NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - The retailer Sports Authority is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Sports Authority says it plans to close or sell about 140 stores and two distribution centers, in Denver and Chicago.
The Englewood, Colorado, company has 463 stores in 41 states and Puerto Rico.
The store closings are expected to take up to three months.
CEO Michael Foss says it needs fewer stores as consumers are increasingly shifting to online shopping.
Foss sent an email to customers on Wednesday:
March 2, 2016
Dear Sports Authority Customers,
During the past several months, we have been working very hard to adapt our business to better meet the needs of our customers. We are committed to evolving as a company so we are able to continue to offer the best brands at great values - both in our stores and on our website, sportsauthority.com
With these goals in mind, 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. This was a tough decision to make, but we believe it was a necessary step in our plan to make Sports Authority an even better partner for our customers. The store closings will occur over the next three months.
While no stores are being shut immediately, if the store where you regularly shop is ultimately closed, you can use the Store Locator on our website to find the nearest Sports Authority location. In addition, you always can find all of our brands at the same great values online at sportsauthority.com
Most importantly, I want to emphasize that our customers should not be affected by this restructuring process.
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.
In addition, 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.
Finally, this should have no impact on the way you use your Sports Authority credit card or pay your bill.
In short, we are continuing to operate our stores and website, and we remain fully committed to delivering value and great brands wherever you shop at Sports Authority.
If you have any questions, or would like more information about the Chapter 11 case, including access to Court documents, please visit www.kccllc.net/sportsauthority or call the information line at:
Toll Free (USA and Canada): 866-967-0490
International Callers: 310-751-2690
Thank you for your continued support!
Chief Executive Officer
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