Boot Barn CEO says the retailer’s oil-related apparel sales are finally growing after 2-year slump

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Boot Barn CEO Jim Conroy told CNBC on Friday the western apparel retailer is finally seeing sales strengthen in its oil-related categories following a prolonged period of weakness.

“At least for the last couple of years, our oil markets and the product that sells specifically to that customer candidly has been declining despite the fact the price of the barrel of oil has appreciated and rig count starting to come back up until recently,” Conroy said in an interview on “Mad Money.”

“We’re now starting to see growth in the quote-unquote oil patch,” he continued. “We’re seeing growth in work apparel that’s flame resistant that they need to wear in the oil patch, so that business, which had been negative for probably two straight years, turned double-digit positive in January. We’re excited about that. Seems to be a resurgence in that part of the business.”

Conroy’s comments are notable because last year, one Wall Street analyst pointed to Boot Barn’s stock as an under-the-radar way to play the recovery of oil prices from pandemic-associated declines.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures are up nearly 78% over the past 12 months and more than 16% already in 2022, and some analysts expect the price of crude to rise even further.

Shares of Boot Barn tumbled 9.7% Friday to close at $85.69 apiece, continuing a downward tend since reaching a high of $134.50 on Nov. 18. The stock’s slide Friday came as investors digested the company’s third-quarter results from Thursday night.

Conroy said he was a slightly “perplexed” by Wall Street’s reaction to the quarter during which Boot Barn saw total sales jump 61% on a year-over-year basis and 71% compared to the same period two years ago. Boot Barn also reported quarterly net income of $69.2 million, up from $29.6 million a year prior.

“We’re in this for this for the long haul, and we’re continuing to a highly growing company,” said Conroy, who also noted the retailer plans to considerably hike its long-term store count. “The valuation will take care of itself over time.”

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