As I ready to make my sports biz predictions for 2009, I look back at my predictions from last year. One stands out.
Steve & Barry's Will Be Acquired:
One of the greatest private retailing stories of this decade, juggernaut Steve & Barry's, which started as a discount sports store and has morphed into something greater, will be entirely sold off. Private equity firm TA Associates, which already owns a minority stake, could be the ultimate buyer. The total buyout price will surpass $1.2 billion.
Oh, it was entirely sold off alright. First, it declared bankruptcy. Then it was bought out. And today, it was announced that all the stores—famous for the Venus Williams' Eleven Brand and the Stephon Marbury Starbury shoes—will close forever.
Yep, everything will be on sale. We should remind you that most of the stuff topped out at $9.98. So a sale on that will be quite a sale.
In all seriousness, I have no idea what really happened other than to speculate that there was a house of cards here somewhere. At some point, the math really didn't work and I guess we should have known it. When you walk into a store and the prices are so low you can't believe it, we should have known. Someday I want to know exactly how it all went down and how the model was really set up.
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