Sports Authority, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Wednesday,...

Sports Authority, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Wednesday, March 2, 2016, has earmarked about 140 of its 463 stores for closure or sale in the coming months. Credit: Google Earth

Sports Authority has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The retailer said Wednesday it plans to close or sell about 140 stores, including its Westbury Outlet store.

The Englewood, Colorado, company has 463 stores in 41 states and Puerto Rico. The store closings are expected to take up to three months.

Sports Authority has retained Melville-based A & G Realty Partners, a commercial real estate consulting firm, to market the sale of 87 retail store leases. A & G is accepting bids on stores in 22 states and Puerto Rico, including the Westbury Outlet store and three other New York locations, in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Syracuse. The bankruptcy auction will take place in mid-April, according to A & G.

“It is the initial wave,” A & G co-president Andrew Graiser said Wednesday in an interview. “There will be more stores added eventually.” He said A & G, which helped the bankrupt Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. market Pathmark and Waldbaum’s store leases, will work to reduce Sports Authority’s rent costs.

Sports Authority has seven other locations on Long Island, in Bohemia, Commack, Levittown, Massapequa, Riverhead, Stony Brook and Westbury, according to the company’s website.

The Sports Authority Westbury Outlet location at 950 Old Country Rd. is the only Long Island store up for bid by A & G so far. The 19,646-square-foot store’s lease expires Jan. 31, 2023, and its base rent per square foot is $45, according to A & G’s promotional flyer.

Sports Authority stores will remain open and run on normal schedules during the Chapter 11 process. The company’s website will continue to function, and the chain plans to honor warranties on items purchased at its stores or online.

“We are taking this action so that we can continue to adapt our business to meet the changing dynamics in the retail industry,” CEO Michael Foss said in a written statement. The executive said that it needs fewer stores as consumers are increasingly shifting to online shopping.

With The Associated Press

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