Modell’s files for bankruptcy after 131 years

The sporting goods retailer could not be saved from bankruptcy

After a year of financial turmoil, sporting goods retailer Modell's filed for bankruptcy on Wednesday.

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In a statement CEO Mitch Modell said:

"Over the past year, we evaluated several options to restructure our business to allow us to maintain our current operations. While we achieved some success, in partnership with our landlords and vendors, it was not enough to avoid a bankruptcy filing amid an extremely challenging environment for retailers...We are extremely appreciative of the support that our lenders (JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo), vendors and landlords provided during this difficult period, engaging in extensive renegotiation efforts and allowing us to pursue every possible avenue to preserve the jobs of our loyal associates."

Modell, on Friday, confirmed to FOX Business his intention to file for bankruptcy while emphasizing that he is now focused on saving workers.

“The most important thing to me right now is the preservation of as many union jobs as possible,” he said.

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MODELL’S PREPARES BANKRUPTCY FILING

Reports over the challenges Modell has faced during the past few years led to insurance companies cutting off Modell’s, vendors refraining from shipping product to the company and a credit-rating downgrade, Modell recently told FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo.

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Modell initially planned on closing 24 locations and was considering selling a minority stake in the company, but after appearing on “Mornings with Maria” he was able to save seven stores and 129 jobs from the chopping block. He was able to negotiate with his landlords who extended their support following the interview, but not enough landlords and vendors agreed to the terms needed to prevent bankruptcy.

Modell’s was founded in 1889 by Mitch Modell’s great-grandfather Morris A. Modell.

The company has been family-owned ever since and operated 141 stores prior to the announced closures.

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