Sports Authority indicated in court documents this week that it is shutting down all of its 460 stores, the Associated Press reported. While that's bad news for the company, it could prove a boon to consumers looking for deals, as the retailer is planning going-out-of-business sales that will stretch from this week into August.
Sports Authority, which filed for bankruptcy protection some three months ago, had initially planned to shutter some 140 stores, but this week it was revealed the Englewood, Colorado-based company is set to close all of its locations. The move follows the recent announcement that Sports Chalet of La Cañada Flintridge, California, would close as well. Sports Authority employed more than 14,000 employees as of March. The AP reported that it would start discounting sneakers, clothing and other goods and would sell its store leases in an upcoming auction.
The retailer's website was promoting sales as of early Tuesday morning EDT. A banner across the top of the site announced a deal for 25 percent off any single item and free shipping on orders over $39. The website also promises its biggest buy-one, get-one deal of the season and significant price cuts for Memorial Day. Still, with the news of the closures still fresh, consumer financial services company Bankrate suggested holding out for a few days before making purchases in order to get the best sales. Consumerist wrote that buyers eventually could get deals of up to 90 percent off on the final items still stuck in the warehouse.
Competition from places like Dick's Sporting Goods and online retailer Amazon put increased pressure on Sports Authority. In fact, in an earnings conference call last week, Dick's Chairman and CEO Edward Stack cited his competitors' challenges as a reason to be bullish on his company.
According to Footwear News, he said:
“Over the past several months, City Sports in Boston has liquidated, [Sporting good chain Sport Chalet] announced the closing of all of their stores [and] the Sports Authority is in the midst of liquidating [and] closing their 400-plus stores [while] others are evaluating strategic alternatives ... Although it’s a mess, it’s a great opportunity for Dick’s Sporting Goods … Once this consolidation works its way through the system, we are poised to pick up significant market share.”
Outside of the online deals, Sports Authority is expected to have in-store sales ahead of closing its doors. While the retailer might be marking down prices, in perhaps a sign of the times, KPNX in Arizona reported that a number of products on sale at Sports Authority would still be cheaper if purchased with an Amazon Prime membership.