned points for products and services just as they would redeem loyalty card points.

 

Sourcing and Distribution

 

Sourcing

 

We maintain central purchasing, replenishment and distribution functions to manage inventory planning, allocate merchandise to stores and oversee the replenishment of basic merchandise to the distribution center. We have no long-term purchase commitments. During fiscal year 2016, we purchased merchandise from approximately 1,500 vendors

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with no vendor accounting for more than approximately 6% of total merchandise purchased. We have established long-standing, continuous relationships with our largest vendors.

 

Our sourcing organization is currently managed by our merchant team in our corporate headquarters. We also have field merchants that coordinate certain merchandising functions at the store level to provide a more localized merchandising model. To ensure that our product offerings are tailored to local market conditions and demand, our merchant teams regularly meet one-on-one with our vendors, and attend trade shows, review trade periodicals and evaluate merchandise offered by other retail and online merchants. We also frequently gather feedback and new product reviews from our store management and employees, as well as from reviews submitted by our customers. We believe this feedback is valuable to our vendor-partners and improves our access to new models and technologies.

 

  Distribution and Fulfillment

 

We distribute all of our merchandise from our efficient 507,000 square foot distribution center in Salt Lake City, Utah. We opened this facility in July 2013, more than doubling the available space from our prior facility, in order to accommodate our growing store base and e-commerce platform. The distribution center supports replenishment for all 75 stores and manages the fulfillment of direct-to-consumer e-commerce orders. We use preferred carriers for replenishment of our retail stores. We ship merchandise to our e-commerce customers via courier service. An experienced distribution management team leads a staff of 435 employees at peak inventory levels heading into the fourth quarter.

 

The distribution center has dynamic systems and processes that we believe can accommodate continued new store growth for 100 or more stores. We use the HighJump warehouse management system, or WMS, to manage all activities. The system is highly adaptable and can be easily changed to accommodate new business requirements. For example, our WMS enabled us to support full omni channel distribution under one roof by allowing us to comingle inventory to optimize space requirements and labor. Additionally, we have developed customized Radio Frequency and Voice Directed processes to handle the specific requirements of our operations. We have the capability to both case pick and item pick, which is designed to ensure that our stores have sufficient quantities of product while also allowing us to maintain in inventory slow moving but necessary items. This balance allows us to stock the right products at the necessary locations, all at the right time and in the correct quantity.

 

Marketing and Advertising

 

We believe, based on internal surveys, that the majority of our customers are male, between the ages of 35 and 65, and have an annual household income between $40,000 and $100,000. We also actively market to women and children and have expanded our product offerings of women’s and children’s outerwear, clothing and footwear to address rising participation rates in hunting and shooting sports, as well as overall outdoor activity.

 

Our primary marketing efforts are focused on driving additional consumers to the stores and increasing the frequency and profitability of visits by customers of all types. We employ a two-pronged marketing approach:

 

·

regional advertising programs; and

 

·

local grass roots efforts to build brand awareness and customer loyalty.

 

Our regional advertising programs emphasize seasonal requirements for hunting, fishing and camping in our various store geographies. Our advertising medium is typically newspaper inserts (primarily multi-page color inserts during key shopping periods such as the Christmas season and Father’s Day), supplemented with modest amounts of direct mail, seasonal use of local and national television ads and a variety of out-of-home media buys. We proactively modify the timing and content of our message to match local and regional preferences, changing seasons, weather patterns and topography of a given region. In addition, the use of co-op funding with select vendors to supplement our out-of-pocket media expenses allows us to improve brand exposure through various advertising vehicles, while partnering with national brands in relevant media channels. This program also reinforces the general consumer’s impression of Sportsman’s Warehouse as a preferred retailer for those brands. Finally, we sponsor regional and national television programming, including sponsoring the, Angler’s Channel, Fishful Thinking, Hooked on Utah and Eastman’s Hunting TV.  Our total marketing expenses for fiscal year 2016 were approximately $9.4 million, excluding co-op reimbursement of $1.9 million. 

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The second prong of our marketing effort is the time and resources devoted to fostering grass roots relationships in the local community. Each Sportsman’s Warehouse store employs a variety of outreach tools to build local awareness. One key component to a successful store is hosting events throughout the year, targeting a variety of end user customer profiles (such as hunters, campers, anglers, women and children). In total, our store base hosts or facilitates approximately 3,000 in-store and offsite seminars and events per year, such as “ladies night,” Eastman’s Deer Tour, Waterfowl Weekend, Conservation Days contest and Bucks & Bulls. We are also active in supporting a variety of conservation groups, such as Ducks Unlimited, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Mule Deer Foundation and the National Wild Turkey Federation, both at the corporate level and through store employee local memberships and participation. Company representatives attend more than 600 events annually in the aggregate, both to provide support for these organizations and to solidify ties between their members and the Sportsman’s brand. Furthermore, we believe that the Sportsman’s News newspaper, offered in-store, provides a unique point of contact with our customers by offering outdoor stories, product reviews, how-to articles and new product introductions to keep all of our customers up to date on the latest trends and technology. Finally, such grass roots campaigns enable us to reduce our initial marketing spend in connection with new store openings. We believe that these initiatives are highly cost-effective tools to create brand awareness and engender a loyal community of local customers, as well as a key differentiator versus other national retailers.

 

Hiring, Training and Motivating our Employees

 

We believe that the recruitment, training and knowledge of our employees and the consistency and quality of the service they deliver are central to our success. We emphasize deep product knowledge for store managers and sales associates at both the hiring and training stages. We hire most of our sales associates for a specific department or product category. As part of the interview process, we test each prospective employee for knowledge specific to the department or category in which he or she is applying to work. All of our managers and sales associates undergo focused sales training, consisting of both sales techniques and specialized product instruction, both immediately upon hiring (approximately 20 hours) and continuing throughout their career (approximately 16 hours annually). In addition, our sales associates receive loss prevention instruction and departmental training upon hiring. For example, in our hunting department, all employees receive an additional nine hours of training on ATF and company policies initially upon hire, with continuing education throughout the year. Our store managers complete two to six months of on-the-job training at another store with an existing district manager, as part of which they receive approximately 80 hours of dedicated managerial training and instruction. Our department heads receive extensive online training as well as on-site instruction, totaling approximately 40 hours. As a result of these programs, our employees are highly trained to provide friendly and non-intimidating education, guidance and support to address our customers’ needs.

 

Our employees are often outdoor enthusiasts themselves, participating in outdoor activities alongside our customers in the local community. Our employees spend a portion of their gross wages in-store, underscoring their passion for both our company and the outdoor lifestyle. We believe our level of employee store patronage is unique among our competitors in this industry and enhances our differentiated shopping experience.

 

One of our unique assets is a specially designed training room located at our headquarters. Our training room is used frequently for firm-wide training programs and by vendors to stage training demonstrations for new products. Training room sessions are broadcast real-time in high definition to each store location and are recorded for future viewing. Vendor training is especially interactive, permitting vendor representatives to present a uniform message simultaneously to all employees, while allowing managers and sales staff in individual stores to ask questions of the vendors and provide real-time feedback on products. This system decreases the vendor’s promotion and education costs and provides more meaningful training to our employees. Training room sessions are particularly important for technical products, especially those with numerous features and a high unit price, because they enable our sales associates to better educate customers and provide additional assurance that a given product fits the customer’s needs. Given its utility as a cost-effective sales tool, our training room is reserved well in advance by vendors. Our training program has been a critical factor in increasing conversion, which has led to average ticket growth of approximately 10% since the end of fiscal year 2010.

 

Information Technology

 

Business critical information technology, or IT, systems include our supply chain systems, merchandise system, point-of-sale (POS) system, warehouse management system, e-commerce system, loss prevention system and financial and payroll systems. Our IT infrastructure is robustly designed to be able to access real-time data from any store or

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channel. The network infrastructure allows us to quickly and cost effectively add new stores to the wide area network, or WAN. The private WAN is built on a CenturyLink (formerly Qwest) backbone with all of its resources and support. Additionally, we have implemented a redundant wireless WAN on Verizon’s infrastructure. All key systems will continue to run in the event of a power or network outage. All data is backed up daily from one storage array to another storage array.

 

We have implemented what we believe to be best-of-class software for all of our major business critical systems. Key operating systems include Oracle Applications for ERP, Oracle Commerce for our e-commerce channel, Salesforce’s (formally Tomax’s) Retail.net and JPOS for in-store functionality and HighJump for WMS. Our physical infrastructure is also built on products from best-in-class vendors Cisco, Dell, Oracle Sun and VMWare. Originally designed with the goal of being able to run a significantly larger retail business, our IT systems are scalable to support our growth.

 

The retail stores and the distribution center have loss prevention employees who monitor an average of 60 cameras at each store and 200 at the distribution center. These cameras are connected to digital video recorders (DVR) that record at least 30 days of video. Cameras are monitored locally during store hours. In addition, all cameras are monitored centrally at our headquarters in our dedicated surveillance room, which has capacity to monitor over 120 stores. This room is staffed continuously and provides off-hours monitoring and backup for all stores. Digital recorded video can be searched by pixel movement, which can quickly identify any loss prevention issue. Our sophisticated systems are a key factor in our shrink rates of less than 1% and an important component of our comprehensive compliance program.

 

We furthermore have incorporated enhanced reporting tools that have allowed for more comprehensive monitoring of business performance, which has been critical to management’s ability to drive strong store level performance. Management has access to a reporting dashboard that shows key performance indicators, or KPIs, on a company, store, department and category level. KPIs include sales, margin, budget, conversions, payroll, shrinkage and average order value all on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis. All KPIs are compared to comparable prior year periods. District, store and department managers have access to the data relevant to their area of responsibility. Real-time, up to the second, sales data is available on demand. The system allows for custom-created reports as required.

 

Intellectual Property

 

Sportsman’s Warehouse ® , Sportsman’s Warehouse America’s Premier Outfitter ® , Lost Creek ® , LC Lost Creek Fishing Gear and Accessories ® , Rustic Ridge TM , Killik TM , K Killik & Design TM , LC & Design TM , and Vital Impact TM are among our service marks or trademarks registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. In addition, we own several other registered and unregistered trademarks and service marks involving advertising slogans and other names and phrases used in our business. We also own numerous domain names, including www.sportsmanswarehouse.com , among others. The information on, or that can be accessed through, our websites is not a part of this filing.

 

We believe that our trademarks are valid and valuable and intend to maintain our trademarks and any related registrations. We do not know of any material pending claims of infringement or other challenges to our right to use our marks in the United States or elsewhere. We have no franchises or other concessions that are material to our operations.

 

Our Market and Competition

 

Our Market

 

We compete in the large, growing and fragmented outdoor activities and sporting goods market, which we believe is currently underserved by full-line multi-activity retailers. We believe, based on reports by the National Sporting Goods Association, or NSGA, and other industry sources, that U.S. outdoor activities and sporting goods retail sales totaled over $60 billion in 2015. The U.S. outdoor activities and sporting goods sector is comprised of three primary categories—equipment, clothing and footwear—with each category containing distinct product sets to support a variety of activities, including hunting, fishing, camping and shooting, as well as other sporting goods activities.

 

We believe growth in the U.S. outdoor activities and sporting goods market is driven by several key trends, including: an expanding demographic focused on healthy and active lifestyles; successful new product introductions centered around enhancing performance and enjoyment while participating in sporting and outdoor activities; and the resilience of consumer demand for purchases in these categories versus other discretionary categories. We believe these factors will continue to foster growth in the outdoor activities and sporting goods market in the future.

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Within the retail sporting goods sector, we operate primarily in the outdoor equipment, clothing and footwear segment, which includes hunting and shooting, fishing, camping and boating. This segment is growing at a faster rate than the sporting goods industry at large. The 2011 U.S. Fish and Wildlife national survey, published once every five years, found that hunting and shooting and fishing participation increased 9% and 11%, respectively, for Americans aged 16 and older from 2006 to 2011. This survey also found that fishing participation among women increased by 17% over the same time period.

