One of America's oldest sporting goods chains is in dire straits, as Wall Street Journal reports that Sports Authority Inc. has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and plans to close more than a quarter of its stores nationwide.
The retailer has amassed a whopping $1.1 billion in financial debt, some of which is actually owed to brands like Nike and Under Armour. U.S. Bankruptcy Court filings indicate that Sports Authority owes Nike $48 million, while Under Armour is owed $23 million.
It wasn't long ago that things were looking up for Sports Authority. In 2006, when Leonard Green & Partners L.P. acquired the company for $1.3 billion, it actually had more locations than its closest competitor, Dick's Sporting Goods. The tables have since turned dramatically, as Wall Street Journal notes that Dick's currently boasts roughly than double the amount of locations and sales as Sports Authority.
Now, Sports Authority has announced plans to close or sell 140 of its 450 stores and will accept $595 million in bankruptcy financing from a group of investors. We'll let you know if it manages to turn things around before it's too late, but it doesn't look good from here.