The number of sports card and memorabilia stores forced out of business by the current recession increased significantly this week. BC Sports, which began 2008 with nearly 50 sports collectible and licensed merchandise stores around the country, has closed all of its retail stores and ceased operations.
The parent company of BC Sports – Sports Collectibles Acquisition Corp. – filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September. At that time, the company announced plans to close 15 of its 49 stores. The chain had stores in 12 states, most of them along the East Coast. Almost all of the stores were located in shopping malls and many were still operating as of last week. But as of Monday, all of the remaining stores closed their doors and the company’s website has been disabled.
BC Sports, based in West Chester, Pa., was originally a division of Electronics Boutique, which also owns the chain of EB Games stores. Electronic Boutique sold off the BC Sports division in 2002 to Sports Collectibles Acquisition Corp., an entity formed by EB chairman James Kim. At the time, BC had only 22 stores. Under the guidance of CEO John Panichello, the company expanded to 49 stores. Prior to the economic downturn, the company expressed an interest to open additional stores.
In its Chapter 11 filing, BC Sports reported revenue of slightly more than $32.1 million for the fiscal year that ended Feb. 2, 2008. In the first seven months of its 2009 fiscal year, revenue was slightly more than $12.1 million. The company listed debts of more than $10 million.