 

A 2015 NSGA report indicated that, from 2013 to 2015, there was a 4% increase in hunting with firearms participation, a 4% increase in target shooting (live ammunition) participation,  and a 5% increase in fishing (fresh water) participation. From 2011 to 2015 the report indicated a 12% increase in female participation in target shooing (live ammo), and an 25% increase in female participation in hunting with firearms in the United States. 

 

Furthermore, we believe that specialty retailers have generated additional sales volume by expanding their presence, especially in smaller communities, which has increased customers’ access to products that formerly were less available. The nature of the outdoor activities to which we cater requires recurring purchases throughout the year, resulting in high rates of conversion among customers. For example, active anglers typically purchase various fishing tackle throughout the year based on seasons and changing conditions. Hunting with firearms typically is accompanied by recurring purchases of ammunition and cleaning supplies throughout the year and multiple firearm styles for different hunted game.

 

Competition

 

We believe that the principal competitive factors in our industry are breadth and depth of product selection, including locally relevant offerings, value pricing, convenient locations, technical services and customer service. A few of our competitors have a larger number of stores, and some of them have a greater market presence, name recognition and financial, distribution, marketing and other resources than we have. We believe that we compete effectively with our competitors with our distinctive branded selection and superior customer service, as well as our commitment to understanding and providing merchandise that is relevant to our targeted customer base. We cater to the outdoor enthusiast and believe that we have both an in-depth knowledge of the technical outdoor customer and a “grab and go” store environment that is uniquely conducive to their need for value and convenience. We believe that our flexible box size, combined with our low-cost, high-service model, also allows us to enter into and serve smaller markets that our larger competitors cannot penetrate as effectively. Finally, certain barriers, including legal restrictions, exist on the sale of our product offerings that comprise approximately 33% of our revenue, such as firearms, ammunition, certain cutlery, propane and reloading powder, create a structural barrier to competition from many online retailers, such as Amazon. 

 

Our principal competitors include the following:

 

·

independent, local specialty stores, often referred to as “mom & pops”;

 

·

other specialty retailers that compete with us across a significant portion of our merchandising categories through retail store, catalog or e-commerce businesses, such as Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s and Gander Mountain;

 

·

large-format sporting goods stores and chains, such as Academy Sports + Outdoors and Dick’s Sporting Goods; and

 

·

mass merchandisers, warehouse clubs, discount stores, department stores and online retailers, such as Amazon, Target and Wal-Mart.

 

Independent, Local Specialty Stores . These stores generally range in size from approximately 2,000 to 10,000 square feet, and typically focus on one or two specific product categories, such as hunting, fishing or camping, and usually lack a broad selection of product.

 

Other Specialty Retailers. Some of the other specialty retailers that compete with us across a significant portion of our merchandising categories are large-format retailers that generally range in size from 40,000 to 250,000 square feet. These retailers seek to offer a broad selection of merchandise focused on hunting, fishing, camping and other outdoor product categories. Some of these stores combine the characteristics of an outdoor retailer with outdoor entertainment

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and theme attractions. We believe that the number of these stores that can be supported in any single market area is limited because of their large size and significant per-store cost.

 

Other specialty retailers are smaller chains that typically focus on offering a broad selection of merchandise in one or more of the following product categories—hunting, fishing, camping or other outdoor product categories. We believe that these other outdoor-focused chains generally do not offer a similar depth and breadth of merchandise or specialized services in all of our product categories.

 

Large-Format Sporting Goods Stores And Chains . These stores generally range from 20,000 to 80,000 square feet and offer a broad selection of sporting goods merchandise covering a variety of sporting goods categories, including baseball, basketball, football and home gyms, as well as hunting, fishing and camping. However, we believe that the amount of space at these stores devoted to our outdoor product categories limits the extent of their offerings in these areas.

 

Mass Merchandisers, Warehouse Clubs, Discount Stores, Department Stores and Online Retailers . With respect to retailers in this category with physical stores, these stores generally range in size from approximately 50,000 to over 200,000 square feet and are primarily located in shopping centers, free-standing sites or regional malls. Hunting, fishing and camping merchandise and clothing represent a small portion of the stores’ assortment, and of their total sales. We believe that less than 10% of our product offering, and less than 5% of our hunting and shooting product offering, overlap with these stores. 

 

Over the past decade, specialty retailers, such as us, have gained market share of equipment sales at the expense of mass merchants, discount stores and independent retailers, or “mom & pop” shops, which we believe comprise approximately 65% of the market. In addition, while there are over 80,000 Type 01 Federal Firearms Licenses, or FFLs, in the United States today, only 4,300 are currently held by national or regional specialty stores. Since FFLs are issued at the store level, these statistics imply that the remaining 95% of the market is fragmented among mom & pop stores. We believe this fragmentation within the total addressable market presents an attractive opportunity for us to continue to expand our market share, as customers increasingly prefer a broad and appealing selection of merchandise, competitive prices, high levels of service and one-stop shopping convenience.

 

Seasonality

 

We experience moderate seasonal fluctuations in our net sales and operating results as a result of holiday spending and the opening of hunting seasons. While our sales are more level throughout the year than many retailers, our sales are still traditionally somewhat higher in the third and fourth fiscal quarters than in the other quarterly periods. On average over the last three fiscal years, we have generated 27.3% and 28.9% of our net sales in the third and fourth fiscal quarters, respectively, which includes the holiday selling season as well as the opening of the fall hunting season. However, Spring hunting, Father’s Day and the availability of hunting and fishing throughout the year in many of our markets counterbalance this seasonality to a certain degree. For additional information, see Part II, Item 7  “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operation."

 

Regulation and Compliance

 

Regulation and Legislation

 

We operate in highly regulated industries. There are a number of federal, state and local laws and regulations that affect our business. In every state in which we operate, we must obtain various licenses or permits in order to operate our business.

 

Because we sell firearms at all of our retail stores, we are subject to regulation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, or the “ATF”. Each store has a federal firearms license permitting the sale of firearms, and our distribution center has obtained a federal firearms license to store and distribute firearms. Certain states require a state license to sell firearms, and we have obtained these licenses for the states in which we operate that have such a requirement.

 

We must comply with federal, state and local laws and regulations, including the National Firearms Act of 1934, or NFA, the Gun Control Act of 1968, or GCA, the Arms Export Control Act of 1976 and Internal Revenue Code

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provisions applicable to the Firearms and Ammunition Excise Tax, all of which have been amended from time to time. The NFA and the GCA require our business to, among other things, maintain federal firearms licenses for our locations and perform a pre-transfer background check in connection with all firearms purchases. We perform this background check using either the FBI-managed National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, or a comparable state government-managed system that relies on NICS and any additional information collected by the state, a state point of contact. These background check systems either confirm that a transfer can be made, deny the transfer or require that the transfer be delayed for further review, and provide us with a transaction number for the proposed transfer. We are required to record the transaction number on an ATF Form 4473 and retain this form in our records for auditing purposes for 20 years for each approved transfer and five years for each denied or delayed transaction.

 

The federal categories of prohibited purchasers are the prevailing minimum for all states. States (and, in some cases, local governments) on occasion enact laws that further restrict permissible purchasers of firearms. We are also subject to numerous other federal, state and local laws and regulations regarding firearm sale procedures, record keeping, inspection and reporting, including adhering to minimum age restrictions regarding the purchase or possession of firearms or ammunition, residency requirements, applicable waiting periods, importation regulations and regulations pertaining to the shipment and transportation of firearms.

 

Over the past several years, bills have been introduced in the United States Congress that would restrict or prohibit the manufacture, transfer, importation or sale of certain calibers of handgun ammunition, impose a tax and import controls on bullets designed to penetrate bullet-proof vests, impose a special occupational tax and registration requirements on manufacturers of handgun ammunition and increase the tax on handgun ammunition in certain calibers. Recently, Congress has debated certain gun control measures that were supported by the prior administration.

 

In September 2004, Congress declined to renew the Assault Weapons Ban of 1994, or AWB, which prohibited the manufacture of certain firearms defined as “assault weapons”; restricted the sale or possession of “assault weapons,” except those that were manufactured prior to the law’s enactment; and placed restrictions on the sale of new high capacity ammunition feeding devices. Various states and local jurisdictions, including Colorado and California (states in which we operate stores), have adopted their own versions of the AWB or high capacity ammunition feeding device restrictions, some of which restrictions apply to the products we sell in other states. If a statute similar to the AWB were to be enacted or re-enacted at the federal level, it would impact our ability to sell certain products. Additionally, state and local governments have proposed laws and regulations that, if enacted, would place additional restrictions on the manufacture, transfer, sale, purchase, possession and use of firearms, ammunition and shooting-related products. For example, several states, such as Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Washington have enacted laws and regulations that are more restrictive than federal laws and regulations that limit access to and sale of certain firearms. For example, Connecticut and New York impose mandatory screening of ammunition purchases; California and the District of Columbia have requirements for microstamping (that is, engraving the handgun’s serial number on each cartridge) of new handguns; and some states prohibit the sale of guns without internal or external locking mechanisms. Other state or local governmental entities may also explore similar legislative or regulatory initiatives that may further restrict the manufacture, sale, purchase, possession or use of firearms, ammunition and shooting-related products.

 

The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which became effective in October 2005, prohibits civil liability actions from being brought or continued in any federal or state court against federally licensed manufacturers, distributors, dealers or importers of firearms or ammunition for damages, punitive damages, injunctive or declaratory relief, abatement, restitution, fines, penalties or other relief resulting from the criminal or unlawful misuse of a qualified product by third parties. The legislation does not preclude traditional product liability actions.

 

We are also subject to a variety of federal, state and local laws and regulations relating to, among other things, protection of the environment, human health and safety, advertising, pricing, weights and measures, product safety, and other matters. Some of these laws affect or restrict the manner in which we can sell certain items, such as handguns, smokeless powder, black powder substitutes, ammunition, bows, knives and other products. State and local laws and regulations governing hunting, fishing, boating, ATVs and other outdoor activities and equipment can also affect our business. We believe that we are in substantial compliance with the terms of such laws and that we have no liabilities under such laws that we expect could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations or financial condition.

 

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In addition, many of our imported products are subject to existing or potential duties, tariffs or quotas that may limit the quantity of products that we may import into the United States and other countries or impact the cost of such products. To date, quotas in the operation of our business have not restricted us, and customs duties have not comprised a material portion of the total cost of our products.

 

Our e-commerce business is subject to the Mail or Telephone Order Merchandise Rule and related regulations promulgated by the FTC which affect our catalog mail order operations. FTC regulations, in general, govern the solicitation of orders, the information provided to prospective customers, and the timeliness of shipments and refunds. In addition, the FTC has established guidelines for advertising and labeling many of the products we sell.

 

Compliance

 

We are routinely inspected by the ATF and various state agencies to ensure compliance with federal and local regulations. While we view such inspections as a starting point, we employ more thorough internal compliance inspections to help ensure we are in compliance with all applicable laws. Our compliance department conducts at least one on-site inspection of each store location biennially. With the IT infrastructure systems we have in place, recall inspections can be done remotely.

 

We dedicate significant resources to ensure compliance with applicable federal, state and local regulations. Since we began operations in 1986, none of our federal firearm licenses have been revoked, and none of our ATF compliance inspections within the last ten years have resulted in a major violation.

 

We are also subject to a variety of state laws and regulations relating to, among other things, advertising and product restrictions. Some of these laws prohibit or limit the sale, in certain states and locations, of certain items, such as black powder firearms, ammunition, bows, knives, and similar products. Our compliance department administers various restriction codes and other software tools to prevent the sale of such jurisdictionally restricted items.

 

We have particular expertise in the California market and have passed several California Department of Justice, or CA DOJ, firearm audits with zero violations or only minor violations. The CA DOJ communicates with us for policy discussion, recognizing the strength of our compliance infrastructure.

