Sports Authority, once one of the largest American retail stores for all things athletic and outdoorsy, is closing its doors for good. The company that was founded back in 1928 is shutting down all 450 of its stores, and offering deep discounts on its website.
But why did this happen? It could be due to warmer weather cutting into winter sports gear shopping and supply chain pressures, according to one analysis.
Others pointed toward a more likely reason: competition. In addition to competitors like REI and Dick’s Sporting Goods, Sports Authority faced growing competition from online retailers like amazon.com. The company started same-day delivery last year to take on large retailers and is branching out in many new verticals.
Taking a look at sportsauthority.com’s web traffic shows that they’ve had a big decline in monthly visits from 6.8 million monthly visits in May 2015 to 4.7 million in April 2016.
It looks like other sports retailers fared better, but mostly had flat traffic year-over-year in comparison. Amazon had less variation than the sports retailers while
DICK’S Sporting Goods and Cabelas saw a boost around the U.S. holiday season.
When comparing keywords, amazon.com got about half of all “water shoes” and a quarter of “golf shoes” traffic. This is a huge win for the online retailer, which unlike the other shopping sites doesn’t have a brick and mortar retail presence where people can actually try on shoes before they buy them!
Nike.com with its own stores and brand, with large presence on Amazon is better positioned. The company has already displaced Barnes and Noble with its online book sales and Kindle e-book store and readers. Retailers may need to watch out as in sporting goods may be next in line.