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How Modell’s Narrowly Saved Five of Its Stores From Closing

Five Modell’s Sporting Goods stores have been saved from closure.

The 130-year-old chain was able to renegotiate leases with the landlords of five doors that were set to close, CEO Mitch Modell told Fox Business on Monday. The exec said 81 jobs will be saved across the outposts.

On Friday, Modell announced 24 stores around the U.S. would shutter and said that he was considering offering a minority stake in the company in hopes of staying afloat. This was the second round of announced closures for the company this year. Modell’s had announced in January that it would close nine of its 150 stores.

Following a disappointing holiday season, a WSJ report earlier this month indicated that Modell’s had hired financial advisers. Modell told the outlet that the company had stopped paying an unspecified number of landlords and some vendors, and had begun discussions with suppliers to remedy the situation.

Over the past five years, amid digital disruption and other consumer spending shifts, several big names in the sporting goods sector have liquidated: Grand Rapids, Mich.-based MC Sports filed for Chapter 11 protection in 2017; Sports Chalet announced it would close its doors in April 2016; Sports Authority declared bankruptcy in March 2016; and City Sports went out of business in late 2015.

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For its part, Modell’s was speculated to be on the Chapter 11 path before: In March 2019, the retailer hired a restructuring adviser to regroup amid soft sales and heavy competition from both rivals in the sports space like Dick’s Sporting Goods as well as major chains such as Walmart and Amazon. The firm was able to narrowly dodge filing for bankruptcy when its CEO injected $6.7 million into the company.

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