Sports Authority Announces Going-Out-of-Business Sale

Don’t call them vultures – but soon customers are expected to start lining up to pick at the remains of what was once Sports Authority, which today announced that going-out-of-business sales would start Thursday, May 26.

Sports Authority, which filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March, initially planned only to close 140 of its 460 stores. However, the footwear retailer failed to secure a bidder at auction willing to help restructure the company, and so earlier this month it was announced that Sports Authority would shutter all its remaining locations.

Formerly its biggest rival, Dick’s Sporting Goods will stand to gain more than a dozen former Sports Authority locations, although until Sports Authority finally closes shop in August, it will have to bear a rough summer season as consumers flock to Sports Authority for deep discounts on sporting apparel and footwear. Dick’s said last week it expects same-store sales to fall 1 percent this year.

“Although it’s a mess, it’s a great opportunity for Dick’s Sporting Goods,” Dick’s CEO Ed Stack said to Fortune. “There is a small group of stores that we would love to get.”

Coming just in time for Father’s Day, the sale is being conducted by the Tiger Capital Group, Hilco Global and Gordon Brothers, who won a joint bid on the athletic gear retailer’s inventory earlier this month.

“Our liquidation sales will offer shoppers extraordinary opportunities to buy the kinds of sporting goods, equipment and apparel they’ve come to expect from Sports Authority – all at deep discounts,” said a representative from the joint venture. “Most markdowns will be taken on already reduced prices, including clearance inventory, so the liquidation savings will be significant. Additionally, this event comes just in time for Father’s Day gift giving and the start of summer outdoor activities.”

If Dick’s can weather the liquidation storm, it looks likely to benefit greatly from the demise of Sports Authority. According to Fortune, Dick’s could ultimately win 12 percent of Sports Authority’s business, or 25 percent in directly overlapping markets, equating to a roughly $400 million windfall in annual sales.

The Sports Authority liquidation sale is expected to run until August 31, or until remaining supply is depleted.

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