Thanks Lauren and good morning everyone. Despite the fact that our performance in the second quarter came in at the low end of our expectations we are making important progress against the strategic initiatives we outlined at our Investor Day earlier this year. We believe that by remaining focused on our four strategic imperatives elevating the customer experience, investing for long-term growth, driving productivity, and leveraging the power of our people we will succeed in accomplishing our long-term goals and deliver significant value to our shareholders. Further, we believe that with the company's strong financial position, our strategic relationships with our vendor partners, and the connection we have with our customers we are well positioned to build positive momentum in the back half of 2019. The fact that our comp performance improved as we move through each month of the second quarter is a positive sign.
For the back half of 2019 we are optimistic about the upcoming unique product concepts and the overall product pipeline. To highlight just a few of the bright spots from the second quarter, we had solid results in several men's basketball, running, and court styles.
Our women's and kids footwear businesses delivered strong results and we made important progress on several key initiatives.
For example, we expanded on our strategic partnership with our best in class partners including Nike and Adidas. We geared up for the opening of an exciting community based power store in a key sneaker market which I will talk about in a moment. We made progress on our new FLX membership program.
We are prepared for the upcoming launch of greenhouse, our in-house incubator. We launched a new in-store format at Champs Sports to fuel our women's business and we formally brought our Champs Sports and Eastbay banners together to have a united focus on the high school athlete on and off the field.
Let's first take a look at some of the key drivers in our business from the second quarter. In footwear we saw ongoing strength in Air Max styles and Air Force 1 from Nike as well as the iconic AJ1 from Jordan. We partnered with Nike on the summer blockbusters program working with the next generation of Nike athletes. Jayson Tatum, Devin Booker, and De'Aaron Fox which all performed well. From Adidas we partnered on creating the Passport Pack which paid homage to Berlin and Tokyo with unique versions of the NMD which was a success. The Puma RS-X franchise and Fila Disruptor continued to grow. In a collaboration between Converse and up and coming fashion label Chinatown Market was also a popular choice.
On the other hand the launches out of the second quarter that we previously outlined combined with lower demand of some legacy platforms and performance footwear at Eastbay pressured the overall results.
Our apparel business took a step backward in the quarter. This result was due in part to softer demand for some of the wind wear looks that have been successful over the past year or so.
In addition, our shift away from private label also contributed to the decline.
On the positive side fleece, both tops and bottoms along with branded graphic tees continued to resonate with our customers but were not enough to offset the challenges in the other categories.
Looking forward we have a number of exciting concepts and exclusives that we have been working on with our strategic vendor partners.
For example the launch of our exclusive evolution of the Swoosh footwear and apparel collection from Nike which celebrates the origins of the iconic logo. From Adidas we have the upcoming logo distortion collection with new iterations and branding of their world renowned silhouettes. Not to mention a number of easy drops spread across the back half. And there's even more heat coming with other exciting products from Puma, Converse, Reebok and others in the pipeline.
Now let me walk you through how we are performing against each of our four strategic imperatives.
First, I would like to touch on how we are elevating the customer experience.
We are uniquely positioned to bring and celebrate youth in sneaker culture around the world.
Our community based power stores are a great example of how we are using our deep knowledge and connections to create hyper local experiences for our customers. Earlier this month we opened the doors to Foot Locker Washington Heights, the second power store in New York City. Washington Heights is an important and unique community at the heart of sneaker and youth culture and our new community based power store will enable us to engage with that neighborhood in more meaningful ways.
The store which is largely staffed by local associates helps drive energy through immersive experiences and activations. It also serves as a platform for local brands, artists, and creators who are passionate about the heights. The store includes access to a full family shopping experience with footwear, apparel, and accessories from a wide variety of top athletic brands including Nike, Jordan, Converse, Adidas, Puma, and more.
Additionally the store will offer localized product including our homegrown initiative with exclusive and limited release apparel from local brands such as Lifestyle NYC and Triangular Swag dedicated to women's and kids spaces, digital My Lockers for online shoppers to pick up their orders.
Our work from local artist Danny Peguero in an activation space for community events.
Beyond that Foot Locker Washington Heights also serves as an example of the deepening strategic relationship between Foot Locker, Inc and Nike. Not only does the store leverage our digital assets, it is the first strategic partner store to tie into Nike's digital capabilities. Together we are combining our knowhow to create truly differentiated experiences for Foot Locker and Nike customers alike. It is also the global pilot for connected inventory which ties in the Foot Locker and Nike ecosystems in order to create data driven local assortments in a more seamless customer experience. This connection will offer our customers visibility into the store inventory not only through our Foot Locker mobile app but also through the Nike app.
The technology also offers our customers some additional features on their mobile devices.
The first is called shoecase which offers members the opportunity for access to cover the sneaker releases.
Next is the unlock box which is a digital vending machine where members can use their app to unlock limited edition items. Nike Scan allows customers to scan barcodes to learn more about a product's history and check availability and this is only the beginning. Over time we will add other exciting features and benefits through a connected membership program with Nike that will reflect the best of both brands. The partnership at Washington Heights is a clear example of how our companies are working together to evolve retail through innovative experiences that unite physical and digital.
