Vestis Retail Group, the parent company of sports equipment and apparel stores Sport Chalet, Eastern Mountain Sports, and Bob’s Stores has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection today.
I don’t have the financials for Bob’s Stores or Eastern Mountain Sports, but if the numbers for them looks like that of Sport Chalet, it looks like it’s another victim of passing trends and Amazon. I wrote about the bankruptcy of Quiksilver and how it can save itself, and about Amazon‘s effect on Walmart.
Mountain sports presents another challenge above its sea-level cousin, surfing. It costs a LOT more money to go skiing. Skis, jacket, goggles, beanies, gas, food, etc. The list goes on and on. With the slow economic recovery putting Vestis’s holdings on a slower expansion pace, downsizing and keeping only strategic stores in wealthier markets would have slowed the cash flow hemorrhage. Another factor unique to snow sports is the abnormally warm winters with little snowfall. This climate factor greatly hurt sales.
Who knows what the boardroom meetings were like when CEO Mark Walsh, CFO Susan Riley, and others were meeting; nonetheless they should’ve listened to the decision-maker that had a closer eye on industry, market, and environmental trends.
In every business plan, I include industry and market analysis that covers the trends, threats, and emerging opportunities for every business.