Sports Authority, buckling under debt and missing payments, could file for bankruptcy as early as March, Reuters reports.
Bloomberg had earlier reported that the retailer failed to pay a $20 million interest payment, and was preparing a bankruptcy filing, while Reuters had earlier reported that the retailer was missing payments to suppliers.
By March the struggling retailer could close many of its 450 stores nationwide, sources told Reuters. Moody’s Investors Service downgraded the retailer’s credit ratings earlier this week, saying that it considers the missed interest payment a limited default, Reuters also said.
Sports Authority, once the dominant national sporting goods retailer in the U.S., is now being challenged from many sides—by Dick’s Sporting Goods and its agile omnichannel moves, more specialized retailers like Lululemon and Gap’s Athleta, and general merchandise retailers like Target and Amazon that have boosted their athleisure and other sports gear sales in recent months.
This fierce competition has already felled smaller chains in the space, including Boston-based City Sports, which filed for bankruptcy protection in October last year.
Private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners LP took Sports Authority private in 2006 for $1.3 billion, including debt. Now the company is $1 billion in debt, Reuters reports.