Sports Authority won court approval Thursday to begin final sales at stores that are slated to close.
The store closings will happen over the next three months, the retailer said in a website announcement Wednesday.
Court approval of Sports Authority’s proposal to close 143 stores came one day after the company filed the proposal as part of a petition for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. bankruptcy code.
By filing under Chapter 11, Sports Authority has the option to restructure its business to be able to pay down debts, rather than to liquidate the entire business.
The privately held company explained in its online statement, which is signed by Michael Foss, Sports Authority’s chief executive officer:
We have decided to utilize the Chapter 11 process to implement a financial and operational restructuring that we believe is necessary to help us become an even better place for our customers to shop for sporting goods.
Due to the changing retail environment, we have a long-term plan to streamline and strengthen our business so we can continue to make necessary investments in our operations, including upgrading our in store experience and enhancing our website. As part of that plan, we have identified approximately 140 stores that we intend to close or sell in the coming months.
The 143 stores slated to close are located in the following 26 states and Puerto Rico.
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New York
- Puerto Rico
The retailer also notes on its website that “customers should not be affected” by the restructuring:
- We do not expect there to be any impact on gift card balances or your ability to use gift cards at our stores or online at this time.
- There should be no changes to our return/exchange policies at our go-forward stores or our customer loyalty program, The League.
- If you have a warranty on a product you bought at Sports Authority, it is still in effect for the same period of time.
- This should have no impact on the way you use your Sports Authority credit card or pay your bill.
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