CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - Sports Authority could be en route to shuttering its doors after the company says it will sell some or all of its assets rather than trying to reorganize under bankruptcy protection.
Sports Authority customers are upset, saying they know they can run into the store and always grab what they need.
"Running clothes,” said customer Kyle Andrus.
“I play tennis, so shoes is a big thing,” said customer CeCe Keeton.
That’s why hearing about the company's financial woes is so disappointing.
“Very sad, very sad because it's always kind of, the go to store,” Keeton added.
Experts say it's not so surprising as the company filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in March, initially closing 140 stores. But now, it's possible all 463 could shut down.
Forbes reports the retailer is more than $1.1 billion in debt and may not be able to reorganize.
Crain’s Chicago Business reporter Brigid Sweeney says although she can't speak directly for sports authority, the problems it's facing are similar to other big box stores.
“As we've seen time and time again, many big box chains, they're just over stored. They have far too many physical locations for a current population that shops increasingly online,” Sweeney said.
Many brick and mortar stores are also struggling to adjust to the changing marketplace.
"Clearly as we've seen from Sears, we've seen The Gap is closing stores, you just don't need the density of physical locations,” Sweeney said.
Employees and longtime customers could also be forced to re-adjust.
"So where will you go to get your tennis stuff? I don't know...I don't know,” Keeton said.
Sports Authority is not commenting, but the company told a US bankruptcy court earlier this week that it would pursue selling. Most of the company's assets will reportedly go up for sale May 16.
The decline of the retailer, based in Englewood, Colorado, is the latest evidence shopping habits are evolving as customers looking for team sportswear flock online instead of the sports store at their local mall.
Sports Authority Holdings Inc. made its Chapter 11 filing in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.