I confess: I’m a cheapskate, and I helped kill Sports Authority

tsa-couponSports Authority perished by many cuts. Among the culprits were fierce competition, the rise of Amazon and the chain’s own mediocre merchandising and sucky service.

I’ll cop to my own culpability in the once-dominant retailer’s demise: In the past decade, I never crossed the threshold of a Sports Authority or Dick’s without clutching a fistful of the coupons that the competitors rained down on consumers like confetti.

Once inside, I inevitably bought an already-discounted item (typically a pair of cleats for my kid), cashed in the coupon, then collected rewards points to pile on my next transaction.

And I rarely purchased an item priced at more than $50. On this count, I blame Sports Authority and its unfailingly low-brow inventory. A survey of my household stock reveals many high-quality, high-margin items, none purchased at Sports Authority: baseball bats, bikes, free-dive masks, gymnastics leotards, ice skates, running shoes, skateboards, sunglasses, surfboards, wetsuits.

Slick sticks, sweet rides and stellar service were the purview of specialty retailers, not the chain once headquartered in South Florida. On no occasion did I depart a Sports Authority thinking, I’ve gotta save up to get me one of those! 

So long, Sports Authority. You showered us with discounts, but, with your unsexy SKUs, you never spoiled us like we wanted to be spoiled.

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