MC Sports files for bankruptcy

ALPENA — The fate of MC Sports in Alpena is in limbo after corporate headquarters filed for bankruptcy in federal court on Tuesday in what the store considered a voluntary reorganization proceeding.

In 2015 MC Sports opened in Alpena, moving into the building formerly occupied by Staples near M-32 and Bagley St. The Alpena store is one of 68 locations that span seven states throughout the Midwest.

A press release from corporate headquarters located in Grand Rapids said the move was part of an ongoing process to restructure the company but did not address specifics. It cited increased competition, blurring distribution channels, increasing direct-to-consumer sales by vendors and growth of ecommerce as reasons for its decision.

The release said the company attempted to confront these challenges by moving to larger format stores combining hunting, fishing and outdoor categories with its traditional items of sports gear, footwear and apparel.

By filing for bankruptcy the company aims to address legacy cost including long-term leases that currently are not meeting market conditions as well as a large trade debt. The trade debt totals over $14 million and there is nearly $500,000 in additional debt to media and marketing services.

On Monday the Alpena store, which employs nearly 20 people, received notification of the pending decision but the store’s management did not know whether or not it would remain open.

Alpena Chamber of Commerce President Jackie Krawczak said she did not have confirmation if the store would be closed either.

“I don’t have any confirmation,” she said. “But our economic development team has already made some phone calls regarding the building just to start letting people know.”

The Alpena store, which signed a 10-year lease on the building, still has eight years left on the lease. Krawczak said the details of the lease will be worked out through court process.

The store currently is having a storewide clearance sale but the store’s management said it was a continuation of an ongoing sale and not related to the pending bankruptcy.

The store’s previous tenant, Staples, was in the location for 15 years. It closed its doors on July 19, 2014.

Tyler Winowiecki can be reached via email at twinowiecki@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5688. Follow Tyler on Twitter tw_alpenanews.