 

Employees

 

As of January 28, 2017 we had approximately 4,800 total employees. Of our total employees, approximately 200 were based at our corporate headquarters in Midvale, Utah, approximately 300 were located at our distribution center, and approximately 4,300 were store employees. We had approximately 2,100 full-time employees and approximately 2,700 part-time employees, who are primarily store employees. None of our employees are represented by a labor union or are party to a collective bargaining agreement, and we have had no labor-related work stoppages. Our relationship with our employees is one of the keys to our success, and we believe that relationship is good.

 

Available Information

 

Our Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and amendments to reports filed or furnished pursuant to Sections 13(a) and 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act are available on our web site at www.sportsmanswarehouse.com, free of charge, as soon as reasonably practicable after the electronic filing of these reports with, or furnishing of these reports to, the SEC. Any materials we file with the SEC are available at the SEC’s Public Reference Room at 100 F Street, NE, Washington, DC 20549. Additional information about the operation of the Public Reference Room can also be obtained by calling the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330. In addition, the SEC maintains a web site at www.sec.gov that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC, including us.

 

ITEM 1A. RISK FACTOR S

 

Our business faces significant risks and uncertainties. Certain important factors may have a material adverse effect on our business prospects, financial condition and results of operations, and you should carefully consider them. Accordingly, in evaluating our business, we encourage you to consider the following discussion of risk factors, in its entirety, in addition to other information contained in or incorporated by reference into this 10-K and our other public

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filings with the SEC. Other events that we do not currently anticipate or that we currently deem immaterial may also affect our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations.

 

Risks Related to Our Business

 

Our retail-based business model is impacted by general economic conditions in our markets, and ongoing economic and financial uncertainties may cause a decline in consumer spending that may adversely affect our business, operations, liquidity, financial results and stock price.

 

As a retail business that depends on consumer discretionary spending, we may be adversely affected if our customers reduce, delay or forego their purchases of our products as a result of continued job losses, bankruptcies, higher consumer debt and interest rates, increases in inflation, higher energy and fuel costs, reduced access to credit, falling home prices and other adverse conditions in the mortgage and housing markets, lower consumer confidence, uncertainty or changes in tax policies and tax rates, uncertainty due to potential national or international security concerns and adverse or unseasonal weather conditions. Decreases in same store sales, customer traffic or average ticket sales negatively affect our financial performance, and a prolonged period of depressed consumer spending could have a material adverse effect on our business. Promotional activities, vendor incentives, and decreased demand for consumer products could affect profitability and margins. In addition, adverse economic conditions may result in an increase in our operating expenses due to, among other things, higher costs of labor, energy, equipment and facilities. Due to recent fluctuations in the U.S. economy, our sales, operating and financial results for a particular period are difficult to predict, making it difficult to forecast results to be expected in future periods. Any of the foregoing factors could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition and could adversely affect our stock price.

 

Our concentration of stores in the Western United States makes us susceptible to adverse conditions in this region.

 

The majority of our stores are currently located in the Western United States, comprising Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. As a result, our operations are more susceptible to regional factors than the operations of more geographically diversified competitors. These factors include regional economic and weather conditions, natural disasters, demographic and population changes and governmental regulations in the states in which we operate. Environmental changes and disease epidemics affecting fish or game populations in any concentrated region may also affect our sales. If a region with a concentration of our stores were to suffer an economic downturn or other adverse event, our operating results could suffer.

 

Competition in the outdoor activities and sporting goods market could reduce our net sales and profitability.

 

The outdoor activities and sporting goods market is highly fragmented and competitive. We compete directly or indirectly with the following types of companies:

 

·

independent, local specialty stores, often referred to as “mom & pops”;

 

·

other specialty retailers that compete with us across a significant portion of our merchandising categories through retail store, catalog or e-commerce businesses, such as Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s and Gander Mountain;

 

·

large-format sporting goods stores and chains, such as Academy Sports + Outdoors and Dick’s Sporting Goods; and

 

·

mass merchandisers, warehouse clubs, discount stores, department stores and online retailers, such as Amazon, Target and Wal-Mart.

 

A few of our competitors have a larger number of stores, and some of them have a greater market presence, name recognition and financial, distribution, marketing and other resources than we have. In addition, if our competitors reduce their prices, we may have to reduce our prices in order to compete, which could harm our margins. Furthermore, some of our competitors may build new stores in or near our existing locations or in locations with high concentrations of our e-commerce business customers. As a result of this competition, we may need to spend more on advertising and promotion. Some of our mass merchandising competitors, such as Wal-Mart, do not currently compete in many of the

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product lines we offer. However, if these competitors were to begin offering a broader array of competing products, or if any of the other factors listed above occurred, our net sales could be reduced or our costs could be increased, resulting in reduced profitability.

 

If we fail to anticipate changes in consumer demands, including regional preferences, in a timely manner, our operating results could suffer.

 

Our products appeal to consumers who regularly hunt, camp, fish and participate in various shooting sports. The preferences of these consumers cannot be predicted with certainty and are subject to change. In addition, due to different game and fishing species and varied weather conditions found in different markets, it is critical that our stores stock products appropriate for their markets. Our success depends on our ability to identify product trends in a variety of markets as well as to anticipate, gauge and quickly react to changing consumer demands in these markets. We usually must order merchandise well in advance of the applicable selling season. The extended lead times for many of our purchases may make it difficult for us to respond rapidly to new or changing product trends or changes in prices. If we misjudge either the market for our products or our customers’ purchasing habits, our net sales may decline significantly and we may not have sufficient quantities of merchandise to satisfy customer demand or we may be required to mark down excess inventory, either of which would result in lower profit margins and harm our operating results.

 

Our expansion into new, unfamiliar markets presents increased risks that may prevent us from being profitable in these new markets.

 

We intend to expand by opening stores in new markets, which may include small- to medium-sized markets and which may not have existing national outdoor sports retailers. As a result, we may have less familiarity with local customer preferences and encounter difficulties in attracting customers due to a reduced level of customer familiarity with our brand. Other factors that may impact our ability to open stores in new markets and operate them profitably, many of which are beyond our control, include:

 

·

our ability to identify suitable locations, including our ability to gather and assess demographic and marketing data to determine consumer demand for our products in the locations we select;

 

·

our ability to obtain financing on favorable terms or negotiate favorable lease agreements;

 

·

our ability to properly assess the profitability of potential new retail store locations;

 

·

our ability to secure required governmental permits and approvals;

 

·

our ability to hire and train skilled store operating personnel, especially management personnel;

 

·

the availability of construction materials and labor and the absence of significant construction delays or cost overruns;

 

·

our ability to provide a satisfactory mix of merchandise that is responsive to the needs of our customers living in the areas where new retail stores are built;

 

·

our ability to supply new retail stores with inventory in a timely manner;

 

·

our competitors building or leasing stores near our retail stores or in locations we have identified as targets for a new retail store;

 

·

consumer demand for our products, particularly firearms and ammunition, which drives traffic to our retail stores;

 

·

regional economic and other factors in the geographies in which we expand; and

 

·

general economic, political, and business conditions affecting consumer confidence and spending and the overall strength of our business.

 

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Once we decide on a new market and find a suitable location, any delays in opening new stores could impact our financial results. It is possible that events, such as delays in the entitlements process or construction delays caused by permitting or licensing issues, material shortages, labor issues, weather delays or other acts of god, discovery of contaminants, accidents, deaths or injunctions, could delay planned new store openings beyond their expected dates or force us to abandon planned openings altogether. In addition, new retail stores typically generate lower operating margins because pre-opening expenses are expensed as they are incurred and because fixed costs, as a percentage of net sales, are higher. Furthermore, the substantial management time and resources which our retail store expansion strategy requires may result in disruption to our existing business operations, which may decrease our profitability.

 

As a result of the above factors, we cannot assure you that we will be successful in operating our stores in new markets on a profitable basis.

 

Our planned growth may strain our business infrastructure, which could adversely affect our operations and financial condition.

 

Over time, we expect to expand the size of our retail store network in new and existing markets. As we grow, we will face the risk that our existing resources and systems, including management resources, accounting and finance personnel and operating systems, may be inadequate to support our growth. We cannot assure you that we will be able to retain the personnel or make the changes in our systems that may be required to support our growth. Failure to secure these resources and implement these systems on a timely basis could have a material adverse effect on our operating results. In addition, hiring additional personnel and implementing changes and enhancements to our systems will require capital expenditures and other increased costs that could also have a material adverse impact on our operating results.

 

Our expansion in new markets may also create new distribution and merchandising challenges, including strain on our distribution facility, an increase in information to be processed by our management information systems and diversion of management attention from existing operations towards the opening of new stores and markets. To the extent that we are not able to meet these additional challenges, our sales could decrease and our operating expenses could increase.

 

Our ability to operate and expand our business and to respond to changing business and economic conditions will depend on the availability of adequate capital.

 

The operation of our business, the rate of our expansion and our ability to respond to changing business and economic conditions depend on the availability of adequate capital, which in turn depends on cash flow generated by our business and, if necessary, the availability of equity or debt capital. We will also need sufficient cash flow to meet our obligations under our existing debt agreements. We paid total cash interest on our credit facilities of $12.0 million, $12.8 million, and $16.4 million in fiscal years 2016, 2015 and 2014, respectively, and our term loans require us to make quarterly principal payments of $0.4 million.

 

We are required to make mandatory prepayments based on any excess cash flows as defined in the term loan agreement. We will not be required to make a mandatory prepayment in fiscal year 2017 for excess cash flows.

 

The amount that we are able to borrow and have outstanding under our revolving credit facility at any given time is subject to a borrowing base calculation, which is a contractual calculation equal to roughly (1) the lesser of (a) 90% of the net orderly liquidation value of our eligible inventory, and (b) 75% of the lower of cost or market value of our eligible inventory, plus (2) 90% of the eligible accounts receivable, less certain reserves against outstanding gift cards, layaway deposits and amounts outstanding under commercial letters of credit, each term as defined in the credit agreement for the revolving credit facility. As a result, our ability to borrow is subject to certain risks and uncertainties, such as a deterioration in the quality of our inventory (which is the largest asset in our borrowing base), a decline in sales activity and the collection of our receivables, which could reduce the funds available to us under our revolving credit facility.

 

We cannot assure you that our cash flow from operations or cash available under our revolving credit facility will be sufficient to meet our needs. If we are unable to generate sufficient cash flows from operations in the future, and if availability under our revolving credit facility is not sufficient, we may have to obtain additional financing. If we obtain additional capital by issuing equity, the interests of our existing stockholders will be diluted. If we incur additional indebtedness, that indebtedness may contain significant financial and other covenants that may significantly restrict our

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operations, and our ability to fund expansion or take advantage of future opportunities. We cannot assure you that we could obtain refinancing or additional financing on favorable terms or at all.

 

Our revolving credit facility and term loans contain restrictive covenants that may impair our ability to access sufficient capital and operate our business.

 

Our revolving credit facility and term loans contain various provisions that limit our ability to, among other things:

 

·

incur, create or assume certain indebtedness;

 

·

create, incur or assume certain liens;

 

·

make certain investments;

 

·

make sales, transfers and dispositions of certain property;

 

·

undergo certain fundamental changes, including certain mergers, liquidations and consolidations;

 

·

purchase, hold or acquire certain investments; and

 

·

declare or make certain dividends and distributions.

 

These covenants may affect our ability to operate and finance our business as we deem appropriate. If we are unable to meet our obligations as they become due or to comply with various financial covenants contained in the instruments governing our current or future indebtedness, this could constitute an event of default under the instruments governing our indebtedness.

 

If there were an event of default under the instruments governing our indebtedness, the holders of the affected indebtedness could declare all of that indebtedness immediately due and payable, which, in turn, could cause the acceleration of the maturity of all of our other indebtedness. We may not have sufficient funds available, or we may not have access to sufficient capital from other sources, to repay any accelerated debt. Even if we could obtain additional financing, the terms of the financing may not be favorable to us. In addition, substantially all of our assets are subject to liens securing our revolving credit facility and term loans. If amounts outstanding under the revolving credit facility or term loans were accelerated, our lenders could foreclose on these liens and we could lose substantially all of our assets. Any event of default under the instruments governing our indebtedness could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

Our same store sales may fluctuate and may not be a meaningful indicator of future performance.

