According to Bloomberg, Eastern Mountain Sports’ parent company, Vestis Retail Group, is preparing for bankruptcy filings, and could file as soon as next week. Vestis also owns the Sports Chalet and Bob’s Stores Chain, which are both in the retail market. This breaking news has provoked some suspicion that Eastern Mountain Sports will follow their parent company and file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The sporting goods store is currently in a tough and volatile market that poses a challenge for businesses looking to overcome the online market.
“Vestis continually looks for opportunities to position its stores for long-term growth and success and, as such, is evaluating a number of strategies to strengthen the business. We will share additional updates as and when decisions are made. Meanwhile, we continue to focus on executing our long-term strategic plan, and all our stores — Eastern Mountain Sports, Bob’s Stores and Sport Chalet — continue to operate as usual, offering our customers the top outdoor, apparel and footwear fashions from their favorite brands,” stated Vestis.
The Meriden, which is a Connecticut-based EMS that was founded in 1967 by two climbers in Massachusetts, operates over 65 retail locations as well as multiple outdoor skill schools, including a bustling center for backcountry travel and avalanche safety courses in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. The company was acquired by Versa in 2012, which specializes in buying distressed companies and attempting to turn them around. The firm bought the failing Bob’s chain in 2008 from TJX Cos., acquiring a retailer known for casual clothing and sports-team apparel. It operates 35 stores, mainly in the Northeastern half of the United States.
Many other well-known retailers have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy during the past year, including American Apparel Inc., Quiksilver Inc., Sports Authority, and Hancock Fabrics Inc. Also, Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. may be headed for bankruptcy as soon as next week, according to people that are familiar with the matter. All of these companies were successful at one time and they are all of a sudden filing for bankruptcy, which reveals the harsh market that they are attempting to compete in. The outdoor sports market is currently creating hardships and opportunities for businesses, which leaves an unpredictable future for these companies.