SPORTS AUTHORITY REWORKS DEAL
Byline: Valerie Seckler
NEW YORK — Moving into multichannel mode, The Sports Authority said Monday it will test interactive kiosks in five of its 198 stores; launch its first catalog during the fourth quarter of 2001, and restructure its Internet joint venture with Global Sports to make it a revenue-sharing deal.
“We are committed to service our customers any time and any way they choose to shop,” said Marty Hanaka, chairman and chief executive officer of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Sports Authority, in a statement. As a result, the company has expanded its relationship with Global Sports, a developer and operator of sporting goods Web sites that will now offer operational support for the upcoming catalog and interactive kiosks.
Sports Authority is designing, printing, and mailing the first edition of its catalog, while Global, based in King of Prussia, Pa., will process and fulfill catalog orders and provide customer service. The catalogs and kiosks are envisioned, in part, as vehicles to drive Sports Authority’s sales online.
The planned moves follow upgrades of Sports Authority’s outlook to “stable” from “negative” by Standard and Poor’s last Friday and Moody’s Investors Service two weeks ago. Sports Authority, spun off by Kmart in 1994 and 1995, has no new store openings on tap this year, thus plans “limited” capital spending, and instead has aimed to improve merchandising and better control costs.
On Monday, Sports Authority’s stock added 11 cents, or 3 percent, to close at $3.76 in heavy trading on the New York Stock Exchange, as roughly 713,000 shares changed hands, versus average daily volume of about 199,000. The hop in the stock followed an 11 percent runup on Friday.
The retailer went live online at thesportsauthority.com in November 1999 through the joint venture with Global — one in which Sports Authority has held a 19.9 percent stake. Neither Hanaka nor George Mihalko, the firm’s chief financial officer, were available for further comment Monday.