Sports Authority finally filed for bankruptcy after weeks of speculation and with that, the chain joined the ranks of the largest retail bankruptcies the industry has seen in the past decade.
With assets of up to $1 billion, the athletic gear retailer will land in the seventh spot in a tally led by Circuit City, Linens & Things, and General Atlantic & Pacific Tea (A&P).
The bankruptcy filing of Sports Authority is interesting because it actually participates in a growing pocket of the broader retail industry. Athletic gear popularity has increased as more Americans wear sneakers, athletic tops and t-shirts around town, not just for the purpose of working out.
But that success had led to more competition. Retailers like Target
have entered the space by moving to sell more athletic wear. Meanwhile, manufacturers like Nike
and Under Armour
have increasingly focused on selling their gear through their own channels, including their e-commerce platforms. Other players, like Lululemon, completely sell their gear through their own store channels.
All of those factors made it difficult for Sports Authority to compete.
Here is a look at the 10 largest retail bankruptcies in recent years, as ranked by assets at time of the initial court filing. Data is from BankruptcyData.com as well as court filings.