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Another sports retailer files for bankruptcy


The waning popularity of golf has taken its toll on the nation’s largest specialty golf retailer.

Golfsmith International Holdings Inc. on Wednesday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, amid increasing debt and citing a strategy that it launched several years back to open bigger, most costly stores at a time when golf was beginning to decline in popularity. (Just last month, Nike last month announced it was leaving the golf hardware business, its worst-performing division. Adidas is selling its golf equipment business. )

“Unfortunately, the rippling effect of these market factors coincided with GSI’s company-wide expansion efforts, leaving Golfsmith with an oversized store footprint,” Brian Cejka, the chief restructuring officer, said in court papers filed in Delaware.

Golfsmith operates 109 stores in the United States. The filing also includes its Canadian affiliate, Golf Town, which it acquired in 2012. Golf Town operates 55 stores in Canada.

Golfsmith listed estimated assets and debts of as much as $500 million each in its filing. The retailer said it would try to sell part of the chain as a going concern and shed some underperforming stores.

If that fails, the company will liquidate, according to a resolution by Golfsmith directors included in the bankruptcy filing, Bloomberg reported.

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