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Johnny Mac’s Sporting Goods to close all nine of its stores, including Swansea

Can retail be rescued? Why so many U.S. stores are closing

Stores that have been staples of the American shopping tradition for decades are closing in large numbers. Take a closer look at the reasons why it’s so hard for retailers to stay open.
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Stores that have been staples of the American shopping tradition for decades are closing in large numbers. Take a closer look at the reasons why it’s so hard for retailers to stay open.

Johnny Mac’s Sporting Goods, a small Midwestern chain with a Swansea location, will close all nine of its retail stores, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The company sold its team division to BSN Sports of Dallas in a deal announced Monday.

“The sale means about 65 full-time sales and support employees will transfer to similar roles with BSN,” the Post reported. “But the company will be closing its retail locations — a move that affects about 150 to 175 full- and part-time workers.”

The Johnny Mac’s store in Swansea is at 4500 N. Illinois St., next to Hokkaido Seafood Buffet and Grill. On Tuesday afternoon, employees weren’t answering the phone.

“We apologize, but we are unable to take your call right now due to such a high call volume,” the message stated. “We know you have many questions, and we would love to answer them, but at this time, it’s not possible.”

The message asked customers to consult the company’s website or Facebook page for information on store-liquidation sales. It noted that hours at all Illinois and Missouri locations will be 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

St. Louis umpire and referee John A. McArthur and his wife, Eleanor, opened the first Johnny Mac’s store in 1967 on Historic Route 66 in St. Louis, according to its website.

The chain now has locations in St. Peters, Florissant, Springfield, Ballwin and Sunset Hills, Missouri; Grand Rapids, Lansing and Detroit, Michigan; and Swansea.

“The business has changed, it’s changed dramatically, and it’s changed fast,” company president, CEO and co-owner Bob McArthur said Tuesday, according to the Post.

The team division — which deals equipment and uniforms to school sports teams — represented 65 to 70 percent of the company’s business, the Post reported. By selling it to BSN, Johnny Mac’s will now start shutting down its retail arm.

“I think this particular move was what was best for the majority of the company going forward,” McArthur was quoted as saying. “This was a good exit strategy, if you will, for the majority of the full-time employees here.”

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