Share this story...
Latest News

Sport Chalet closing is another wake-up call for old-fashioned businesses

A map listing Southern California recreational opportunities is seen outside a Sport Chalet store in downtown Los Angeles Saturday, April 16, 2016. The Southern California-based chain says it has begun closing all its stores and has stopped selling merchandise online. Founded in 1959, the sporting goods company has about 50 locations in California, Arizona, Nevada and Utah. The company offered no explanation for the closure .(AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

On Monday, you read the story on that mega-retailer Sport Chalet is closing its doors for good.

This is definitely a sad day for the hundreds of Sport Chalet employees, but not a sad day for the retail industry.

It should serve as YET ANOTHER wake-up call to all brick-and-mortar retailers: If you don’t get with the times, you will suffer the same fate as Sport Chalet.

By times, I mean evolving to a majority — if not 100 percent — online sales model.

The 2015 holiday shopping numbers support this argument. A National Retail Federation survey found more shoppers (103 million) went online than to stores (102 million) over the Thanksgiving/Black Friday weekend.

That, my retail friends, is called a changing of the tide.

Retail giants like Walmart, Macy’s and Target have spent millions over the past few years trying to catch the king of the game, Amazon. You see, they get it!

Brick-and-mortar retail is a very capital-heavy proposition. Real estate, utilities, employees and insurance weigh these companies down and make them vulnerable to the lighter, faster and audible-ready online shops.

As for the soon-to-be-extinct Sport Chalet, I’m not shedding a tear.

For years, their slogan has been, “Sport Chalet, we’ll take you to the limit.” Considering their pricing model, it should have been, “Sport Chalet, we’ll take your credit card to the limit.”

Seriously, I was in one of their stores last month looking at running shoes. I found a pair that I liked and discovered that it was 40 percent less online. I asked if they would price match. Nope!

A perfect example of Sport Chalet NOT getting with the times!

So when brick-and-mortar stores don’t hear the warning shots and go the way of the dinosaur, I have a few great ideas for all of those empty malls: Giant paintball arenas, Mario Kart-style go-cart tracks or haunted houses!

What? I’m just taking life’s lemons and making lemonade!