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Sports Authority to close down completely after failed reorganization

It would appear that it’s the end of an era as well for another leading sporting goods store, as Sports Authority has decided to shut down all its stores after a failed attempt to reorganize. And while California-based Sport Chalet’s announcement earlier this month involved closing all of its 47 brick-and-mortar stores, this new announcement will see Englewood, Colorado-based Sports Authority closing almost ten times as many stores – all 464 of them.

sports-authority

“It has become apparent that the debtors will not reorganize under a plan but instead will pursue a sale,” company attorney Robert Klyman said in a succinct statement that said it all, at Tuesday’s bankruptcy hearing in Wilmington, Delaware.

Sports Authority had two options in March when it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection while being $1.1 billion in the hole. The first option was merely to close all underperforming stores and emerge from bankruptcy as a “lean and mean” company, as they say in business jargon. The second, more drastic option, was to sell off all assets and stop all operations. The company went with the first option, announcing at first that it would close 140 of its stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. But since that didn’t go according to plan, it sought to liquidate on Wednesday.

Customers had a rather blasé reaction to Sports Authority’s closing, at least outside of the company’s home state. Torrance, Calif. customer William Meyer only bought camping fuel at his local branch, mainly because he couldn’t find it available on Amazon.

“I’m not surprised,” said a rather unaffected Meyer, in quotes published by the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. “I just buy online anyway. I’m part of the problem, I guess.”

It’s a different story, though, for Sports Authority employees, who thought all along that the company wouldn’t be liquidating and that it wouldn’t be closing all its stores. But local merchants do agree that it isn’t surprising that the company has finally decided to shut down its stores.

“Some of their employees come in here about four times a week and they were under the impression that the company wasn’t going to close that store,” said Submarina shop owner Victor Camerena, who operates next to a Sports Authority store in Oceanside. “But the way the economy is, and with the minimum wage increases, profit margins are getting tighter and tighter. It’s getting difficult for companies to stay in business.”

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