Sports Authority plans to close all of its 463 stores, including six in the Tri-Counties, according to documents filed in bankruptcy court in Delaware.
Tiger Capital Group, Gordon Brothers Group and Hilco Trading Co. won the May 16 auction with a joint bid for the assets of the struggling chain, which has racked up more than $1 billion in debt. The group will sell off remaining merchandise in going-out-of-business sales.
The sporting goods retailer announced in March that it would sell the assets and leases to 140 stores to try to preserve $124 million in tax deductions as part of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Since New York-based Modell’s Sporting Goods backed out, Sports Authority hasn’t received acceptable offers to keep the chain open.
The company recently indicated in court documents that it will close all of its stores.
The six stores in the region include 7035 Market Place Drive in Goleta, 351 W. Ventura Blvd. in Camarillo, 243 Madonna Road in San Luis Obispo, 145 W. Hillcrest Drive in Thousand Oaks, 4870 Telephone Road in Ventura and 120 S. Westlake Blvd. in Westlake Village.
Area property managers were already devising strategies to lease out the insolvent Sport Chalet stores. Real estate experts told the Business Times that splitting up the big-box spaces would be the best way to attract tenants.
This leaves Dick’s Sporting Goods in a position to capture considerable market share. There are stores in Oxnard, Thousand Oaks and San Luis Obispo.
Sports Authority has fallen far since a $1.3 billion buyout in 2006 left it with significant debt. The chain was even with Dick’s back then. Now, Dick’s has hundreds more locations and takes in almost twice as much per store, according to Bloomberg News.
In addition to the retail closings, Sports Authority distribution centers in Denver and Chicago will be shut down or sold. It also has the corporate naming rights to the Denver Broncos Stadium, Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
Sales last year at U.S. retailers were their weakest since 2009, according to the Commerce Department. But sports were one of the rare bright spots in retail despite the growth of online merchants.
The store leasing auctions will take place on July 15, according to court papers.
• Contact Alex Kacik at [email protected] Bloomberg News contributed to this report.