Store Closings: Modell’s Seeks to Save Its 130-Year-Old Business

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Store Closings: Modell’s Seeks to Save Its 130-Year-Old Business

By Jamie Grill-Goodman - 02/24/2020

Modell’s Sporting Goods is closing 24 stores as it struggles to keep its 130-year-old family business alive.

CEO Mitchell Modell told Fox Business of the store closings and that the retailer is considering offering a minority stake in the company. Modell described having to announce the store closures to his associates as "one of the most difficult days of my life." 

Founded in 1889 by Morris Modell, the first Modell's store was located in lower Manhattan, NYC. Four generations of the Modell family have developed the family business into a chain of over 150 stores throughout the Northeast.

Last March, The Wall Street Journal reported that the retailer hired restructuring adviser Berkeley Research Group to explore next steps for the company, including a possible bankruptcy.

In late March, Modell sent out a letter to all its 4,300 associates indicating that the retailer would be held more accountable by vendors, landlords and lenders than in the past for reaching targets on sales, margins and markdowns in the months ahead “in order to solidify our credibility and maintain their trust,” SGB Media reported.

Then, earlier this month, The Wall Street Journal reported the chain hired RBC Capital Markets, financial adviser Berkeley Research Group and law firm Cole Schotz in recent weeks in an effort to save itself after a poor showing over the holidays. Modell’s chief executive told the Journal that the company had stopped paying some landlords and vendors, and has started discussions with suppliers trying to avoid bankruptcy.

The stores scheduled to close include five in New Jersey, eight in New York and four in Pennsylvania, and the rest in Washington, D.C., and New England, according to Fox Business.