03 Mar Sports Authority Files for Bankruptcy Protection, Will Close 140 Stores
Once the world’s largest sporting goods retailer, Sports Authority filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Wednesday and said it will close 140 stores, nearly a third of its locations, over the next three months.
Customers and others had long complained that Sports Authority’s shopping experience was drab and outdated. The company’s stores were more warehouses of athletic supplies than the updated locations of its competitors, namely Dick’s Sporting Goods, that offer an “immersive” experience.
“In retail, you can’t just leave all the stores alone forever,” said Paul Swinand, an analyst at the investment research firm Morningstar. “You have to constantly reevaluate your stores or else they get old. If you don’t see changes coming and you let that go for too long, you end up with tired stores and tired customers and brands that don’t want to give you their best product.”
In an open letter to customers, chief executive Michael Foss acknowledged the challenges of a changing retail environment. He said the bankrupcty process would allow the retailer to upgrade its in-store experience and enhance its website.