 

Our same store sales may vary from quarter to quarter, and an unanticipated decline in net sales or same store sales may cause the price of our common stock to fluctuate significantly. A number of factors have historically affected, and will continue to affect, our same store sales results, including:

 

·

changes or anticipated changes to regulations related to some of the products we sell;

 

·

consumer preferences, buying trends and overall economic trends;

 

·

our ability to identify and respond effectively to local and regional trends and customer preferences;

 

·

our ability to provide quality customer service that will increase our conversion of shoppers into paying customers;

 

·

competition in the regional market of a store;

 

·

atypical weather;

 

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·

new product introductions and changes in our product mix; and

 

·

changes in pricing and average ticket sales.

 

 

Our operating results are subject to seasonal fluctuations.

 

We experience moderate seasonal fluctuations in our net sales and operating results. On average over the last three fiscal years, we have generated 27.3% and 28.9% of our annual net sales in the third and fourth fiscal quarters, respectively, which includes the holiday selling season as well as the opening of the fall hunting season. We incur additional expenses in the third and fourth fiscal quarters due to higher purchase volumes and increased staffing in our stores. If, for any reason, we miscalculate the demand for our products or our product mix during the third or fourth fiscal quarters, our sales in these quarters could decline, resulting in higher labor costs as a percentage of sales, lower margins and excess inventory, which could cause our annual operating results to suffer and our stock price to decline. Due to our seasonality, the possible adverse impact from other risks associated with our business, including atypical weather, consumer spending levels and general economic and business conditions, is potentially greater if any such risks occur during our peak sales seasons.

 

We rely on a single distribution center for our business, and if there is a natural disaster or other serious disruption at such facility, we may be unable to deliver merchandise effectively to our stores or customers.

 

We rely on a single distribution center in Salt Lake City, Utah for our business. Any natural disaster or other serious disruption at such facility due to fire, tornado, earthquake, flood or any other cause could damage our on-site inventory or impair our ability to use such distribution center. While we maintain business interruption insurance, as well as general property insurance, the amount of insurance coverage may not be sufficient to cover our losses in such an event. Any of these occurrences could impair our ability to adequately stock our stores or fulfill customer orders and harm our operating results.

 

Any disruption of the supply of products from our vendors could have an adverse impact on our net sales and profitability.

 

We cannot predict when, or the extent to which, we will experience any disruption in the supply of products from our vendors. Any such disruption could negatively impact our ability to market and sell our products and serve our customers, which could adversely impact our net sales and profitability.

 

We depend on merchandise purchased from our vendors to obtain products for our stores. We have no contractual arrangements providing for continued supply from our key vendors, and our vendors may discontinue selling to us at any time. Changes in commercial practices of our key vendors or manufacturers, such as changes in vendor support and incentives or changes in credit or payment terms, could also negatively impact our results. If we lose one or more key vendors or are unable to promptly replace a vendor that is unwilling or unable to satisfy our requirements with a vendor providing equally appealing products at comparable prices, we may not be able to offer products that are important to our merchandise assortment.

 

We also are subject to risks, such as the price and availability of raw materials and fabrics, labor disputes, union organizing activity, strikes, inclement weather, natural disasters, war and terrorism and adverse general economic and political conditions, that might limit our vendors’ ability to provide us with quality merchandise on a timely and cost-efficient basis. We may not be able to develop relationships with new vendors, and products from alternative sources, if any, may be of a lesser quality and more expensive than those we currently purchase. Any delay or failure in offering products to our customers could have a material adverse impact on our net sales and profitability.

 

 

Political and economic uncertainty and unrest in foreign countries where our merchandise vendors are located and trade restrictions upon imports from these foreign countries could adversely affect our ability to source merchandise and operating results.

 

In fiscal year 2016, approximately 2.1% of our merchandise was imported directly from vendors located in foreign countries, with a substantial portion of the imported merchandise being obtained directly from vendors in China and El

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Salvador. In addition, we believe that a significant portion of our domestic vendors obtain their products from foreign countries that may also be subject to political and economic uncertainty. We are subject to risks and uncertainties associated with changing economic, political and other conditions in foreign countries where our vendors are located, such as:

 

·

increased import duties, tariffs, border-adjusted taxes, trade restrictions and quotas;

 

·

work stoppages;

 

·

economic uncertainties;

 

·

adverse foreign government regulations;

 

·

wars, fears of war and terrorist attacks and organizing activities;

 

·

adverse fluctuations of foreign currencies;

 

·

natural disasters; and

 

·

political unrest.

 

We cannot predict when, or the extent to which, the countries in which our products are manufactured will experience any of the above events. Any event causing a disruption or delay of imports from foreign locations would likely increase the cost or reduce the supply of merchandise available to us and would adversely affect our operating results.

 

In addition, trade restrictions, including increased tariffs or quotas, embargoes, safeguards and customs restrictions against clothing items, as well as U.S. or foreign labor strikes, work stoppages or boycotts could increase the cost or reduce the supply of merchandise available to us or may require us to modify our current business practices, any of which could hurt our profitability.

 

Finally, potential changes in federal restrictions on the importation of firearms and ammunition products could affect our ability to acquire certain popular brands of firearms and ammunition products from importers and wholesalers, which could negatively impact our net sales until replacements in the United States can be obtained, if at all.

 

A failure in our e-commerce operations, security breaches and cyber security risks could disrupt our business and lead to reduced sales and growth prospects and reputational damage.

 

Our e-commerce business is an important element of our brand and relationship with our customers, and we expect it to continue to grow. In addition to changing consumer preferences and shifting traffic patterns and buying trends in e-commerce, we are vulnerable to additional risks and uncertainties associated with e-commerce sales, including rapid changes in technology, website downtime and other technical failures, security breaches, cyber-attacks, consumer privacy concerns, changes in state tax regimes and government regulation of internet activities. Our failure to successfully respond to these risks and uncertainties could reduce our e-commerce sales, increase our costs, diminish our growth prospects and damage our brand, which could negatively impact our results of operations and stock price.

 

In addition, there is no guarantee that we will be able to expand our e-commerce business. Many of our competitors already have e-commerce businesses that are substantially larger and more developed than ours, which places us at a competitive disadvantage. In addition, there are regulatory restrictions on the sale of approximately 33% of our product offerings, such as ammunition, certain cutlery, firearms, propane and reloading powder. If we are unable to expand our e-commerce business, our growth plans will suffer and the price of our common stock could decline.

 

We do not collect sales taxes in some jurisdictions, which could result in substantial tax liabilities and cause our future e-commerce sales to decrease.

 

An increasing number of states have considered or adopted laws that attempt to impose tax collection obligations on out-of-state retailers. We believe that these initiatives are inconsistent with the United States Supreme Court’s

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holding that states, absent congressional legislation, may not impose tax collection obligations on out-of-state e-commerce businesses unless the out-of-state e-commerce business has nexus with the state. A successful assertion by one or more states requiring us to collect taxes where we do not do so could result in substantial tax liabilities, including for past sales, as well as penalties and interest. The imposition by state governments of sales tax collection obligations on out-of-state e-commerce businesses who participate in e-commerce could also create additional administrative burdens for us, put us at a competitive disadvantage if they do not impose similar obligations on our competitors and decrease our future e-commerce sales, which could have a material adverse impact on our business and results of operations.

 

Current and future government regulations, in particular regulations relating to the sale of firearms and ammunition, may negatively impact the demand for our products and our ability to conduct our business.

 

We operate in a complex regulatory and legal environment that could negatively impact the demand for our products and expose us to compliance and litigation risks, which could materially affect our operations and financial results. These laws may change, sometimes significantly, as a result of political, economic or social events. Some of the federal, state or local laws and regulations that affect our business and demand for our products include:

 

·

federal, state or local laws and regulations or executive orders that prohibit or limit the sale of certain items we offer, such as firearms, black powder firearms, ammunition, bows, knives and similar products;

 

·

the ATF, regulations, audit and regulatory policies that impact the process by which we sell firearms and ammunition and similar policies of state agencies that have concurrent jurisdiction, such as the CA DOJ;

 

·

laws and regulations governing hunting and fishing;

 

·

laws and regulations relating to the collecting and sharing of non-public customer information;

 

·

laws and regulations relating to consumer products, product liability or consumer protection, including regulation by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and similar state regulatory agencies;

 

·

laws and regulations relating to the manner in which we advertise, market or sell our products;

 

·

labor and employment laws, including wage and hour laws;

 

·

U.S. customs laws and regulations pertaining to proper item classification, quotas and the payment of duties and tariffs; and

 

·

FTC regulations governing the manner in which orders may be solicited and prescribing other obligations in fulfilling orders and consummating sales.

 

Over the past several years, bills have been introduced in the United States Congress that would restrict or prohibit the manufacture, transfer, importation or sale of certain calibers of handgun ammunition, impose a tax and import controls on bullets designed to penetrate bullet-proof vests, impose a special occupational tax and registration requirements on manufacturers of handgun ammunition and increase the tax on handgun ammunition in certain calibers. Because we carry these products, such legislation could, depending on its scope, materially harm our sales.

 

Additionally, state and local governments have proposed laws and regulations that, if enacted, would place additional restrictions on the manufacture, transfer, sale, purchase, possession and use of firearms, ammunition and shooting-related products. For example, in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in Newtown, Connecticut and other incidents in the United States, several states, such as Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, and New York, have enacted laws and regulations that limit access to and sale of certain firearms in ways more restrictive than federal laws. Other state or local governmental entities may continue to explore similar legislative or regulatory restrictions that could prohibit the manufacture, sale, purchase, possession or use of firearms and ammunition. In New York and Connecticut, mandatory screening of ammunition purchases is now required. In addition, California and the District of Columbia have adopted requirements for micro-stamping (that is, engraving the handgun’s serial number on the firing pin of new handguns), and at least seven other states and the United States Congress have introduced microstamping legislation for certain firearms. Lastly, some states prohibit the sale of firearms without internal or external locking mechanisms, and several states are considering mandating certain design features on safety grounds,

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most of which would be applicable only to handguns. Other state or local governmental entities may also explore similar legislative or regulatory initiatives that may further restrict the manufacture, sale, purchase, possession or use of firearms, ammunition and shooting-related products.

 

The regulation of firearms, ammunition and shooting-related products may become more restrictive in the future. Changes in these laws and regulations or additional regulation, particularly new laws or increased regulations regarding sales and ownership of firearms and ammunition, could cause the demand for and sales of our products to decrease and could materially adversely impact our net sales and profitability. Sales of firearms represent a significant percentage of our net sales and are critical in drawing customers to our stores. A substantial reduction in our sales or margins on sales of firearms and firearm related products due to the establishment of new regulations could harm our operating results. Moreover, complying with increased or changed regulations could cause our operating expenses to increase.

 

We may incur costs from litigation relating to products that we sell, particularly firearms and ammunition, which could adversely affect our net sales and profitability.

 

We may incur damages due to lawsuits relating to products we sell, including lawsuits relating to firearms, ammunition, tree stands and archery equipment. We may incur losses due to lawsuits, including potential class actions, relating to our performance of background checks on firearms purchases and compliance with other sales laws as mandated by state and federal law. We may also incur losses from lawsuits relating to the improper use of firearms or ammunition sold by us, including lawsuits by municipalities or other organizations attempting to recover costs from manufacturers and retailers of firearms and ammunition. Our insurance coverage and the insurance provided by our vendors for certain products they sell to us may be inadequate to cover claims and liabilities related to products that we sell. In addition, claims or lawsuits related to products that we sell, or the unavailability of insurance for product liability claims, could result in the elimination of these products from our product line, thereby reducing net sales. If one or more successful claims against us are not covered by or exceed our insurance coverage, or if insurance coverage is no longer available, our available working capital may be impaired and our operating results could be materially adversely affected. Even unsuccessful claims could result in the expenditure of funds and management time and could have a negative impact on our profitability and on future premiums we would be required to pay on our insurance policies.

 

If we fail to maintain the strength and value of our brand, our net sales are likely to decline.

