Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Retailer Will Clear Out

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Retailer Will Clear Out

Article excerpt

The liquidation of The Sports Authority chain will create seven "big box" vacancies in North Jersey, some of which may be tough to fill.

The Sports Authority, once described as the "category killer" -- or dominant retailer -- in sporting goods, has told the bankruptcy court that it is turning its stores, and their merchandise, over to a trio of liquidation firms, after failing to find a buyer willing to take on the stores as a going concern.

Hilco Merchant Resources LLC, Gordon Brothers Retail Partners LLC and Tiger Capital Group have been chosen to conduct the sales of the retailer's inventory, according to court documents filed Friday. A proposed court order states that all going-out-of-business sales and liquidation efforts would be concluded by Aug. 31.

The Sports Authority did not respond to questions about when the sales would begin.

At the Sports Authority store in the Ikea shopping center in Paramus on Friday, employees were conducting business as usual, and there were no clearance or going-out-of-business signs. Employees, however, were telling customers that they had learned that morning that the store would be closing. As of March the company had about 14,500 employees.

The Sports Authority has 21 stores in New Jersey. It previously announced plans to close 140 stores -- four in New Jersey, including the store on Willowbrook Boulevard in Wayne. The Sports Authority has two stores in Paramus -- the Ikea center store and a store on A&S Drive, next to Paramus Park mall -- and stores in Secaucus, Clifton, Ramsey and Riverdale.

Consultants for The Sports Authority, in court documents filed Friday, outlined their efforts to sell all or part of the company, and said the sale to the liquidators represents the "highest and best" offer for the company.

Any remaining unexpired leases for Sports Authority stores are scheduled to be auctioned off on June 29, according to court documents, with a July 8 deadline for objections to sales of leases by landlords or other parties. …

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