February 25, 2024

Western Boot Store CEO: Taylor Swift Concerts Did Not Impact Business

The Taylor Swift economy is in full swing this summer, boosting travel and spending in cities across America hosting the pop star’s colossal “Eras” tour.

And while many fans are opting for cowboy boots and hats to don at the sold-out shows, one major Western boot retailer says it isn’t really seeing the impact on sales.

“While she is an amazing performer, we actually don’t see massive swings in our business from Taylor Swift,” said Jim Conroy, CEO and president of Boot Barn in a call this week discussing the company’s latest earnings.

Since the Eras tour kicked off, a certain style guide has permeated the Swiftie hive mind, such as sequined tops and folk-friendly dresses. This has led to a spike in sales of certain items according to CNN. But few items have become more ubiquitous than the white boot, often styled in a Western look. The Western boot is still showing up as a fall ’23 footwear trend, so its red hot moment this summer can gives designers and retailers the opportunity to double-down on the boot while it’s still hot.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - MAY 26: EDITORIAL USE ONLY Fans attend "Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour" at MetLife Stadium on May 26, 2023 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/TAS23/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management)
Fans attend Taylor Swift concert at MetLife Stadium on May 26, 2023, in East Rutherford, N.J. Getty Images for TAS Rights Mana

Conroy noted that Boot Barn, which specializes in cowboy boots and hats, typically sees a surge in sales when more traditional country artists like George Strait, Garth Brooks or Morgan Wallen come into a city with Boot Barn stores. For example, Boot Barn’s Phoenix business spiked a few weeks ago when Wallen was in town for a concert.

Altogether, Conroy added, business from concerts makes up a low single-digit percentage of total business for Boot Barn, but it can be helpful to frame overall ebbs and flows in sales in certain regions.

“We’ve had some great concerts come into town in some parts of the country that have spiked business,” he said. “Conversely, we’ve anniversary-ed big concerts in the last year period that have brought that business down.”

Even if the Eras tour isn’t impacting Boot Barn’s business, the retailer is benefiting from a general interest in Western footwear and apparel. Earlier this week, Boot Barn raised its full-year guidance after it posted sales and earnings that beat expectations.

Boot Barn expects to achieve total sales of between $1.72 billion and $1.75 billion in fiscal year 2024, which would represent growth of between 3.5 percent and 5.5 percent over the prior year. The company also plans to open 52 new stores this year.

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