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Sports Authority closing all stores nationwide

Posted at 8:25 PM, May 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-01 20:30:41-04

NEW YORK — Sports Authority will be closing all 450 stores after filing bankruptcy in March, according to Forbes.com.

The sporting goods brand filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and initially said it would be closing 143 stores  in 27 states. However, the company is in more than $1.1. billion in debt and said it wouldn’t be able to reorganize, Forbes.com reported.

Sports Authority has not publicly announced a closing date.

The company has 14,500 full- and part-time employees at its 450 stores and its offices, according to the bankruptcy filing. Nearly two-thirds of those workers are part-time.

When the company was bought by a hedge fund 10 years ago, it was the largest sporting goods retailer. But it has struggled with the debt load associated with a leveraged buyout a decade ago. It has been overtaken by Dick’s Sporting Goods, which has grown by providing a more high end shopping experience.

Store closings are a growing trend among troubled retailers not in bankruptcy, such as Sears. Even successful retailers such as Walmart are closing stores.

For Sports Authority, the online competition has come from online retailers such as Amazon and Fanatics, and also retail sites run by sports leagues such as the NFL and NBA.

“You used to go to Sports Authority or some other store to buy your fan gear. Now it’s much easier to find online,” said Perkins.

Sports Authority spends $6 million a year to have its name on the stadium that is home to the Denver Broncos, which just won the Super Bowl. Whether that 25-year naming rights deal will continue under the bankruptcy is unclear.