Academy Sports + Outdoors Cutting Jobs
An American retailer of sporting goods, apparel, and outdoor recreational equipment, Academy Sports + Outdoors, recently announced that the company has axed 100 jobs at its corporate headquarters in Katy, Texas.
Management said that the layoffs will help Academy Sports achieve greater efficiency by cutting unnecessary costs. The company will then be diverting the savings toward making targeted investments in its stores, as well as improving customer service.
According to management, the retailer needs to become more efficient because the retail landscape is becoming increasingly competitive, both in its home state, as well as nationwide.
Within the Houston area, which is the company’s stronghold, Academy Sports operates about 30 locations, which puts it above its local competitors. However, stiff competition is undercutting the company’s profits. Academy Sports + Outdoors competes with the likes of Cabelas Inc, Dicks Sporting Goods Inc, and Bass Pro, LLC.
Specialty sports retailers have felt pressure as big-box retailers like Wal-Mart Stores Inc, Target Corporation, and Best Buy Co Inc have started stocking up on sporting goods.
At the same time, the American retail sector is witnessing an overall downtrend as consumer interests shift towards online shopping. In particular, Amazon.com, Inc.’s growing dominance over digital retail is keeping brick-and-mortar retailers on their toes. This has caused many retailers to face declining store traffic and slumping sales.
Gander Mountain is not the only sports retailer to have filed for bankruptcy in recent times. A number of popular names in sports retail, including MC Sports, Sports Authority, Golfsmith International Holdings, Inc., and Sports Chalet, Inc. have all closed their doors in the last year-and-a-half.
Just two months ago, one of America’s largest recreational goods retailers (and a rival of Academy Sports), Gander Mountain, announced liquidation after struggling through bankruptcy. The almost-60-year-old company announced that it would close most of its stores and lay off thousands of employees across the country.
Following the announcement of the layoffs, the CEO and president of Academy Sports + Outdoors, J.K. Symancyk, said “Today’s changes, while difficult, will create a more nimble and collaborative organization that will better serve our stores and the changing needs of our customers.”
Academy Sports + Outdoors employs a total workforce of about 5,400 employees in the Houston area.
“Academy Sports + Outdoors lays off 100 employees,” Chron, July 21, 2017.