EMS's parent company is preparing for bankruptcy filings. EMS photo.
According to Bloomberg, Eastern Mountain Sports' parent company, Vestis Retail Group, is preparing for bankruptcy filings, and could file as soon as next week. Vestis also owns the Sports Chalet and Bob's Stores chains. The news no doubt casts speculation that EMS will have to follow their parent organization into Chapter 11.
The Meriden, Connecticut-based EMS, founded in 1967 by two climbers in Massachusetts, operates over 65 retail locations as well as multiple outdoor skill schools, including a bustling center for backcountry travel & avalanche safety courses in New Hampshire's White Mountains. The company was acquired by Versis in 2012, who itself is owned by a private equity outfit.
This comes just a month after Sports Authority filed for bankruptcy itself, and, in the prior year, Quiksilver and American Apparel – highlighting the difficult landscape the sporting goods industry is facing in the era of Amazon, international competition, and stagnating incomes among many income brackets in the rich world.
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