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After More Than A Century In Business, Modell’s Sporting Goods To Close All Stores

A Modell's Sporting Goods store during a ticket giveaway for the Brooklyn Nets in 2012.

The challenging retail environment has claimed yet another victim, with Modell’s Sporting Goods announcing it will close all its stores after filing for bankruptcy.

Modell's CEO Mitchell Modell told CNN Business the “extremely challenging environment” facing retailers doomed his family's longtime business selling sportswear and team memorabilia.

"This is certainly not the outcome I wanted, and it is one of the most difficult days of my life," he said in a statement. Modell’s was formed in 1889 and has 153 stores focused between the New York, Philadelphia and D.C. metropolitan areas, all of which will now close their doors.

Just a year ago, Modell said the company was on steady ground and had been able to win back vendors who were worried by news it had hired Berkeley Research Group as a restructuring consultant. He told suppliers at the time that he would be putting $6.8M of new money into the company, The Wall Street Journal reported.

However, consumers’ growing preference for e-commerce and the high retail rents in the areas it operated in ultimately proved too much for the retailer.

The announcement follows what has been a brutal few years for traditional retailers in New York City. Last August, Barney’s went bankrupt and multiple major stores have closed their flagships in the city’s best-known shopping strips. In total, the amount of vacant retail space doubled in New York City between 2007 and 2017.

More than 9,000 stores closed across the country last year, and mall owners are concerned about the impact the coronavirus pandemic will have on malls and retailers who, like Modell's, were already on uncertain ground.