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Modell’s taps real estate advisor to aid lease negotiations

Modell’s Sporting Goods is taking a hard look at its portfolio.

The New York City-based sporting goods retailer has brought in A&G Realty Partners to assist in lease negotiations with its landlords, according to a report by Debtwire, which cited two sources familiar with the matter. Modell’s is also working with Cole Schotz and Berkeley Research Group as it explores strategic alternatives amid recent struggles to make timely payments to its landlords and vendors, according to the report. The family-owned chain operates more than 150 stores in the Northeast.

Modell’s has seen its sales weaken under increased competition from online players and from discounters such as Walmart. But it is not the only sporting goods retailer to be challenged by the new retail landscape. Sports Authority filed for bankruptcy and went out of business in 2016 as did Sports Chalet. Maurice Sporting Goods and Gander Mountain both entered Chapter 11 in 2017 to shut down underperforming stores and sell assets to new buyers, Debtwire noted. More recently, in January, Moody’s Investors Service downgraded Academy Sports + Outdoors, citing among other factors “a challenging operating environment” within the “highly competitive” sports goods sector.

Adding to Modell’s woes, according to the Debtwire report, is the retailer’s reliance on the performance of local teams like the Yankees and the Mets. “If the teams fail to perform well during a given season, it directly impacts sales at Modell’s,” Debtwire said.
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