Sports Authority Is Going Out of Business: What Shoppers Need to Know

Gift cards, returns and when to look for discounts.

May 24, 2016, 4:03 PM

— -- Sports Authority is set to begin its liquidation sale, after the sporting goods retailer detailed in court documents its plan to shutter all 463 of its stores after a failed attempt last month to find a bidder.

The 29-year-old sports retailer, which is headquartered in Englewood, Colorado, had hoped to reorganize under bankruptcy protection and close about 140 of its stores. Instead, the company will work with liquidators who will oversee the company's going-out-of-business sales.

"The sporting goods industry is a hypercompetitive industry, and we're never happy when someone goes out of business," said Katie Nemec, the director of marketing and communications for the National Sporting Goods Association.

If you're a Sports Authority shopper — or just looking for a good deal — here's a quick rundown of what you need to know.


Sports Authority will kick off its going-out-of-business sales "on or about" this Wednesday, according to court documents. The sales are expected to end around Aug. 31, 2016. As part of the agreement, Sports Authority's liquidation consultants will be able to post signs with phrases such as "store closing," "sale on everything" and "everything must go."

"You have to think 'buyer beware' because a lot of times when companies have a going-out-of-business sale, they will do it over a set period of time, so the initial markdowns aren’t always the best deals," Howard Schaffer, the general manager at, told ABC News.

He recommended that shoppers look for products that have been marked down several times to ensure they're getting a deal. He also recommended purchasing items such as sports equipment instead of technology, since after an item is purchased, it's often a final sale.

Gift Cards

Today is the last day for purchasing gift cards, according to Sports Authority's website. The company said gift cards will be honored online and in stores through June 28.

"Double-check that top drawer of the kitchen where you keep coupons and gift cards and make sure you use those up as soon as possible," Schaffer said.

Exchanges and Returns

Sports Authority will continue to allow exchanges and returns in stores through June 25, 2016, according to its website.

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