April 1, 2023
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Sport Chalet closing down, including 2 tri-county stores


The parent company of sporting goods retailer Sport Chalet recently announced it would be closing all of the chain’s 47 stores, including two in the Tri-Counties.

Purchased in 2014 by Connecticut-based Vestis Retail Group, Sport Chalet stores will be closed as part of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection filing.

Sport Chalet, which was founded in 1959 by German immigrants Norbert and Irene Olbertz, had two regional locations, including 885 Ventura Blvd. in Oxnard and at 1350 N. Moorpark Road in Thousand Oaks.

The location in Thousand Oaks had a sizeable space at the Conejo Valley Plaza shopping center that may be difficult to fill, said Haider Alawami, Thousand Oaks economic development manager.

“I was surprised to read that because Sport Chalet has been around for a long time and has been an anchor for a lot of cities,” he told the Business Times. “We are going to feel their impact because of its prominence in the shopping center.”

The company said it closed its online store and plans to shutter its locations over the next several weeks.

“The continuing shift in consumer behavior away from traditional brick-and-mortar retailers and toward online-only stores, together with increased competition from big-box and specialty sporting goods retailers, have contributed to an industrywide weakness,” Vestis CEO Mark Walsh said in a court filing.

There has been a recent upheaval in sport retailers, including Sports Authority’s restructuring and closing of locations in Camarillo, San Luis Obispo, one of two in Thousand Oaks and Ventura. Sport Chalet said Sports Authority sales have taken away business. Dick’s Sporting Goods is also expanding in many regions.

Vestis also owns Eastern Mountain Sports and Bob’s Stores. Nine of those stores will also close on top of the Sport Chalets.

• Bloomberg News contributed to this report. Contact Alex Kacik at akacik@pacbiztimes.com.