Sports Authority To Close All Stores, Will Start Going-Out-Of-Business Sales

Sports Authority Inc.’s efforts to save several hundred of its stores after filing for bankruptcy in March have proven futile.

In court documents filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware last week, the big-box retailer said that it now has plans to sell all of its assets and conduct going-out-of-business sales at all store locations.

In its initial Chapter 11 filing, Sports Authority said it would close about 140 of its 463 stores as it worked toward restructuring the business. In April, the company abandoned its restructuring plans and began looking for buyers to save the 360-plus remaining stores. It seems those efforts have also failed, leading to the impending closure of all stores.

Increased competition from e-commerce players such as Amazon and fast-growing sporting goods retailers such as Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. had pressured Sports Authority in recent months.

Dick’s, which had been pegged by market watchers as a beneficiary of Sports Authority’s demise, is feeling short-term pressures from the company’s liquidation activity.

Last week, while announcing its Q1 earnings, Dick’s downward-adjusted its FY16 outlook, citing pressures from the Sports Authority’s storewide sales.

But Dick’s chairman and CEO Edward Stack noted that further down the line its competitors’ challenges will be a boon to business.

Over the past several months, City Sports in Boston has liquidated, [Sport Chalet] announced the closing of all of their stores [and] the Sports Authority is in the midst of liquidating [and] closing their 400-plus stores [while] others are evaluating strategic alternatives,” Stack said during the company’s conference call. “Although it’s a mess, it’s a great opportunity for Dick’s Sporting Goods … Once this consolidation works its way through the system, we are poised to pick up significant market share.”

In addition to in-store sales, the company is currently hosting several promotions on its website.

Sports Authority currently employs about 15,000 associates.

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