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Foot Locker uses emoticons to boost mobile app experience

Foot Locker has launched its first ever smartphone mobile application which the retailer says introduces users to "the world's first sneaker replica emoticons" – Shoemoji.

The app, which is available on iOS and Android platforms, contains 80 shoe-related emoticon-type images that customers can use to communicate how they feel about certain products.

Shoemoji, which is free to access for those who download the app, is one of a number of features that Foot Locker hopes will boost consumers' digital experience of the brand. Other services include a calendar of future shoe launches that can be added to the app user's iCalendar or Google Calendar, as well a launch locator – providing details of which shops will stock new ranges.

Stacy Cunningham, executive vice president of marketing at Foot Locker, said the company was "excited" to roll out its first smartphone app.

"We know how important phones are in our customers' lives and we always want to offer them a premium experience with Foot Locker wherever they may be," she explained.

"We believe that the Foot Locker app, along with the introduction of Shoemoji, is another great way for us to provide that experience."

Other features of the transactional mobile app include a store locator and access to the retailer's VIP loyalty programme.

Building a "more powerful digital business" that operates with "customer-focused channel connectivity" is one of the strategic priorities recently mapped out by Foot Locker, as the company looks to continue the growth journey it has experienced over the last few years.

Full-year results released in March showed that the business achieved net income of $520 million in the 12 months to 31 January 2015, up from $429 million one year before. Total sales increased 9.9% year on year to $7.2 billion, representing the retailer's record annual sales.