The New York Post reports that "Modell’s Sporting Goods is preparing to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy," having "stopped shopping for a white-knight investor to help renegotiate its 140 leases across nine US states and the District of Columbia, and … likewise giving up on getting better terms from its vendors."
A year ago, Modell's started closing some stores, and trimmed its fleet from 150 to 140.
CEO Mitch Modell has blamed his company’s difficulties "on 'lousy' local sports teams that have depressed jersey sales, as well as a shorter holiday selling season and the warm winter, which hit jacket, boot and glove sales."
Some historical context: "Four generations of the Modell family have run the business, which has weathered the Great Depression and multiple recessions. The first store was opened in 1889 on Cortlandt Street in lower Manhattan by Morris Modell, a Jewish immigrant from Hungary. His brother George owned a chain of pawn shops in the city."
- KC's View:
Let's face it. The Knicks and the Jets can be blamed for pretty much anything, including the coronavirus and global warming.
But if you are a New York sporting goods retailer, you have to figure out how to deal with it. And by the way, Modell's always has had an obsessive focus on New York Yankee merchandise, and that's a team with a pretty good record over the past decades.
Modell's can blame anyone and anything it wants. The fact is, it didn't adjust, didn't evolve, and didn't do the things necessary to sustain its relevance and resonance.
Strike three. You're out.