Let’s Check Out An Actual Store-Closing Sale At A Sports Authority Store

Image courtesy of Laura Northrup

We always tell readers not to rush out to store-closing sales until later on, if at all, since the deep discounts and brightly colored signs hide discounts that aren’t that great. Over the holiday weekend, Consumerist stopped by a Sports Authority store to find out how the store-closing sale is going. What we learned: there isn’t a big market for University of Georgia Christmas sweaters in upstate New York, especially in late May.

Now that discounts have reached up to 60% off at the first stores slated to close, is it worthwhile to visit the store? Here are some random items photographed during a trip to the store at Destiny USA, a regional mall in Syracuse, NY. The store there is quite large, and was on the original closing list filed with the company’s bankruptcy papers. It’s a short walk down the hall from a Dick’s Sporting Goods, which seems like a bad idea.

The store is scheduled to close on June 19, but still crammed with merchandise, especially clothes. Especially winter clothes.

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First up: a basic Victorinox Swiss Army knife. A person can always use a pocket knife unless they’re about to get on a plane, right? There were two of these left on the shelf at 40% off the list price of $19.99: one in this neat woodland design, and one in camouflage.

I can’t locate the woodland design online, but the camouflage version is very easy to find. The best price we could find for a new knife was about $17.50 with free shipping from Amazon. If you don’t especially care about the color of your knife, you can get a new red one from an Amazon marketplace seller for $13.

Best Price: $14, Sports Authority

boot

Next up, these Alpine Design brand work boots. Savvy outdoorspeople probably know that Alpine Design is a Sports Authority house brand, which means that you won’t find these boots at other retailers.

However, you can order them from the Sports Authority website for $79.97, where you get a choice of size 11 or 12, so with the price apparently marked down to … 20% off? The store-closing sale wins again.

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The boots were in a 40% off section, making the price either the hand-written $41.98, or 40% off that price, $25.19. Or maybe a customer wrote that price in to mess with people. They’re all better than the online price.

Best Price: Whatever the physical store is charging. Not available elsewhere.

rask

This street hockey goalie set has an original list price of $149.99 and was marked 40% off, taking the price down to $89.99. Dick’s has what looks to be a similar set for $25 under the list price, and most other retailers are in that range for either the regular version, or this version featuring the pad design of Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask.

Amazon, however, has this same version for a dollar more. It depends on what kind of return policy you prefer (you can’t return things at a store-closing sale), and how soon your kid’s street hockey game is.

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Best Price: $89.99, Sports Authority, but not by much. Great deal for Bruins fans, probably. Similar equipment available from other retailers in different sizes and with different team licensing or no team licensing.

The verdict: if you have some very specific sporting goods needs, or want to get ready for next ski season, stop by the sale and browse. However, the early deals won’t be all that great, especially compared to sales at competitors or online deals.

If you find better or worse deals at your local Sports Authority, let us know: send them in at tips@consumerist.com.