Vestis Retail Group announced it will shutter all Sport Chalet stores and refocus its efforts on its brands Eastern Mountain Sports and Bob's Stores.
Vestis first acquired EMS and Sport Chalet in July 2014 and has since faced operational challenges to the point of considering bankruptcy. The company announced that although its businesses are improving performance overall, Vestis is still plagued by the pressures of the sporting goods industry.
"As a result, EMS and Bob's are now delivering solid performance but have been burdened by limited financial flexibility due, in part, to the unique competitive pressures facing Sport Chalet," said Vestis CEO Mark Walsh. "After reviewing a variety of strategic alternatives, we determined that the best path forward is to separate the businesses and confront the challenges that have been hindering our overall progress. We are confident EMS and Bob's will be well-positioned to thrive at the conclusion of the process."
All Sport Chalet locations began holding closing sales on April 16, while EMS and Bob's began closing sales at eight and one store respectively.
Pending court approval, Vestis also announced voluntary reorganization proceedings under Chapter 11 and proposed the sale of EMS and Bob's to funds advised by Versa Capital Management. The company hopes to complete the sale by mid-summer, before the back-to-school season.
Sport Chalet and Vestis are not the only sports equipment retailer suffering these days. Sports Authority filed for bankruptcy in March and agreed to close 140 stores.
- see this Vestis Retail Group press release
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