April 22, 2016
Connect Retail is our weekly column on the sector, authored by veteran CRE writer Ian Ritter.
It’s a little upsetting, that Sport Chalet is closing all of its stores after filing for bankruptcy. The sporting-goods retailer, mainly located on the West Coast, was not a huge chain, but it took up a significant amount of commercial real estate.
The stores, numbering less than 50 in all, averaged more than 30,000 square feet, which is a big blow to retail real estate landlords that had the chain as an anchor tenant.
What’s more disturbing is that it follows the bankruptcy of Sports Authority, which involved the shutdown of more than 100 locations.
Meanwhile, Dick’s Sporting Goods, the undisputed leader of specialty sporting-goods stores, is planning to open 36 locations this year, though its sales have waned of late. That is some good news.
But we are entering a world where specialty big-box retailers are becoming a thing of the past. We have one dominant national specialty electronics chain, Best Buy. In the office-products space, it looks like Staples will be the most dominant player.
In a world where mass-merchandise retailers like Walmart and Target sell basically everything, and with Amazon doing the same thing online, it’s very tough to compete.
Should we keep our fingers crossed that this will be the last major chain closing its doors in 2016, or will we inevitably see more to come as the year unfolds?