Another important step in our journey would be the upcoming rollout of our new FLX program. FLX represents a shift on how we reward our most loyal customers, moving away from a discount based system to a program which offers exciting benefits and experiences that members truly value.
Some examples of membership benefits include head starts on launch products, gift cards, donations to relevant causes, and other benefits. We believe FLX has the potential to deepen our customer relationships, incentivize them to stay within the Foot Locker family, and enhance the overall lifetime value of our customers. Currently piloting with Lady Foot Locker and Foot Locker Netherlands we expect to expand the roll out of FLX across our U.S. banners after the holiday period. In Europe we expect the expansion to begin by early Q4 and continue through 2020 with Asia Pacific to follow later.
Turning now to our efforts around the women's business.
We are excited about the progress we are making in creating compelling spaces within our stores to cater to and engage with her.
One of those touch points is the new women's shop in shop format at Champs Sports.
We are using this space as a destination for her to find those styles that inspire her whether that's from our strategic brand partners or local products and boutique brands. She will also find authentic storytelling, community workshops, and customization opportunities.
The first three locations opened during the quarter in Dallas, Santa Monica, and San Jose. A fourth location opened in Las Vegas during Q3 with several more expected to open in 2019. We described to you earlier this year how building deeper and stronger connections with our customers across the brands, channels, and geographies will be an important aspect of elevating the customer experience.
With this in mind as we analyzed our brand segmentation strategy we saw an opportunity to broaden our appeal to the sport obsessed athlete by bringing Champs Sports in the Eastbay together under a unified leadership structure. Under this new structure Bryan Milburn who has been the General Manager for Champs Sports now leads both banners. We believe bringing these two brands together positions them to deliver the type of elevated product and experiences that inspire these customers in store or online both for their personal style and to help them achieve their top performance on the court or field of play.
Another part of building these customer connections involves investing in the communities where our customers live and play.
Our investment in Super Heroic and the work we are doing with Jason Mayden is an example of how we are empowering our youngest customers through play and helping children see themselves as capable of doing the impossible.
Another example is through the Foot Locker Scholar Athletes program which during Q2 awarded scholarships to 20 exceptional students that will help make college more accessible and enable them to pursue their dreams. Each of these impressive young individuals overcame hardships in their life and became an inspiration through their leadership in athletics, academics, and within their communities. In Europe Foot Locker celebrated inclusivity in sports and culture through the Women's World Cup through a campaign featuring up and coming female referees.
We also supported the amateur female referees in the UK by funding the cost of their training course and helping them on their path to becoming certified referees. We believe these efforts not only build deeper connections with the communities we serve but also help inspire and empower their members to achieve positive change in their lives.
In terms of our second strategic imperative which is our focus on investing for long-term growth I want to highlight Greenhouse.
Our new innovation hub, Greenhouse provides our company the opportunity to build and cultivate new relationships, new initiatives, and new ideas with an amazing community of brands and creators some of which we already work with today and others that we can't wait to get started with. Greenhouse will launch as a separate app that will tell one product story at a time with collections across footwear, apparel, accessories, art, and other categories.
We expect Greenhouse to launch this quarter with collaborations between L.A. street wear brand Rood and Starter [ph] and V Files and Fila as well as collections including Parisian brands Paperboy.
The Greenhouse canvas franchise with Adidas, an emerging Latin artist celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month and the launch of designer Dao-Yi Chow's sustainability platform O-1 which will feature his own brand Public School NY for the first time and the list goes on.
Some of these exciting stories and collections will be taken out of the Greenhouse to our global audience. The beauty of Greenhouse is that we can be patient and cultivate new partners and relationships for years to come. We're excited about this new innovative approach to connecting with designers and customers, its potential to strengthen the Foot Locker network, and our position at the center of youth culture.
Turning to our third strategic imperative we are also focused on our push to drive productivity gains whether that's through initiatives like RFID, inventory optimization, logistics, or expense management.
We also have a number of opportunities to drive productivity within real estate.
Our team continues to strategically pursue ways to improve leverage in the business.
Some of these efforts include more favorable lease terms, leveraging in-store digital capabilities, and driving efficiencies in our store design and build up costs.
As we make progress against these initiatives we will continue to update you along the way.
And lastly leveraging the power of our people, by investing in our people we are providing them with the tools to not only develop their skills but also enabling them to create elevated experiences for our customers every day and helping us to make meaningful progress in our initiatives in achieving our long-term goal.
So before we open the line for questions I want to thank our associates for their dedication and continued focus on connecting with our customers and working to drive the business forward. Again we remain optimistic about our upcoming unique product concepts and our product pipeline for the back half of 2019. With our strong financial position, our strategic relationships with our suppliers, and the connection we have with our customers we believe we are well positioned to build positive momentum in the back half in 2019. Operator, please open up the line for questions.