Owner Of Eastern Mountain Sports And Bob’s Stores Files For Bankruptcy Again

Image courtesy of Mike Mozart

Last year, Vestis Retail –– parent company of Sport Chalet, Eastern Mountain Sports, and Bob’s Stores –– filed for bankruptcy and shed the Sport Chalet brand. Now the company formed out of that bankruptcy, Eastern Outfitters, is itself filing for bankruptcy and hoping for a buyer.

Versa Capital Management formed Vestis in 2012 when it acquired the three sporting goods chains and put them under the same corporate umbrella. Following last year’s bankruptcy, Eastern Mountain and Bob’s were retained by Versa under the new Eastern Outfitters subsidiary. Now, reports the Wall Street Journal, that company is filing bankruptcy after only 10 months.

Last year was a rough one for the sporting goods industry, with a major chain, Sports Authority, filing for bankruptcy, failing to find a buyer for any of its stores, and closing hundreds of them. All of those shoppers for sports and outdoor equipment went… to Amazon? To Walmart? Wherever it is they went, the company’s former competitors say that they aren’t seeing an increase in business after Sports Authority shut down. That’s just one of the factors affecting Eastern Mountain Sports, Bob’s Stores, and the other remaining retailers in the business.

Combined, Eastern Mountain Sports and Bob’s have 70 stores, mostly in the Northeast. Their business must not be completely unappealing: the WSJ reports that SportsDirect, a sporting goods retailer in the United Kingdom, has already expressed its interest in buying the two chains.