Sports Authority closing stores, facing bankruptcy

Sports Authority is closing up to 140 of its 450 stores and prepping for bankruptcy, according to various reports.

The sporting goods chain told employees in Texas it would be closing all 25 stores there, according to The Dallas Morning NewsThe Denver Post reported that three locations in that market are slated to close.

The company missed a $21 million interest payment in January and promptly laid off 100 employees at its Englewood, Colorado headquarters. The company is carrying close to $643 million in debt and could be on the brink of bankruptcy.

Liquidation sales at the Denver stores have already begun.

Sporting goods retailers have struggled in the face of discount store competition and changing lifestyles as women's apparel retailers sell athleisure wear once reserved for athletic activity and acquired at a specialty store.

Attempts are being made to tap into consumers' growing interest in health and fitness. A partnership with Under Armour that Sports Authority launched in September was meant to grow loyalty by rewarding shoppers for earning activity points on the MapMyFitness app, but on Feb. 4, Bloomberg reported that Sports Authority was prepping to reorganize under Chapter 11.

Sports Authority is owned by private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners LP.

For more:
-See this Bloomberg report
-See this article in the Dallas Morning News
-See this Denver Post story

Related stories:
Sports Authority maps fitness to loyalty program
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Bass Pro opens destination shop in Florida
Retailers cash in on World Cup fever
Foot Locker partners with e-tailer Eastbay for in-store shops

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