All Remaining Sports Authority Locations to be Closed

Sports Authority is closing every one of is over 450 stores throughout the U.S. after the company, which filed for bankruptcy protection in March, was not able to find a buyer, showed a new filing in court.

The retailer, based in Colorado, was at one time the largest chain of sporting goods stores in the U.S. with stores across 41 states plus Puerto Rico. However, in March the company filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy with an intention of restructuring.

However, the retailer was not able to come to an agreement with its lenders and creditors and was instead sold at a court auction.

A group of companies that specialize in liquidation purchased the assets of Sports Authority. The leases for the stores will also be sold.

It is still not clear when the stores will be closing. When Sports Authority made its filing for bankruptcy the chain made the announcement it would be closing 140 of its stores, as part of a plan it had restructure by cutting costs and slimming down. The original closures were scheduled to take 90 days to complete.

Sales for going out of business could begin as early as this week at every store and continue through August 31, said court filings.

The retailer posted revenue in 2015 of $3.5 billion and employs over 16,000 people. When asked, a spokesperson for Sports Authority declined to make a comment.

Sports Authority like other examples of big box retailers, struggled over recent years with the increase of competition from online as well as brick and mortar stores.

In 1987, Sports Authority was founded and in 1990, Kmart acquired the chain. During 2006, the company was purchased by a private equity company. The buyout saddled with debt of over $1.1 billion that helped to contribute to its need to file in bankruptcy court for protection.

Sports Authority was a big customer of Under Armour, which generates the majority of its sales via its wholesale channels to different retailers.

When it filed for bankruptcy protection Sports Authority owed more than $23 million to Under Armour, but the brand said the payments owed would not materially impact it.

The maker of sports apparel had announced it was planning to offset the impact of the bankruptcy through continued sales to the retailer and through other customers and channels.

An executive at Dick’s Sporting Goods, a rival of Sports Authority told analysts in a conference call after posting its earnings that the company wanted to acquire close to 20 of the leases held by Sports Authority.

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David Glass

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