Sports Authority’s Huge Going-Out-Of-Business Sales

Sports Authority is shutting the doors of all 463 stores and is set to launch a massive going-out-of-business sale this week.

The big-box chain, filed for bankruptcy protection less than three months ago. Initially, they had planned to cut costs and streamline operations by either selling or closing a third of its retail stores.

Hampered by $1.1 billion in debt, which they were unable to restructure, and failing to keep pace with shifting consumer trends is what led to the demise of this big box chain.

Online shopping also played a major role in its failure.

The growing number of consumers doing their shopping online has quickly outpaced brick and mortar retail shopping across the board.

“It’s a hypercompetitive industry,’’ says Katie Nemec, spokeswoman for the National Sporting Goods Association, she also added that “online retailers who don’t have to tack sales tax onto merchandise get “an unfair advantage . . . If that company is in a state where they don’t have to charge it, we see it almost as a discount to the consumer.’’

According to the National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA), online sales of athletic and sport equipment grew to 15.8% last year, up from 11.8% in 2010. Online sales of athletic footwear have risen to 17.2% which is a full five percent higher than it was just 5 years ago.

The Sports Authority’s announcement comes on the heels of another athletic goods retailer, Sport Chalet announced the closing of its 50 stores . That particular chain stopped online transactions and launched its going-out-of-business sales in April.

This trend is not just affecting sporting goods retailers.

“It seems like every retail industry is dealing with its own set of challenges,’’ Nemec says. “I certainly don’t think the sporting goods industry is the only one.’’

Tips for shopping Sports Authorities Liquidation Sales:

The liquidation kick off will begin “on or about” this Wednesday, according to court documents. The sales are expected to end around Aug. 31, 2016.

Patience is key.

“You have to think ‘buyer beware’ because a lot of times when companies have a going-out-of-business sale, they will do it over a set period of time, so the initial markdowns aren’t always the best deals,” Howard Schaffer, the general manager at, told ABC News.

Look for products that have been marked down several times to ensure you’re getting a deal.
Purchase items such as sports equipment instead of technology because after an item is purchased, it’s most likely going to be a final sale.

Gift Cards:  

Today is the last day for purchasing gift cards, according to Sports Authority’s website. Gift cards will be honored online and in stores through June 28.

Exchanges and Returns:

Exchanges and returns will be allowed in stores through June 25, 2016.

Featured image by Daniel Oines on Flickr and available for use by Creative Commons 2.0 license.

Consumer Expert Denise Hill

Denise is currently a writer and editor for a federal agency in Washington, DC. She is an open-minded free spirit always ready for new adventures. She enjoys traveling and relishes being exposed to alternate points of view. Faith, family and finances are the core of her value system. She follows her own path and marches to her own beat. She is a dream chaser and with her husband and best friend by her side, she plans to take over the world.