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Sports Authority will end gift cards, loyalty program

Sports Authority in Riverhead is one of the

Sports Authority in Riverhead is one of the more than 460 stores set to close. Photo Credit: Randee Daddona

Sports Authority will end its loyalty program today as the national retailer begins going-out-of-business sales in preparation of closing all of its 460 stores, including eight on Long Island.

In addition, sales of Sports Authority gift cards ended yesterday, according to the retailer’s website. The gift cards will be honored online and in stores through June 28.

The League Member loyalty program is expiring almost four years after Sports Authority launched its first customer rewards program. A representative for Sports Authority member services confirmed Monday the loyalty program is ending.

The program has 28 million members, according to an attorney for Sports Authority.

Exchanges and returns at Sports Authority stores will be accepted through June 25, the company website said.

Last week, a group of liquidators including Gordon Brothers Retail Partners, Hilco Merchant Resources, and Tiger Capital Group successfully bid for the company’s assets in a bankruptcy auction, according to documents at the federal bankruptcy court in Delaware. Assets include merchandise, furniture, fixtures and equipment at stores, distribution centers and corporate offices. The liquidators will conduct “everything must go” sales, the documents said.

Earlier this month, Englewood, Colorado-based Sports Authority, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March, announced it was no longer pursuing reorganization and would sell some or all of its business. Sports Authority — owned by Los Angeles-based private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners — said in its bankruptcy filing that it had $1.1 billion in debt. At the time of the filing, Sports Authority had about 14,500 employees.

The eight Sports Authority stores on Long Island slated to close are located at: 950 Old Country Rd. in Westbury, 1160 Old Country Rd. in Riverhead, 2110 Nesconset Hwy. in Stony Brook, 124 Veterans Memorial Hwy. in Commack, 5151 Sunrise Hwy. in Bohemia, 3505 Hempstead Tpke. in Levittown, 5234 Sunrise Hwy. in Massapequa and 1230 Old Country Rd. in Westbury.

Sports Authority also initiated negotiations with “certain third parties” who made bids on unexpired store leases, according to court documents. The auction for remaining store leases was adjourned to June 29.

Among those interested in leases, according to published reports, are Dick’s Sporting Goods and Modell’s Sporting Goods.

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