Friday, October 14, 2016

Sports Authority closing sale 2016

Sports Authority Humble Texas

Here are a few photos from a closing sale of the Sports Authority. About 25% of the Sports Authority stores began going out of business sales when they filed for bankruptcy including all of the stores in Texas. A few weeks after these stores began closing sales, the company decided to close the rest of the stores ending the company. 

The Sports Authority came into Houston when Gart Sports merged with Sports Authority and changed the names of the stores. This former Oshman's store was originally across the highway at Deerbrook Mall in a much smaller space. This location opened as an Oshman's Super Sports USA in the mid 90's. The interior of the store looks almost exactly as it did when it opened, minus the Sports Authority signage above the exit doors. This store did not age well and began looking dated about 10 years ago. The Sports Authority was an expensive alternative to Academy and had a hard time competing especially in the past 5 years after the nearby Academy moved into a larger store once again.
This was one strange going out of business sale. They had a few papers at the door for the first week of the sale, but no big signage and pulled a ton of merchandise off of the floor. I guess they sent the best merchandise to the stores that were originally going to stay open. They also shipped in a bunch of sports gear from different cities across the US. While the store was open they had gear from all of the Texas teams, LSU, and whatever team won a championship that year.  

This was the back area of the store with guns, camping supplies, summer games, and football gear.


These signs remained up even after the announcement of the rest of the company closing.

Peeling paint on the air vents, they are like this across the store.
Most, if not all of the players in this photo retired many years ago.
Enjoy the rest of the store




















Somebody put some clothes on these mannequins






It is amazing that once a store starts a going out of business sale, parts of the sign stop working.
I am not sure exactly when the sale concluded, but it was about a month after I took the last set of photos.
Here is the same store after the closing sale ended. The sign was taken down a few months of closing.


4 comments:

  1. Thanks for chronicling the last chapter for The Sports Authority. Oshman's was at one time the go-to sporting goods store in Houston. I remember when I went to my first Oshman's SuperSports store next to Memorial City Mall in ~1994. It was a pretty amazing experience with the indoor basketball setup and all of that. It was the sporting goods version of Incredible Universe in some ways. In the case of Incredible Universe, shoppers were not swayed by the "wow" factor and shopped at the much more barebones and cheaper Best Buy stores. In the case of Oshman's/The Sports Authority (in Houston at least), shoppers decided to go to the cheaper and more barebones (albeit more hunting and fishing oriented) Academy. In other markets, shoppers went to stores like Dick's Sporting Goods and Modell's.

    Wow, they had Phoenix Suns gear. No wonder they went out of business. I can appreciate having gear for out of town teams, but the Suns have to be one of the least popular teams in the NBA. That stuff was bound for the clearance rack here in Texas.

    That NBA poster probably dates from the 1994-95 NBA season. Those were the glory years for the Rockets and I'm sure a lot of people brought Rockets gear from Oshman's at the time. Although I am not a Rockets fan now, I was at the time and still have a Rockets playoff rally sign from the Willowbrook Mall Oshman's shortly before they moved to the Supersports location. The Seattle Supersonics, whose uniform can be seen on that poster being worn by Shawn Kemp, have not even existed for several years now. That really shows the age of the sign.

    I saw today that the former Willowbrook area Sports Authority is currently housing a Halloween store. The League City store has a discount furniture store in it now. I'm not sure about the other former locations. The former Academy building across from Willowbrook Mall has been vacant for a few years now so I'm not sure if the Sports Authority building will get a permanent tenant anytime soon.

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    1. A lot of the out of town sports gear was brought in for the closing sale. They normally carried Texas teams, LSU, whatever teams were in championship games. There were several racks of 49ers gear that were there too.

      The former Sports Authority locations will be hard to fill with new retailers. Dick's opened their new stores this week, but maybe they will take some over in the future.

      Every picture in this Sports Authority location was aged and faded. The floors and ceiling paint were peeling and in poor condition. It was not an exciting place to shop anymore.

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  2. It's ironic that Kmart used to own Sports Authority and OfficeMax (seen next door) because the Academy in Humble is part of the former Super Kmart. Must say I'm disappointed that Burlington Coat Factory takes up the rest of the space. I think of Burlington as pretty much the bottom of the clothing retail barrel. But I appreciate that they open where other stores close, including in the inner cities where crime and poverty are a deterrent to other retailers filling empty spaces.

    I have to wonder... how come neither Walmart nor Target opened at the former Super Kmart site? Not 100% sure about this but I think Walmart and Target both relocated to newly-built buildings (Walmart replaced a standard store with a Supercenter and Target replaced a standard store with a SuperTarget) AFTER the Super Kmart closed.

    Also, isn't it weird that the SuperTarget in Humble has a Kohl's attached to it? I think of Target and Kohl's as arch rivals, but overall Target is more of a competitor to Walmart, and Kohl's seems to be competing most directly with JCPenney (clearly Kohl's is winning the battle but JCPenney due to its much longer history and presence in malls seems to have a lot of loyal customers). Kohl's could have easily taken their pick of the former Walmart, Kmart, or Target in Humble. In my opinion the former Target (now split into a DSW and I forget what other tenants, but I remember being disappointed with all of them) would have been perfect.

    Kind of ironically, the Dick's at King of Prussia Mall in Pennsylvania is in half of a former Sears. There's a really convoluted history of Sears and Kmart (as well as Sports Authority, OfficeMax, etc) in the King of Prussia/Norristown area but I probably should save that for later... but it makes for a really fascinating story in my opinion.

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    1. The Walmart and Target were probably already in the works when the Super K closed. I know that the Walmart site was being prepped when the Kmart closed, but the Target opened months maybe even a year after the Kmart closed. That Kmart building sat there for many years and I was beginning to think nobody would reopen the building. That is the third location Academy has been at in Humble.

      The former Target center (Humblewood) has seen a lot of turnover. Blockbuster, Mattress Firm, and Michaels were there after Target closed. The center lost the Kroger and Conns moved over to that spot. Petco is where the Conns was and now Party City is leaving. Starbucks left and moved down the road to Kenswick. There is a temporary gym preview center in one of the empty spaces in the former Target. With all of the changes at the shopping center, Walgreens continues to operate in a very small location without a drive thru pharmacy. They must have a heck of a deal and good business to stay in that small old location.

      The Office Max or Office Depot in Humble will probably eventually be eliminated with all of the cuts happening at Office Depot.

      I would be interested in the King of Prussia/Norristown area history. I don't leave this region very often, so it is always good to hear about other areas.

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