MC Sports declares bankruptcy

T-L Photo/JANELL HUNTER
MC Sports has declared bankruptcy in Grand Rapids, Mich., where the chain retailer is headquartered. It is unclear what the fate of the Ohio Valley Mall MC Sports store in St. Clairsville will be.

T-L Photo/JANELL HUNTER MC Sports has declared bankruptcy in Grand Rapids, Mich., where the chain retailer is headquartered. It is unclear what the fate of the Ohio Valley Mall MC Sports store in St. Clairsville will be.

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — Chain retailer MC Sports, which has a store at the Ohio Valley Mall, is filing for bankruptcy and will begin having liquidation sales at all of its 68 locations. It is unclear at this point whether the stores will need to close.

This news comes close on the heels of other large retailers announcing they will close stores to trim overhead and save their bottom lines. Recently, Macy’s Department stores have closed several stores in the region, and K-Mart, Elder-Beerman and Things Remembered have all closed their doors at the Ohio Valley Mall. The Macy’s store at the St. Clairsville mall reportedly will remain open; however, the Macy’s at the Fort Steuben Mall will close.

The MC Sports company, headquartered in Grand Rapids, Mich., was founded in 1946 and operates in seven states throughout the Midwest. As part of an ongoing process to restructure the company, the retailer initiated formal “voluntary reorganization proceedings under Chapter 11” on Tuesday.

According to a news release, the retailer has been systematically moving to larger format stores that combine hunting, fishing and outdoor categories with traditional sporting goods items such as apparel, equipment and footwear. Like other retailers that have been forced to close locations that were under-performing, the company said it has has been fiscally responsible and let those locations go as lease opportunities became available.

Company officials say MC Sports has struggled with increased competition in the market due to the growth of internet commerce, as well as an increase in direct sales to consumers by “key vendors.”

“After a valiant and concerted effort by MC Sports’ associates, vendors, landlords and outside professionals to restructure the company’s balance sheet and operating performance, the company was unable to reach an agreement on a viable out of court proposal. The only alternative to address our immediate liquidity issues is to commence liquidation sales at all stores, while concurrently expediting our pursuit of alternative financing and going-concern sale options under the protections of Chapter 11,” states Bruce Ullery, MC Sports president and CEO.

Ullery said the company will continue to explore alternative options for keeping the company afloat, and announced that it has retained an independent advisory firm to help with the process.

The Ohio Valley Mall is owned by The Cafaro Co., whose spokesman, Joe Bell, said that at this point he has not heard any specifics about the fate of the St. Clairsville MC Sports.

“I just know that the company is filing for bankruptcy and doing Chapter 11 restructuring,” Bell said.

The St. Clairsville store occupies close to 23,000 square-feet of space in the mall and opened in July 2013. The store is located adjacent to Sears and across from Ulta Beauty.

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