 

Our success depends on the value and strength of the Sportsman’s Warehouse brand. The Sportsman’s Warehouse name is integral to our business as well as to the implementation of our strategies for expanding our business. Maintaining, promoting and positioning our brand will depend largely on the success of our marketing and merchandising efforts and our ability to provide high quality merchandise and a consistent, high quality customer experience. Our brand could be adversely affected if we fail to achieve these objectives or if our public image or reputation were to be tarnished by negative publicity. Any of these events could result in decreases in net sales.

 

Our inability or failure to protect our intellectual property could have a negative impact on our operating results.

 

Our trademarks, service marks, copyrights, patents, trade secrets, domain names and other intellectual property are valuable assets that are critical to our success. The unauthorized reproduction or other misappropriation of our intellectual property could diminish the value of our brands or goodwill and cause a decline in our net sales. Any infringement or other intellectual property claim made against us, whether or not it has merit, could be time-consuming, result in costly litigation, cause product delays or require us to enter into royalty or licensing agreements. As a result, any such claim could have a material adverse effect on our operating results.

 

Unauthorized disclosure of sensitive or confidential customer information could harm our business and standing with our customers.

 

The protection of our customer, employee and company data is critical to us. We rely on commercially available systems, software, tools and monitoring to provide security for processing, transmission and storage of confidential customer information, such as payment card and personally identifiable 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, misplaced or lost data, programming or human errors or other similar events. Any security breach involving the misappropriation, loss or other unauthorized disclosure of confidential

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information, whether by us or our vendors, could damage our reputation, expose us to risk of litigation and liability, disrupt our operations and harm our business.

 

Our computer hardware and software systems are vulnerable to damage that could harm our business.

 

Our success, in particular our ability to successfully manage inventory levels, largely depends upon the efficient operation of our computer hardware and software systems. We use management information systems to track inventory information at the store level, communicate customer information and aggregate daily sales, margin and promotional information. These systems are vulnerable to damage or interruption from:

 

·

fire, flood, tornado and other natural disasters;

 

·

power loss, computer system failures, internet and telecommunications or data network failures, operator negligence, improper operation by or supervision of employees, physical and electronic loss of data or security breaches, misappropriation and similar events;

·

hacking by third parties and computer viruses; and

 

·

upgrades, installations of major software releases and integration with new systems.

 

Any failure that causes an interruption in our systems processing could disrupt our operations and result in reduced sales. We have centralized the majority of our computer systems in our corporate office. It is possible that an event or disaster at our corporate office could materially and adversely affect the performance of our company and the ability of each of our stores to operate efficiently.

 

Our private brand offerings expose us to various risks.

 

We expect to continue to grow our exclusive private brand offerings through a combination of brands that we own and brands that we license from third parties. We have invested in our development and procurement resources and marketing efforts relating to these private brand offerings. Although we believe that our private brand products offer value to our customers at each price point and provide us with higher gross margins than comparable third-party branded products we sell, the expansion of our private brand offerings also subjects us to certain specific risks in addition to those discussed elsewhere in this section, such as:

 

·

potential mandatory or voluntary product recalls;

 

·

our ability to successfully protect our proprietary rights (including defending against counterfeit, knock offs, grey-market, infringing or otherwise unauthorized goods);

 

·

our ability to successfully navigate and avoid claims related to the proprietary rights of third parties;

 

·

our ability to successfully administer and comply with obligations under license agreements that we have with the licensors of brands, including, in some instances, certain minimum sales requirements that, if not met, could cause us to lose the licensing rights or pay damages; and

 

·

other risks generally encountered by entities that source, sell and market exclusive branded offerings for retail.

 

An increase in sales of our private brands may also adversely affect sales of our vendors’ products, which may, in turn, adversely affect our relationship with our vendors. Our failure to adequately address some or all of these risks could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

 

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

 

Our performance depends largely on the leadership efforts and abilities of our executive officers and other key employees. We have entered into employment agreements with John V. Schaefer, our President and Chief Executive Officer, and Kevan P. Talbot, our Chief Financial Officer and Secretary. None of our other employees have an employment agreement with us. If we lose the services of one or more of our key employees, we may not be able to

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successfully manage our business or achieve our growth objectives. As our business grows, we will need to attract and retain additional qualified personnel in a timely manner.

 

Our business depends on our ability to meet our labor needs.

 

Our success depends in part upon our ability to attract, motivate and retain a sufficient number of qualified employees, including district managers, store managers, department managers and sales associates, who understand and appreciate our outdoor culture and are able to adequately represent this culture to our customers. Qualified individuals of the requisite caliber and number needed to fill these positions may be in short supply in some areas, and the turnover rate in the retail industry is high. If we are unable to hire and retain sales associates capable of consistently providing a high level of customer service, as demonstrated by their enthusiasm for our culture and knowledge of our merchandise, our business could be materially adversely affected. Although none of our employees is currently covered by collective bargaining agreements, our employees may elect to be represented by labor unions in the future, which could increase our labor costs. Additionally, competition for qualified employees could require us to pay higher wages to attract a sufficient number of employees. An inability to recruit and retain a sufficient number of qualified individuals in the future may delay the planned openings of new stores. Any such delays, any material increases in employee turnover rates at existing stores or any increases in labor costs could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or operating results.

 

Increases in the minimum wage could adversely affect our financial results.

 

From time to time, legislative proposals are made to increase the federal minimum wage in the United States, as well as the minimum wage in a number of individual states. Base wage rates for some of our employees are at or slightly above the minimum wage. As federal or state minimum wage rates increase, we may need to increase not only the wage rates of our minimum wage employees, but also the wages paid to our other hourly employees as well. Any increase in the cost of our labor could have an adverse effect on our operating costs, financial condition and results of operations.

 

We may pursue strategic acquisitions or investments, and the failure of an acquisition or investment to produce the anticipated results or the inability to fully integrate the acquired companies could have an adverse impact on our business.

 

We may from time to time acquire or invest in complementary companies, businesses or assets. The success of such acquisitions or investments will be based on our ability to make accurate assumptions regarding the valuation, operations, growth potential, integration and other factors relating to the respective business or assets. Our acquisitions or investments may not produce the results that we expect at the time we enter into or complete the transaction. For example, we may not be able to capitalize on previously anticipated synergies. Furthermore, acquisitions may result in dilutive issuances of our equity securities, the incurrence of debt, contingent liabilities, amortization expenses or write-offs of goodwill or other intangibles, any of which could harm our financial condition or results of operations. We also may not be able to successfully integrate operations that we acquire, including their personnel, financial systems, supply chain and other operations, which could adversely affect our business. Acquisitions may also result in the diversion of our capital and our management’s attention from other business issues and opportunities.

 

A new standard for lease accounting may significantly impact the timing and amount in which we report our lease expense.

 

In February 2016, the Financial Accounting Standards Board, or FASB, and the International Accounting Standards Board, or IASB, issued an accounting pronouncement with substantial changes to existing lease accounting that affects all lease arrangements. The new standard is effective beginning in the first quarter of 2019 and early adoption is permitted. Under the new accounting model, lessees are required to record an asset representing the right-to-use the leased item for the lease term, or right-of-use asset, and a corresponding liability to make lease payments. The right-of-use asset and liability incorporate the rights arising under the lease and are based on the lessee’s assessment of expected payments to be made over the lease term. The model requires measuring these amounts at the present value of the future expected payments.

 

Once we adopt this new standard, we expect that, for the majority of our leases, the lease expense would include the amortization of the right-of-use asset and the recognition of interest expense based upon the lessee’s incremental borrowing rate (or the rate implicit in the lease, if known) on the repayment of the lease obligation. Currently,

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management is assessing the impact the adoption of the new final lease standard will have on our financial statements. Although we believe the presentation of our financial statements will likely change, including the pattern of lease expense recognition, we do not believe the accounting pronouncement will change the fundamental economic reasons for which we lease our stores.

 

We may not achieve projected goals and objectives in the time periods that we anticipate or announce publicly, which could harm our business and cause the price of our common stock to decline.

 

We set targets and timing to accomplish certain objectives regarding our business. We have included some of these targets in this filing and may make similar future public statements. For example, we state in this filing that:

 

·

we currently plan to open ten additional new stores in fiscal year 2017 and, for the next several years thereafter, intend to grow our store base at a rate greater than 10 percent annually; and

 

·

we target a minimum 10% four-wall Adjusted EBITDA margin and a minimum return on invested capital of 50% excluding initial inventory cost (or 20% including initial inventory cost) in the first twelve months of operation for a new store.

 

This filing also includes other forecasts and targets. These forecasts and targets are based on our current expectations. We may not achieve these forecasts and targets, and the actual achievement and timing of these events can vary due to a number of factors, including currently unforeseen matters and matters beyond our control. You should not unduly rely on these forecasts or targets in deciding whether to invest in our common stock.

 

 

Risks Related to Our Common Stock

 

 

Our bylaws, our certificate of incorporation and Delaware law contain provisions that could discourage another company from acquiring us and may prevent attempts by our stockholders to replace or remove our current management.

 

Provisions of our bylaws, our certificate of incorporation and Delaware law may discourage, delay or prevent a merger or acquisition that stockholders may consider favorable, including transactions in which our stockholders might otherwise receive a premium for their shares. In addition, these provisions may frustrate or prevent any attempts by our stockholders to replace or remove our current management by making it more difficult for stockholders to replace or remove our board of directors. These provisions include:

 

·

establishing a classified board of directors;

 

·

providing that directors may be removed only for cause;

 

·

not providing for cumulative voting in the election of directors;

 

·

requiring at least a supermajority vote of our stockholders to amend our bylaws or certain provisions of our certificate of incorporation;

 

·

eliminating the ability of stockholders to call special meetings of stockholders;

 

·

establishing advance notice requirements for nominations for election to the board of directors or for proposing matters that can be acted on by stockholders at stockholder meetings;

 

·

prohibiting stockholder action by written consent once Seidler owns less than a majority of the outstanding shares of our common stock; and

 

·

authorizing the issuance of “blank check” preferred stock without any need for action by stockholders.

 

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In addition, we are subject to Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law. In general, subject to some exceptions, Section 203 prohibits a Delaware corporation from engaging in any “business combination” with any “interested stockholder” (which is generally defined as an entity or person who, together with the person’s affiliates and associates, beneficially owns, or within three years prior to the time of determination of interested stockholder status did own, 15% or more of the outstanding voting stock of the corporation), for a three-year period following the date that the stockholder became an interested stockholder. Section 203 could have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing a change in control that our stockholders might consider to be in their best interests.

 

Further, our certificate of incorporation provides that, subject to limited exceptions, the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware will be, to the fullest extent permitted by law, the exclusive forum for any derivative action or proceeding brought on our behalf; any action asserting a breach of fiduciary duty; any action asserting a claim against us arising pursuant to the Delaware General Corporation Law; or any action asserting a claim against us that is governed by the internal affairs doctrine. This exclusive forum provision may limit a stockholder’s ability to bring a claim in a judicial forum that it finds favorable for disputes with us or our directors, officers or other employees and agents, which may discourage such lawsuits against us and our directors, officers, employees and agents.

 

Together, these charter and statutory provisions could make the removal of management more difficult and may discourage transactions that otherwise could involve payment of a premium over prevailing market prices for our common stock. The existence of the foregoing provisions and anti-takeover measures could limit the price that investors might be willing to pay in the future for shares of our common stock. They could also deter potential acquirers of our company, thereby potentially reducing the likelihood that our stockholders could receive a premium for their common stock in an acquisition.

 

We expect that the price of our common stock will fluctuate.

