With online shopping leading to the demise of many traditional brick-and-mortar retailers, Modell’s Sporting Goods announced it will be closing nearly two dozen East Coast stores in an attempt to save the entire company.
Eight Modell’s locations will be closing in New York - including one on Long Island - though the Hudson Valley avoided the chopping block.
The move comes so the retailer can avoid filing for bankruptcy as soon as Sunday, March 1, according to reports.
Modell’s didn’t announce which Long Island location would be closing, and no closing dates or start of closing sales have been revealed for any of the New York stores.
Mitch Modell, the fourth-generation CEO, and owner of the franchise, has been facing financial difficulties for years, and the retailer has already been forced to sell more than 15 percent of the stores in its fleet.
The owner has placed the blame for the company’s mounting financial crisis on “lousy local sports teams that plague jersey sales, a shorter holiday selling season and the warm winter which jettisoned jacket, boot and glove sales.”
Modell said he "is executing a precedent-setting campaign to save his business."
"For the first time ever, I never thought I would sell equity, but I'm now willing to sell a minority stake in our company," he said. "But the fascinating part of the story is how I plan to do this. We are looking at this platform as crowdsourcing at the highest level. I'm hoping someone watching the show will say I love the brand and want to invest.
“We dropped 38 million dollars in receipts which caused us to lose 50 million dollars last year in sales,” he added. “On top of it, a warm winter on top of local teams lousy, on top of six days less between Thanksgiving and Christmas.”
Modell said he and his entire family, are "all in," both financially and strategically.
"We will do whatever it takes to save these stores and protect the communities that we have served and loved for generations," he said. "This is not a business, and these are more than associates. Much more. This is a real family, and with a little help, we hope to serve your children, just as we served you, for generations to come."
“(This is) one of the most difficult days of my life,” he said. “Despite the hardship, it's closing the 24 stores in order to preserve the whole company and save the jobs of 4,300 families.”
In the Hudson Valley, there are still Modell's locations in Yonkers, Greenburgh, Port Chester, Cortlandt, New Rochelle, and Mount Kisco, as well as in West Nyack and Nanuet; two in Orange County in Middletown and Harriman, and a Poughkeepsie store in Dutchess County.
On Long Island, there are locations in East Meadow, New Hyde Park, Plainview, Bohemia, Freeport, Oceanside, Huntington Station, Massapequa, Commack, Bay Shore, Centereach, Shirley, and Rocky Point.
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