PISCATAWAY, NJ –   Sports Authority announced yesterday that they have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and will be closing 140 stores including five New Jersey locations: Piscataway, East Brunswick, Cherry Hill, Wayne, and Manalapan.

The company stated, “As part of the restructuring, the Company has identified approximately 140 stores and two distribution centers, in Denver and Chicago, it intends to close or sell in the coming months. This decision follows a comprehensive review of the Sports Authority store portfolio in light of the increasing amount of shopping that is occurring online. As a result of these changes in consumer buying patterns, Sports Authority determined that it needs fewer stores as part of its long-term business model. Therefore, the Company has filed a motion with the Court seeking approval to proceed with store closing sales at the identified stores, after which those stores are expected to be closed or sold.”

“All Sports Authority stores nationwide will remain open and continue to operate on normal schedules. Customers also may continue to shop online just as they have in the past. The majority of Sports Authority stores are expected to continue to operate without change or interruption during the entire Chapter 11 process.”

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The store closing process is expected to take up to three months.  About 34 employees are expected to lose their jobs at the Piscataway Sports Authority on Centennial Avenue.

“We are taking this action so that we can continue to adapt our business to meet the changing dynamics in the retail industry,” said Michael E. Foss, Chief Executive Officer of Sports Authority.

“We intend to use the Chapter 11 process to streamline and strengthen our business both operationally and financially so that we have the financial flexibility to continue to make necessary investments in our operations,” added Foss.