 

The price of our common stock is volatile and may fluctuate significantly. During our fiscal year ended January 28, 2017, the closing price of our stock  ranged from a high of $13.97 per share to a low of $7.77 per share. Volatility in the market price of our common stock may prevent our stockholders from being able to sell their common stock at or above the prices they paid for their common stock. The market price for our common stock could fluctuate significantly for various reasons, including:

 

·

our operating and financial performance and prospects, including seasonal fluctuations in our financial performance;

 

·

conditions that impact demand for our products;

 

·

the public’s reaction to our press releases, other public announcements and filings with the SEC;

 

·

changes in earnings estimates or recommendations by securities analysts who track our common stock;

 

·

market and industry perception of our success, or lack thereof, in pursuing our growth strategy;

 

·

strategic actions by us or our competitors, such as acquisitions, store closures, or restructurings;

 

·

changes in federal and state government regulation;

 

·

changes in accounting standards, policies, guidance, interpretations or principles;

 

·

arrival or departure of key personnel;

 

·

sales of common stock by us or members of our management team; and

 

·

changes in general market, economic and political conditions in the United States and global economies or financial markets, including those resulting from natural disasters, terrorist attacks, acts of war and responses to such events.

 

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In addition, if the market for stocks in our industry, or the stock market in general, experiences a loss of investor confidence, the trading price of our common stock could decline for reasons unrelated to our business, financial condition or results of operations. If any of the foregoing occurs, it could cause our stock price to fall and may expose us to lawsuits that, even if unsuccessful, could be costly to defend and distract our management.

 

We are an emerging growth company (“EGC”) within the meaning of The Jumpstart our Business Startups Act (“JOBS Act”), and the reduced reporting requirements applicable to EGCs may make our common stock less attractive to investors.

 

Because we qualify as an EGC under the JOBS Act, we have elected to comply with some of the reduced disclosure and other reporting requirements available to us as an EGC for a period of up to five years following our initial public offering if we remain an EGC. For example, for as long as we remain an EGC, we are not subject to certain governance requirements, such as holding a “say-on-pay” and “say-on-golden-parachute” advisory votes, we are not required to include a “Compensation Discussion and Analysis” section in our proxy statements and reports filed under the Exchange Act, and we do not need to obtain an annual attestation report on our internal control over financial reporting from a registered public accounting firm pursuant to Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (the “Sarbanes-Oxley Act”). We could be an EGC for a period up to the end of the fifth fiscal year after our initial public offering (the end of fiscal year 2019), although we will cease to be an EGC earlier than this five-year period if our total annual gross revenues equal or exceed $1 billion in a fiscal year, if we issue more than $1 billion in non-convertible debt over a three-year period or if we become a “large accelerated filer” (which requires, among other things, the market value of our common stock held by non-affiliates to be at least $700 million as of the last business day of our second fiscal quarter of any fiscal year).

 

Accordingly, for up to five fiscal years after our initial public offering, our stockholders may not receive the same level of disclosure that is afforded to stockholders of a non-EGC. It is possible that investors will find our common stock to be less attractive because we have elected to comply with the reduced disclosure and other reporting requirements available to us as an EGC, which could adversely affect the trading market for our common stock and the prices at which stockholders may be able to sell their common stock.

 

The requirements of being a public company may strain our resources and divert management’s attention.

 

As a public company, we are subject to the reporting requirements of the Exchange Act, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 and other applicable securities rules and regulations. Compliance with these rules and regulations have increased our legal and financial compliance costs, make some activities more difficult, time-consuming or costly and increase demand on our systems and resources. The Exchange Act requires, among other things, that we file annual, quarterly and current reports with respect to our business and results of operations and proxy or information statements in connection with matters upon which our stockholders may vote. As a result of our public disclosure of information in filings required of a public company, our business and financial condition have become more visible, which could result in threatened or actual litigation, or other adverse actions taken by competitors and other third parties. In addition, our management team has limited experience managing a public company or complying with the increasingly complex laws pertaining to public companies, and a number of our directors have limited experience serving on the boards of public companies. The time and resources necessary to comply with the requirements of being a public company and contend with any action that might be brought against us as a result of publicly available information could divert our resources and the attention of our management and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

If we are unable to implement and maintain effective internal control over financial reporting, investors may lose confidence in the accuracy and completeness of our financial reports, and the market price of our common stock may be adversely affected.

 

As a public company, we are required to implement and maintain effective internal control over financial reporting and to disclose any material weaknesses identified in our internal controls. Our management is required to furnish an annual report regarding the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting pursuant to Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (“Section 404”). We have refined, implemented, and tested the internal controls required to comply with Section 404. If we identify material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting, if we fail to comply with the requirements of Section 404 in a timely manner or if we are unable to assert that our internal control over financial reporting is effective, investors may lose confidence in the accuracy and completeness of our financial reports

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and the market price of our common stock could be adversely affected. We could also become subject to investigations by The NASDAQ Stock Market, the SEC or other regulatory authorities, which could require additional financial and management resources.

 

We do not expect to pay any cash dividends for the foreseeable future.

 

We currently expect to retain all available funds and future earnings, if any, for use in the operation and growth of our business and do not anticipate paying any cash dividends in the foreseeable future. Any future determination to pay dividends will be at the discretion of our board of directors, subject to compliance with applicable law and any contractual provisions, including under the credit agreements governing our term loans and revolving credit facility and agreements governing any additional indebtedness we may incur in the future, that restrict or limit our ability to pay dividends, and will depend upon, among other factors, our results of operations, financial condition, earnings, capital requirements and other factors that our board of directors deems relevant. Further, because we are a holding company, our ability to pay dividends depends on our receipt of cash dividends from our operating subsidiaries, which may further restrict our ability to pay dividends as a result of the laws of their jurisdiction of organization, agreements of our subsidiaries or covenants under our existing or future indebtedness. All of our business operations are conducted through our wholly owned subsidiaries, Sportsman’s Warehouse, Inc. and Minnesota Merchandising Corporation and their subsidiaries. The ability of Sportsman’s Warehouse, Inc. and Minnesota Merchandising Corporation to pay dividends to us, and our ability to pay dividends on our capital stock, is limited by our term loans. Our revolving credit facility also limits our ability to pay dividends on our capital stock. Our ability to pay dividends may also be restricted by the terms of any future credit agreement or any future debt or preferred equity securities of ours or of our subsidiaries.

 

If securities or industry analysts publish inaccurate or unfavorable research about us, our stock price and trading volume could decline.

 

The trading market for our common stock will depend in part on the research reports that securities or industry analysts publish about us, our business and our industry. Assuming we obtain securities or industry analyst coverage, if one or more of the analysts who cover us downgrade our stock or publish inaccurate or unfavorable research about us, our business or our industry, our stock price would likely decline. If one or more of these analysts cease coverage of our company or fail to publish reports on us regularly, demand for our stock could decrease, which might cause our stock price and trading volume to decline.

 

ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS  

 

None.

 

ITEM 2. PROPERTIES  

 

We do not plan to own any material real property, but rather intend to lease all of our store locations. From time to time we will self-develop one of our properties with the intention to enter into a sale-leaseback transaction with a third party. Depending upon where we are in the process of completing the sale-leaseback transaction, we may legally own real property at any particular balance sheet date. Our corporate headquarters is located in an approximately 60,000 square foot building in Midvale, Utah. The building is leased under an agreement expiring on December 31, 2018.

 

Our distribution center is located in a 507,000 square foot facility in Salt Lake City, Utah. The building is leased under an agreement expiring on December 31, 2023, with three options that each allow us to extend for an additional five years. We believe that our distribution center is of sufficient scale to support a network of 100 or more stores.

 

We operate 77 retail stores in 20 states. In total we have approximately 3.1 million gross square feet across all of our stores. All of our stores are leased from third parties with lease terms typically ranging from five to fifteen years, and many of our lease agreements have additional five-year renewal options. All of our leases provide for additional payments associated with common area maintenance, real estate, taxes and insurance. In addition, many of our lease agreements have defined escalating rent provisions over the initial term and extensions.

 

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ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS  

 

On March 11, 2013, we acquired certain assets and assumed certain liabilities of Wholesale Sports Outdoor Outfitters, or Wholesale Sports, relating to their retail business of hunting, fishing and camping goods and supplies. Concurrently with our asset purchase, Alamo Group, LLC, an unrelated third party, purchased all of the stock of Wholesale Sports. On March 22, 2013, the landlord of a store in Spokane, Washington that was formerly operated by Wholesale Sports, and which was one of the five stores whose leases we did not assume in our purchase of assets from Wholesale Sports, filed a complaint against the seller of Wholesale Sports, Wholesale Sports and Alamo Group in the Superior Court for the State of Washington in the County of Spokane captioned as North Town Mall v. United Farmers of Alberta Co-Operative Limited, et al., Case No. 13-2-01201-9. The complaint, as amended, alleged claims for breach of lease, violation of Washington’s Fraudulent Transfer Act, tortious interference with contractual relations, piercing the corporate veil, assumption of the Spokane store lease and fraud and/or negligent representation. We were named as a co-defendant in the amended complaint with respect to the fraudulent conveyance, tortious interference, and assumption of the lease claims. The complaint requested that the court order “avoidance” of an alleged transfer of assets from Wholesale Sports to us and/or Alamo Group, damages based on future rent to be paid under the lease in the approximate amount of $4.5 million, attachment of assets, attorneys’ fees and costs as provided for in contract, and such other relief that the court deems just and proper. In addition, the amended complaint alleged that we and Alamo Group were liable for expenses that the landlord would incur as a result of default under the lease, including expenses related to returning the store premises to the condition called for in the lease and the cost to locate a new tenant. This case was settled in June 2015, with a full release by and between all parties.

 

On March 12, 2014, we were added as a defendant to a pending consolidated action filed in the United States District Court, Western District of Washington, captioned as Lacey Market Place Associates II, LLC, et al. v. United Farmers of Alberta Co-Operative Limited, et al., Case No. 2:13-cv-00383-JLR against United Farmers of Alberta Co-Operative Limited, the seller of Wholesale Sports, Wholesale Sports, Alamo Group and Donald F. Gaube and spouse. The amended complaint was filed by the landlords of two stores we did not assume in our purchase of assets from Wholesale Sports. Such stores were formerly operated by Wholesale Sports in Skagit and Thurston Counties in Washington. The amended complaint alleged breach of lease, breach of collateral assignment, misrepresentation, intentional interference with contract, piercing the corporate veil and violation of Washington’s Fraudulent Transfer Act. We were named as a co-defendant with respect to the intentional interference with contract and fraudulent conveyance claims. The amended complaint sought against us and all defendants unspecified money damages, declaratory relief and attorneys’ fees and costs. On January 28, 2015, the court in the Lacey Marketplace action granted in part and denied in part our motion for summary judgment and dismissed the intentional interference claim against us, but declined to dismiss the fraudulent transfer claim.

 

Trial in the Lacey Marketplace action began March 2, 2015 and concluded March 6, 2015. On March 9, 2015, the jury in the trial awarded $11.9 million against the defendants to the action, including us. We reviewed the decision and accrued $4.0 million in our results for the fiscal year ended January 31, 2015 related to this matter. We strongly disagreed with the jury’s verdict and filed post-trial motions seeking to have the verdict set aside. On July 30, 2015, the court granted our motion for judgment as a matter of law. Both United Farmers of Alberta Co-Operative Limited, a co-defendant, and the plaintiff have appealed the court’s summary judgment ruling against the tortious interference claim, and the July 30, 2015 ruling to the appellate court and the appeal is currently in process. Based on the court’s most recent judgment in our favor, we determined that the likelihood of loss in this case is not probable, and, as such, we reversed the previous accrual of $4.0 million in our results for the fiscal year ended January 30, 2016. The accrual and subsequent reversal of the $4.0 million is recorded in selling, general, and administrative expenses in the accompanying statements of income.

 

When we become aware of a claim or potential claim, we assess the likelihood of any loss or exposure. If a loss contingency is probable and the amount of the loss can be reasonably estimated, we record an accrual for the loss. In such cases, there may be an exposure to potential loss in excess of the amount accrued. Where a loss is not probable but is reasonably possible or where a loss in excess of the amount accrued is reasonably possible, we disclose an estimate of the amount of the loss or range of possible losses for the claim if a reasonable estimate can be made, unless the amount of such reasonably possible losses is not material to our financial position, results of operations or cash flows. The ability to predict the ultimate outcome of such matter involves judgments and inherent uncertainties. The actual outcome could differ.

