Business

Sports Authority default ripples through sporting-goods industry

Sports Authority closed its NewMarket Square store at 2441 N. Maize Road in July 2015. It plans to close its remaining Wichita store at 6959 E. 21st St. as part of its reorganization bankruptcy.
Sports Authority closed its NewMarket Square store at 2441 N. Maize Road in July 2015. It plans to close its remaining Wichita store at 6959 E. 21st St. as part of its reorganization bankruptcy. File photo

Sports Authority Inc.’s bankruptcy echoed through the sporting-goods industry on Tuesday, with companies saying it was creating both hardships and opportunities.

Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. said it would try to pick up market share ceded by its longtime rival, which is closing stores as it makes its way through bankruptcy court. Performance Sports Group, meanwhile, was dealt a blow by the Chapter 11 filing. The maker of baseball bats and hockey gear wrote down anticipated sales that it would have gotten from Sports Authority. Performance slashed its outlook, sending its stock down as much as 66 percent on Tuesday.

Sports Authority was once the largest sporting-goods retailer in the United States, and its decline has broad repercussions. Sports Authority’s remaining Wichita store at 6959 E. 21st St. is among 143 stores the company is closing. It closed its NewMarket Square store in west Wichita in July 2015.

In addition to going after the chain’s customers, Dick’s may scoop up real estate vacated by the bankrupt business. Dick’s CEO Edward Stack said on a conference call that his company would be looking at Sports Authority leases to see which ones would make sense.

“We’re going to be very aggressive to go after that displaced market share,” he said.

Dick’s operates two stores in Wichita, at 2057 N. Rock Road and 4600 W. Kellogg.

Suppliers like Performance are in a weaker position. Though Sports Authority plans to re-emerge from bankruptcy, there will be a smaller fleet of stores to sell to. The Chapter 11 filing has contributed to sluggish demand for baseball and softball products, Performance CEO Kevin Davis said in a statement Tuesday.

The company cut its annual earnings forecast to 12 cents to 14 cents a share, excluding some items. That was down from as much as 69 cents. The writedown of the receivable balance and anticipated loss of sales from Sports Authority accounted for 9 cents of the reduction.

Performance fell as low as $2.95, marking their biggest intraday plunge since the shares began trading in 2011. The stock was down 10 percent this year before the tumble.

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