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Sports Authority closing stores, laying off workers in bankruptcy action

In a quest to reduce $1.1 billion of debt Sports Authority is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and is prepping to close 140 stores and two distribution centers.

In addition, there will be layoffs that will impact 3,400 employees of the brand’s 15,000 workforce, according to a Denver Post report.

"We wanted to give them plenty of time to find their next opportunity, whether it's in the company, or wherever else it is," CEO Michael Foss told the Post. "It is hard to close a store or a distribution center, or right-size a corporate headquarters. We try to mitigate the impact on people as much as possible."

It will be the second recent layoff round as the company pink-slipped about 100 workers at the start of the year.

Foss attributed the debt and layoff scenario to an inefficient store network created by a series of mergers and acquisitions, states the Post.

"We have some inefficiency in the system and that's hurt us from a sales and profitability point of view," he said.

Going forward, in developing a new retail "beast," Sports Authority will be focusing on determining how to best succeed as an omnichannel player and meshing its online presence with remaining storefront site.

The company is trying to find the appropriate mix between brick-and-mortar locations and e-commerce penetration, he said.

"We're trying to skate to where we think the puck is going to be," Ross said.

"We are taking this action so that we can continue to adapt our business to meet the changing dynamics in the retail industry," Foss said in a statement, in a USA Today report. "We intend to use the Chapter 11 process to streamline and strengthen our business both operationally and financially so that we have the financial flexibility to continue to make necessary investments in our operations."

Topics: Financial News, Retail - Department Stores, Workforce Management

Companies: Sports Authority

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