Sports Authority going under, other shops thrive

Posted at 5:01 PM, Apr 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-29 18:40:40-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- After failing to come to an agreement with lenders, Sports Authoritytold a bankruptcy judge that it's no longer planning to reorganize and instead plans to liquidate its stores nationwide. While the big-box store goes under, smaller fitness apparel boutiques like Fitness Hub are seeing nothing but success.

"We actually opened the day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday, which is an incredible day in retail," explained Fitness Hub retail manager Beth Downey. " And that was our first day that we opened the doors and we basically had a week to put the whole thing together."

The active wear boutique opened as a pop-up store, or short-term sales space, to test the market. Specifically when it comes to something you may not be able to find at a big-box store.

"It’s a new category, athleisure," Downey said. "So there's a real need to for people who are going to their yoga class in the morning, but they're going to go out on Saturday and they're gonna do all their errands and they don't want to change."

And some may not want to. Fitness Hub carries designer names like Trina Turk, Nanette Lepore, Cynthia Rowley to name a few. But the store also offers something big-box brands can't compete with; fitness classes. Fitness director Ashley Bogosian teaches classes in the boutique and in the Fitness Hub Studio down the street.

"It's been amazing," Bogosian said. "A lot of people, a lot of attraction. People come in expecting clothing and then they get some free classes."

The pop-up store has been so successful they're opening a permanent location in CityPlace in West Palm Beach next month. A smaller boutique store, keeping you fit and making sure you're spot on with the latest active wear trends.

"Mesh inserts has been a big trend," Downey revealed. "And the mesh is actually getting larger and it's not just black anymore there's white mesh."

Sports Authority is still going through the bankruptcy court process, right now there is not a timeline for closing our local stores.