Sports Authority is gasping for air.
“It has become apparent that the debtors will not reorganise under a plan but instead will pursue a sale,” Sports Authority’s lawyer, Robert Klyman, said at a US Bankruptcy Court, according to the Journal.
The majority of what Sports Authority owns will go up for auction on May 16. A bunch of its store’s leases were already posted in March.
Earlier in April, CNBC reported that Academy Sports, Dick’s, and Modell’s had demonstrated that they might be interested in acquiring Sports Authority.
Sports Authority is facing mounting competition from companies like Lululemon, Nike, and Amazon, the latter of which sells many of the goods available at Sports Authority at lower price points (and without the potentially inconvenient trip to the store). Worse, Sports Authority’s products served as evidence of a brand behind the times.
“Sports Authority has tended to stick to its traditional strengths, like golf, rather than branching out into new growth areas such as athleisure and fitness. This has made it less relevant to consumers and less able to compete with rivals,” Neil Saunders, CEO of consulting firm Conlumino, wrote in March.
Saunders also noted how Sports Authority isn’t a “destination for consumers,” thereby making a trip there a chore, rather than an experience.
This is a problem that has been plaguing sporting goods retailers. Between the rise of e-commerce and the saturation in the athleisure market, sporting goods stores need to give consumers a reason to visit their stores, whether that’s by selling intriguing, competitive products at an attractive price or making a trip to the store a pleasant and exciting experience.