 

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We are subject to various legal proceedings and claims, including employment claims, wage and hour claims, intellectual property claims, contractual and commercial disputes and other matters that arise in the ordinary course of our business. While the outcome of these and other claims cannot be predicted with certainty, we do not believe that the outcome of these matters individually or in the aggregate will have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations or financial condition.

 

ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURE S

 

Not Applicable.

 

PART II

 

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

 

Market for Registrant’s Common Equity

 

The common stock of Sportsman’s Warehouse Holdings Incorporated is listed for trading on the NASDAQ under the symbol “SPWH." As of February 7, 2017, there were 95 holders of record of our common stock. This number does not include persons who hold our common stock in nominee or “street name” accounts through brokers or banks.

 

The following table sets forth, for the fiscal quarters indicated, the high and low sales prices per share of our common stock as reported on the NASDAQ:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2016

 

 

 

High

 

Low

 

First Quarter

 

13.97

 

11.15

 

Second Quarter

 

11.50

 

7.77

 

Third Quarter

 

11.14

 

9.09

 

Fourth Quarter

 

9.83

 

7.89

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2015

 

 

    

High

    

Low

 

First Quarter

 

9.73

 

6.81

 

Second Quarter

 

12.88

 

9.18

 

Third Quarter

 

14.91

 

9.92

 

Fourth Quarter

 

13.78

 

9.26

 

 

Dividend Policy

 

We did not pay any dividends in fiscal year 2016 or fiscal year 2015.

 

We currently expect to retain all available funds and future earnings, if any, for use in the operation and growth of our business and do not anticipate paying any cash dividends in the foreseeable future. Any future determination to pay dividends will be at the discretion of our board of directors, subject to compliance with applicable law and any contractual provisions, including under the credit agreements governing our term loans and revolving credit facility and agreements governing any additional indebtedness we may incur in the future, that restrict or limit our ability to pay dividends, and will depend upon, among other factors, our results of operations, financial condition, earnings, capital requirements and other factors that our board of directors deems relevant. Because we are a holding company, our ability to pay dividends depends on our receipt of cash dividends from our operating subsidiaries, which may further restrict our ability to pay dividends as a result of the laws of their jurisdiction of organization, agreements of our subsidiaries or covenants under our existing or future indebtedness. All of our business operations are conducted through our wholly owned subsidiaries, Sportsman’s Warehouse, Inc. and Minnesota Merchandising Corporation and their subsidiaries. The ability of Sportsman’s Warehouse, Inc. and Minnesota Merchandising Corporation to pay dividends to us, and our ability to pay dividends on our capital stock, is limited by our term loans. Our revolving credit facility also limits our ability to pay dividends on our capital stock. Our ability to pay dividends may also be restricted by the terms of any future credit agreement or any future debt or preferred equity securities of ours or of our subsidiaries.

35


 

Table of Contents

 

 

Stock Performance Graph

 

The stock price performance graph below shall not be deemed soliciting material or to be filed with the SEC or subject to Regulation 14A or 14C under the Exchange Act or to the liabilities of Section 18 of the Exchange Act, nor shall it be incorporated by reference into any past or future filing under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Securities Act or the Exchange Act, except to the extent we specifically request that it be treated as soliciting material or specifically incorporate it by reference into a filing under the Securities Act or the Exchange Act.

 

The following graph shows the cumulative total stockholder return of an investment of $100 in cash at market close on April 17, 2014 (the first day of trading of our Common Stock), through January 28, 2017 for (i) our Common Stock (“SPWH”), (ii) the S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group Index (“S&P Retail”) and (iii) the Russell 2000 Index (“Russell 2000”). Pursuant to applicable SEC rules, all values assume reinvestment of the full amount of all dividends. The stockholder return shown on the graph below is not necessarily indicative of future performance, and we do not make or endorse any predictions as to future stockholder returns.

 

PICTURE 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4/17/2014

 

5/2/2014

 

8/1/2014

 

10/31/2014

 

1/30/2015

 

5/1/2015

 

7/31/2015

 

10/30/2015

 

1/29/2016

 

4/29/2016

 

7/29/2016

 

10/28/2016

 

1/27/2017

 

  

 

 

  

 

 

  

 

 

  

 

 

  

 

 

  

 

 

  

 

 

  

 

 

  

 

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

SPWH

 

$

100.00

 

$

103.38

 

$

59.38

 

$

71.69

 

$

73.13

 

$

96.51

 

$

119.90

 

$

110.36

 

$

134.46

 

$ 116.72

 

$ 104.41

 

$ 93.23

 

$ 80.92

S&P Retail

 

 

100.00

 

 

99.81

 

 

101.23

 

 

109.99

 

 

118.76

 

 

130.94

 

 

141.46

 

 

148.43

 

 

137.24

 

147.81

 

157.60

 

151.98

 

160.97

Russell 2000

 

 

100.00

 

 

99.20

 

 

97.98

 

 

103.13

 

 

102.42

 

 

107.93

 

 

108.86

 

 

102.11

 

 

90.99

 

99.38

 

107.21

 

104.37

 

120.46

 

 

 

 

36


 

Table of Contents

ITEM 6. SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fiscal Year Ended

 

 

January 28,

 

January 30,

 

January 31,

 

February 1,

 

February 2,

 

    

2017

    

2016

    

2015

 

2014

 

2013

 

 

(in thousands, except per share amounts)

Consolidated Statements of Income Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net sales

 

$

779,956

 

$

706,764

 

$

639,869

 

$
624,848

 

$
514,850

Cost of goods sold

 

 

516,726

 

 

468,234

 

 

424,662

 

417,618

 

352,234

Gross profit

 

 

263,230

 

 

238,530

 

 

215,207

 

207,230

 

162,616

Selling, general and administrative expenses

 

 

202,543

 

 

179,218

 

 

170,315

 

147,140

 

109,408

Bankruptcy related expenses (benefit) (1)

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

55

 

(263)

Income from operations

 

 

60,687

 

 

59,312

 

 

44,892

 

60,035

 

53,471

Interest expense

 

 

(13,402)

 

 

(14,156)

 

 

(22,480)

 

(25,447)

 

(6,321)

Income before income taxes

 

 

47,285

 

 

45,156

 

 

22,412

 

34,588

 

47,150

Income tax expense

 

 

17,616

 

 

17,385

 

 

8,628

 

12,838

 

19,076

Net income

 

$

29,669

 

$

27,771

 

$

13,784

 

21,750

 

$
28,074

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earnings per share:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic

 

 

$
0.70

 

$

0.66

 

$

0.34

 

$
0.66

 

$
0.84

Diluted

 

 

$
0.70

 

$

0.66

 

$

0.34

 

$
0.66

 

$
0.84

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weighted average shares outstanding:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic shares

 

 

42,187

 

 

41,966

 

 

39,961

 

33,170

 

33,229

Diluted shares

 

 

42,485

 

 

42,334

 

 

40,141

 

33,185

 

33,229

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fiscal Year Ended

 

 

January 28,

 

January 30,

 

January 31,

 

February 1,

 

February 2,

 

    

2017

    

2016

    

2015

 

2014

 

2013

 

 

(in thousands, except number of stores and per share amounts)

Consolidated Balance Sheet Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total current assets

 

$

255,924

 

$

232,710

 

$

203,339

$

175,627

$

143,512

Total assets

 

 

346,248

 

 

301,328

 

 

268,784

 

220,708

 

163,779

Long-term debt (including current portion), net of discount

 

 

134,704

 

 

155,016

 

 

156,107

 

227,611

 

119,266

Total liabilities

 

 

316,247

 

 

303,387

 

 

300,116

 

341,804

 

205,621

Total stockholders’ equity/(deficit)

 

 

30,001

 

 

(2,059)

 

 

(31,332)

 

(121,096)

 

(41,843)

Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity

 

 

346,248

 

 

301,328

 

 

268,784

 

220,708

 

163,778

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adjusted EBITDA (2)

 

$

82,254

 

$

73,024

 

$

66,252

 

$
70,716

 

$
59,039

Adjusted EBITDA margin (2)

 

 

11.0%

 

 

10.0%

 

 

10.0%

 

10.9%

 

11.2%

Number of stores open at end of period

 

 

75

 

 

64

 

 

55

 

47

 

33

Same store sales growth/(decline) for period (3)

 

 

(0.8)%

 

 

1.1%

 

 

(8.4)%

 

(3.7)%

 

25.4%

(1)

On March 21, 2009, Sportsman’s Warehouse Holdings, Inc. and its subsidiaries filed voluntary petitions for relief under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code, seeking to reorganize the business under the provisions of the Bankruptcy Code. The plan of reorganization under the Bankruptcy Code was confirmed by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware on July 30, 2009 and became effective when all material conditions of the plan of reorganization were satisfied on August 14, 2009. We incurred certain costs related to our restructuring and emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy and included a liability as part of the reorganization value at August 14, 2009, the date of emergence from bankruptcy. Bankruptcy-related expenses are those amounts that are greater than the initial estimated restructuring costs, whereas bankruptcy-related benefits are those amounts that are less than the initial estimated costs. They are expensed as incurred.

37


 

(2)

Adjusted EBITDA has been presented in this filing as a supplemental measure of financial performance that is not required by, or presented in accordance with, generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP. We define Adjusted EBITDA as net income plus interest expense, income tax expense, depreciation and amortization, stock-based compensation expense, pre-opening expenses, and other gains, losses, and expenses that we do not believe are indicative of our ongoing expenses. In addition, Adjusted EBITDA excludes pre-opening expenses because we do not believe these expenses are indicative of the underlying operating performance of our stores. The amount and timing of pre-opening expenses are dependent on, amoung other things, the size of the new stores opened and the number of new stores opened during any given period. Adjusted EBITDA margin means, for any period, the Adjusted EBITDA for that period divided by the net sales for that period.

 

Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA margin are included in this filing because they are key metrics used by management and our board of directors to assess our financial performance. Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA margin are frequently used by analysts, investors and other interested parties in the evaluation of companies in our industry. In addition to assessing our financial performance, we use Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA margin as additional measurement tools for purposes of business decision-making, including evaluating store performance, developing budgets and managing expenditures.

 

Adjusted EBITDA is not a GAAP measure of our financial performance or liquidity and should not be considered as an alternative to net income as a measure of financial performance or cash flows from operations as a measure of liquidity, or any other performance measure derived in accordance with GAAP, and it should not be construed as an inference that our future results will be unaffected by unusual or non-recurring items. Additionally, Adjusted EBITDA is not intended to be a measure of free cash flow for management’s discretionary use, as it does not reflect certain cash requirements such as tax payments, debt service requirements, capital expenditures, store openings and certain other cash costs that may recur in the future. Adjusted EBITDA contains certain other limitations, including the failure to reflect our cash expenditures or future requirements for capital expenditures or contractual commitments. In evaluating Adjusted EBITDA, you should be aware that, in the future, we will incur expenses that are the same as or similar to some of the adjustments reflected in this presentation, such as income tax expense (benefit), interest expense, depreciation and amortization and pre-opening expenses. Our presentation of Adjusted EBITDA should not be construed to imply that our future results will be unaffected by any such adjustments. Management compensates for these limitations by relying on our GAAP results in addition to using Adjusted EBITDA supplementally. Our measures of Adjusted EBITDA are not necessarily comparable to other similarly titled captions of other companies due to different methods of calculation. See below for a reconciliation of net income to Adjusted EBITDA.

