Popular Sports Retailers, Including Nike, Are Closing Stores, Starting Friday

The worst of the retail apocalypse may be over, but that doesn't mean the losses are over. In 2020, we saw many retailers fall victim to mounting financial challenges exacerbated by the COVID pandemic. Now in 2023, some companies are still struggling. Well-known chains like Bed Bath&Beyond, Macy's, and Big Lots have started the year with a significant number of store closures on the horizon. And those aren't the only kind of stores losing locations. Now, popular sports retailers, including Nike, are closing some stores of their own. Read on to find out more about these upcoming shutdowns.

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Several sports retailers have closed locations in the last year.

The athletic retail space has taken a hit recently.

In July 2022, popular chain Olympia Sports announced that it would be shutting down for good before the end of the year. The Maine-based retailer closed all 35 of its remaining stores and went out of business completely in September after 47 years in business, Retail Drive confirmed. And while that might have been the biggest loss in the sports sector, it wasn't the only one.

In Aug. 2022, both Peloton and SoulCycle confirmed they would be closing locations in the near future. SoulCycle closed 20 of its 83 U.S. studios that month. Meanwhile, Peloton CEO Barry McCarthy told employees in an Aug. 12 memo that the company was planning a "significant and aggressive reduction" of its retail footprint in North America, starting in 2023.

Now, more sports retailers are shuttering stores.

Nike is closing a location this week.

One of the most well-known names in the industry is set to shutter a store in the next few days. Nike is permanently closing its only location in Seattle this week, KOMO News reported.

According to the news outlet, a sign posted in the window of the downtown store at 1500 6th Ave. states that it will close on Jan. 20. Nike will still have locations in nearby towns, including a clearance store in Auburn and factory stores in Bellevue and North Bend.

But the Seattle Nike store—colloquially referred to as NikeTown—has been a staple in the downtown area since it opened back in 1996, the Seattle Times reported. "We never like to see a downtown retailer choose to close and NikeTown has been a great part of our retail mix through the years," the Downtown Seattle Association said in a statement to the newspaper.

Best Life reached out to Nike for insight into why the company is closing this location, but has not yet heard back.

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The company is also planning to shutter another store soon.

This is not the only Nike store that is slated to close this month, however. Back in Sept. 2022, the company told Complex that it was planning to shutter its NikeLab store in New York City. Nike said the store at 21 Mercer Street in the city's SoHo district would close in Jan. 2023 when its lease expired.

The NikeLab store opened in 2008 and has since served as an important location for the company, "hosting A-list parties with superstar endorsers and launches for the brand's most exclusive sneakers," per Complex.

"While we'll be closing 21 Mercer as a physical space, we will carry its community-focused vision through key activations and our existing NYC retail locations, our digital ecosystem, as well as our marketplace partners," Nike told the magazine.

But there have been no further reports on the closure since September, and the location still appears to be open as of Jan. 18, according to the company's official website. Best Life reached out to Nike to find out if the retailer is still planning to close the New York City store this month, but has not yet heard back.

Another sports retailer is also closing a location.

While the NikeLab closure is up in the air, a different sports retailer has confirmed it is closing a store in New York.

Dugout Sporting Goods, known as The Dugout, is closing its store in the Bronx in the coming days, local News 12 reported. The beloved sports store will shutter permanently on Jan. 23 and is offering deals of up to 50 percent off to sell off its inventory in its final days, according to the outlet.

Through nearly five decades, The Dugout has become a familiar fixture in the area, with owner Linda Lionetti telling News 12 that the business has survived two blackouts, 9/11, and the COVID pandemic. But now after 47 years in business, Lionetti has decided it is time to retire and close the store.

"She's going to be missed," longtime customer Dennis Mercorelli told the outlet. "She really will be in this neighborhood. I told them that they should name Castle Hill Avenue Linda Lionetti Lane because of how many kids in this neighborhood she's helped."