Business

Sports Authority may be at the finishing line

A store closing banner hangs on the outside of the Sports Authority store on East 21st Street between Woodlawn and Rock Road in Wichita on Monday afternoon.
A store closing banner hangs on the outside of the Sports Authority store on East 21st Street between Woodlawn and Rock Road in Wichita on Monday afternoon. The Wichita Eagle

The end of the road may be near for Sports Authority.

After filing for Chapter 11 in March, the retailer now plans to abandon reorganization and instead will put itself up for auction, according to a statement from a company spokeswoman and various media reports, including one that appeared last week in the Wall Street Journal.

In a statement Monday, the spokeswoman confirmed that the company is no longer pursuing a standalone plan of reorganization because lenders were not able to agree to terms of such a plan.

The plan is to pursue a sale of “some or all of the business,” according to the statement.

Sports Authority plans to close its remaining Wichita location, according to documents filed March 2 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. The store, on East 21st Street between Woodlawn and Rock Road, has been in liquidation mode for several weeks, though it was still open as of Monday afternoon.

Another Sports Authority store, in west Wichita at NewMarket Square, closed last July. Before the bankruptcy announcement, the Englewood, Colo., company had 463 stores in 41 states and Puerto Rico.

The spokeswoman said the the company has received interest from “a number of potential buyers,” and added that the sale process is expected to run through the end of this month.

In a statement released in March, Sports Authority CEO Michael Foss said the bankruptcy action was taken partly due to the fact that more consumers are doing their shopping online.

The Wall Street Journal and other media outlets have reported that an auction is set for May 16 for the majority of Sports Authority’s operations. It is not known when Wichita’s remaining location will close its doors for good.

Bryan Horwath: 316-269-6708, @bryan_horwath

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