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Modell’s to close Del. store amid bankruptcy

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Modell’s Sporting Goods in Stanton will close after the company filed for bankruptcy. | DBT PHOTO BY JACOB OWENS

STANTON – The sporting goods retailer Modell’s Sporting Goods is closing all 141 of its stores, including its lone Delaware location in the Center Pointe Plaza.

The company, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the District of New Jersey on March 11, cited liabilities between $1 million and $10 million with assets worth upward of $1 million.

The retailer has a far larger amount of debt in unsecured creditors, which is topped by the sports apparel industry’s biggest names: Adidas ($8.9 million), Nike ($8.7 million) and Under Armour ($3.7 million).

Modell’s hasn’t released a public statement regarding the bankruptcy filing, but the Wall Street Journal reported in February that the company was trying in vain to save the company after a weak holiday sale season. Last year, the company’s president and CEO, Mitchell Modell, saved it from bankruptcy by personally investing $6.7 million.

The New York-company, which has operated under the Modell name since 1889 when Morris A. Modell opened his store in Manhattan, has claimed to be the nation’s oldest sports retailer. The company has a reported 3,600 employees and stores throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.

It is perhaps best known nationally for its catchy “Gotta Go To Moe’s” jingle, but in New Castle County it was well-known for reliably having championship apparel for local sports teams the morning after big wins, such as the Philadelphia Phillies 2008 World Series and Philadelphia Eagles 2017 Super Bowl.

On Friday, customers were continuously coming in and out of the Stanton store in search of bargains as liquidation sales began. Most merchandise was 10% off, although some ranged upward of 30%.

The closure of Modell’s will be the second loss in the Center Pointe Plaza, after the Babies R’ Us in the neighboring space to Modell’s closed in 2018.

By Jacob Owens

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