 

 

A reconciliation of net income to Adjusted EBITDA is set forth below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fiscal Year Ended

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 28,

 

January 30,

 

January 31,

 

February 1,

 

February 2,

 

    

2017

    

2016

    

2015

 

2014

 

2013

 

 

(in thousands)

 

 

 

 

Net income

 

$

29,669

 

$

27,771

 

$

13,784

 

$
21,750

 

$
28,074

Plus:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interest expense

 

 

13,402

 

 

14,156

 

 

22,480

 

25,447

 

6,321

Income tax expense

 

 

17,616

 

 

17,385

 

 

8,628

 

12,838

 

19,076

Depreciation and amortization

 

 

13,974

 

 

11,569

 

 

9,150

 

6,277

 

3,431

Stock-based compensation expense (a)

 

 

3,186

 

 

2,257

 

 

3,293

 

365

 

 —

Pre-opening expenses (b)

 

 

4,264

 

 

3,159

 

 

2,717

 

1,653

 

1,441

IPO bonus (c)

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 

2,200

 

 —

 

 —

Litigation accrual (reversal) (d)

 

 

 —

 

 

(4,000)

 

 

4,000

 

 —

 

 —

Secondary offering expenses (e)

 

 

143

 

 

727

 

 

 —

 

 —

 

 —

Bankruptcy related expenses (f)

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

55

 

(263)

Acquisition expenses (g)

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

2,331

 

959

Adjusted EBITDA

 

$

82,254

 

$

73,024

 

$

66,252

 

$
70,716

 

$
59,039

(a)

Stock-based compensation expense represents non-cash expenses related to equity instruments granted to employees under our 2013 Performance Incentive Plan and Employee Stock Purchase Plan.

38


 

 

(b)

Pre-opening expenses include expenses incurred in the preparation and opening of a new store location, such as payroll, travel and supplies, but do not include the cost of the initial inventory or capital expenditures required to open a location.

 

(c)

As a result of the completion of our initial public offering and pursuant to the terms of the employment agreements with our executive officers, we paid $2.2 million in bonuses to our executive officers.

 

(d)

Based on the court’s most recent judgment in our favor regarding the Lacey Marketplace litigation, we determined that the likelihood of loss in this case is not probable, and, as such, we reversed the previous accrual of $4.0 million in our results for the fiscal year ended January 30, 2016. See Item 3. Legal Proceedings.

 

(e)

We incurred certain costs related to secondary offerings of our common stock by affiliates of Seidler Equiy Partners III, L.P on September 15, 2015 and April 18, 2016. These costs were expensed as incurred.

 

(f)

We incurred certain costs related to our restructuring and emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy and included a liability as part of the reorganization value at August 14, 2009, the date of emergence from bankruptcy. Bankruptcy-related expenses are those amounts that are greater than the initial estimated restructuring costs, whereas bankruptcy-related benefits are those amounts that are less than the initial estimated costs. They are expensed as incurred.

 

(g)

Acquisition expenses for fiscal year 2013 relate to the costs associated with the acquisition of our 10 previously operated stores in Montana, Oregon and Washington. Acquisition expenses for fiscal year 2012 relate to legal and consulting expenses related to potential merger and acquisition activity.

 

(3) Net sales from a store are included in same store sales on the first day of the 13 th full month following the store’s opening or acquisition by us. We exclude net sales from e-commerce from our calculation of same store sales, and for fiscal years consisting of 53 weeks, we exclude net sales during the 53 rd week from our calculation of same store sales. The figures shown represent growth over the corresponding period in the prior fiscal year.

 

We have historically presented our sales and costs of state fish and game licenses, duck stamps, and state government-mandated firearm background checks in net sales and cost of goods sold under the gross method. Subsequent to filing our Annual Report on Form 10-K for fiscal year 2015, our management determined that the revenue from these transactions should have been presented under the net method, thereby recognizing only the commission received in net sales for acting as the agent under the principal versus agent model. This revision does not have any impact upon gross profit, net income or earnings per share.

 

The following table provides a reconciliation of the revision for the years ended February 2, 2013 and February 1, 2014 as reported on form 10-K. For a reconciliation of the years ended January 31, 2015 and January 30, 2016 see Note 2 to our Consolidated Financial Statements included within this 10-K:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As Previously

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the fiscal year ended February 1, 2014

 

Reported

 

Revision

 

As Revised

 

Net sales

 

$

643,163

 

$

(18,315)

 

$

624,848

 

Cost of goods sold

 

 

435,933

 

 

(18,315)

 

 

417,618

 

Gross profit

 

 

207,230

 

 

 —

 

 

207,230

 

 

 

 

 

As Previously

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the fiscal year ended February 2, 2013

 

 

Reported

 

 

Revision

 

As Revised

 

Net sales

 

$

526,942

 

$

(12,092)

 

$

514,850

 

Cost of goods sold

 

 

364,326

 

 

(12,092)

 

 

352,234

 

Gross profit

 

 

162,616

 

 

 —

 

 

162,616

 

 

 

39


 

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

 

The discussion below contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Our actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including those which are discussed in the “Risk Factors” section in Part I, Item 1A of this 10-K. Also see “Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” preceding Part I.

 

The following discussion and analysis should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements and the notes thereto included in this 10-K.

 

Overview

 

We are a high-growth outdoor sporting goods retailer focused on meeting the everyday needs of the seasoned outdoor veteran, the first-time participant and every enthusiast in between. Our mission is to provide a one-stop shopping experience that equips our customers with the right quality, brand name hunting, shooting, fishing and camping gear to maximize their enjoyment of the outdoors.

 

Our business was founded in 1986 as a single retail store in Midvale, Utah. Today, we operate 77 stores in 20 states, totaling approximately 3.1 million gross square feet. During fiscal year 2016, we increased our gross square footage by 11.6% through the opening of eleven stores in the following locations:

 

·

Slidell, Lousiana on February 27, 2016

·

South Jordan, Utah on March 19, 2016

·

Rohnery Park, California on April 2, 2016

·

Juneau, Alaska on June 18, 2016

·

Prescott, Arizona on July 16, 2016

·

Roseburg, Oregon on July 23, 2016

·

Las Cruces, New Mexico on August 6, 2016

·

Gillette, Wyoming on August 13, 2016

·

Rock Springs, Wyoming on August 27, 2016

·

Fairfield, California on September 15, 2016

·

Avondale, Arizona on September 15, 2016

 

During fiscal year 2017, we have opened stores in the following locations:

 

·

Cedar City, Utah on February 16, 2017

·

Moses Lake, Washington on February 23, 2017

 

Individual stores are aggregated into one operating and reportable segment.

 

40


 

How We Assess the Performance of Our Business

 

In assessing the performance of our business, we consider a variety of performance and financial measures. The key measures for determining how our business is performing are net sales, same store sales, gross margin, selling, general and administrative expenses, income from operations and Adjusted EBITDA.

 

Fiscal Year

 

We operate using a 52/53 week fiscal year ending on the Saturday closest to January 31. Fiscal years 2016,  2015 and 2014 ended on January 28, 2017, January 30, 2016, and January 31, 2015, respectively. Fiscal years 2016, 2015, and 2014 each contained 52 weeks of operations.

 

Net Sales and Same Store Sales

 

Our net sales are primarily received from revenue generated in our stores and also include sales generated through our e-commerce platform. When measuring revenue generated from our stores, we review our same store sales as well as the performance of our stores that have not operated for a sufficient amount of time to be included in same store sales. We include net sales from a store in same store sales on the first day of the 13th full fiscal month following the store’s opening or acquisition by us. We exclude net sales from e-commerce from our calculation of same store sales.

 

Our net sales for fiscal years 2015 and 2014 have been revised to reflect a revision of revenue presentation for sales of state fish and game licenses, duck stamps, and state government-mandated firearm background checks. See Note 2 to the notes to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this 10-K for a description of these items and a reconciliation of the revision for fiscal years 2015 and 2014 as reported in the consolidated statement of operations included in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended January 30, 2016, which was filed with the SEC on March 24, 2016.

 

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

 

·

changes or anticipated changes to regulations related to some of the products we sell;

 

·

consumer preferences, buying trends and overall economic trends;

 

·

our ability to identify and respond effectively to local and regional trends and customer preferences;

 

·

our ability to provide quality customer service that will increase our conversion of shoppers into paying customers;

 

·

competition in the regional market of a store;

 

·

atypical weather;

 

·

changes in our product mix; and

 

·

changes in pricing and average ticket sales.

 

Opening new stores is also an important part of our growth strategy. Since the beginning of fiscal year 2010, we have opened 42 stores, including the eleven new stores we have opened in fiscal year 2016 and the two new stores we have opened in fiscal year 2017. For the next several years, we intend to grow our store base at a rate of greater than 10 percent annually. As part of our growth strategy, we also re-acquired 10 stores in fiscal year 2013 that were previously operated under the Sportsman’s Warehouse Banner.

 

For our new locations, we measure our investment by reviewing the new store’s four-wall Adjusted EBITDA margin and pre-tax return on invested capital (“ROIC”). We target a minimum 10% four-wall Adjusted EBITDA margin and a minimum ROIC of 50% excluding initial inventory costs (or 20% including initial inventory cost) for the first full twelve months of operation for a new store. The 29 new stores that we have opened since 2010 and that have been open for a full

41


 

twelve months (excluding the 10 acquired stores) have achieved an average four-wall Adjusted EBITDA margin of 13.5% and an average ROIC of 81.7% excluding initial inventory cost (and 30.1% including initial inventory cost) during their first full twelve months of operations. Four-wall Adjusted EBITDA means, for any period, a particular store’s Adjusted EBITDA, excluding any allocations of corporate selling, general and administrative expenses allocated to that store. Four-wall Adjusted EBITDA margin means, for any period, a store’s four-wall Adjusted EBITDA divided by that store’s net sales. For a definition of Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA margin and a reconciliation of net income to Adjusted EBITDA, see “—Non-GAAP Measures.” ROIC means a store’s four-wall Adjusted EBITDA for a given period divided by our initial cash investment in the store. We calculate ROIC both including and excluding the initial inventory cost.

 

We also have been scaling our e-commerce platform and increasing sales through our website, www.sportsmanswarehouse.com .  

 

We believe the key drivers to increasing our total net sales will be:

 

·

increasing our total gross square footage by opening new stores;

 

·

continuing to increase and improve same store sales in our existing markets;

 

·

increasing customer visits to our stores and improving our conversion rate through focused marketing efforts and continually high standards of customer service;

 

·

increasing the average ticket sale per customer; and

 

·

expanding our e-commerce platform.

 

Gross Profit

 

Gross profit is our net sales less cost of goods sold. Gross margin measures our gross profit as a percentage of net sales. Our cost of goods sold primarily consists of merchandise acquisition costs, including freight-in costs, shipping costs, payment term discounts received from the vendor and vendor allowances and rebates associated directly with merchandise and shipping costs related to e-commerce sales. Prior period amounts of net sales and cost of goods sold have been revised to reflect a revision of revenue presentation for sales of state fish and game licenses, duck stamps, and state government-mandated firearm background checks. See “-How We Assess the Performance of Our Business-Net Sales and Same Store Sales” and Note 2 to the notes to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this 10-K for a description of these items and the impact of the revisions on our financial statements for the prior periods.

 

We believe the key drivers to improving our gross margin are increasing the product mix to higher margin products, particularly clothing and footwear, improving buying opportunities with our vendor partners and coordinating pricing strategies among our stores and buying group. Our ability to properly manage our inventory can also impact our gross profit. Successful inventory management ensures we have sufficient high margin products in stock at all times to meet customer demand, while overstocking of items could lead to markdowns in order to help a product sell. We believe that the overall growth of our business will allow us to generally maintain or increase our gross margins, because increased merchandise volumes will enable us to maintain our strong relationships with our vendors.

 

Selling, General and Administrative Expenses

 

We closely manage our selling, general and administrative expenses. Our selling, general and administrative expenses are comprised of payroll, rent and occupancy, depreciation and amortization, acquisition expenses, pre-opening expenses and other operating expenses, including share-based compensation expense and litigation accrual. Pre-opening expenses include expenses incurred in the preparation and opening of a new store location, such as payroll, travel and supplies, but do not include the cost of the initial inventory or capital expenditures required to open a location.

 

Our selling, general and administrative expenses are primarily influenced by the volume of net sales of our locations, except for our corporate payroll, rent and occupancy and depreciation and amortization, which are generally fixed in nature. We control our selling, general and administrative expenses through a budgeting and reporting process that allows our personnel to adjust our expenses as trends in net sales activity are identified.

 

42