Two Upper West Side Modell’s Sporting Goods Locations Closing

Photo by Gretchen.

The two Modell’s sporting goods locations on the Upper West Side — at 77th and Amsterdam and 97th and Columbus — are both expected to close.

Modell’s has been struggling and had a particularly rough holiday season, CEO Mitchell Modell told the Wall Street Journal. The warm winter and weak showing by New York sports teams this year hurt results — along with the other problems that retailers face, including online competition.

The company stopped paying some landlords and vendors, Modell told the Journal. The company hired advisors to consider a restructuring and is now planning to close 24 stores. The company has previously said it would close underperforming stores.

Both UWS stores are currently offering deals, with the one on Amsterdam posting liquidation signs outside advertising “everything on sale”. The one on Columbus apparently has some items for 10% off. (Shoppers should note that liquidation sales sometimes aren’t really “deals”.)

Thanks to Gretchen for the tip.

NEWS | 25 comments | permalink
    1. Steven Eldredge says:

      Let’s face it, the entire Upper West Side is closing!

      • Glen says:

        I received a notice in the mail that the Duane Reade on 69th and Broadway is closing in March. No one here will argue there are not enough Duane Reades around but it will be another empty storefront blighting Broadway.

    2. Grant says:

      Any idea which New Jersey stores will be closing?

      • Gretchen says:

        They said 5 Jersey stores will be closing and I think they’re all in malls. If you google “Modell’s closing,” some of the business papers might have listed the exact locations. They’re closing 24 stores, including some in Long Island.

      • Gretchen says:

        These are the New Jersey stores that will close, according to Tami Mohney, the executive VP:

        Marlboro Plaza: 118 Route 9; Englishtown, NJ

        West Berlin: Route 73 North; West Berlin, NJ

        Woodbridge: 463 Green St.; Woodbridge, NJ

    3. Michael says:

      I was super impressed by Modell’s rebuild/rebranding a few years ago. It was desperately needed and I became a regular. It was clear at that time that such an undertaking would take a commitment from leadership to ultimately pay off. Unfortunately, it seemed that the rebrand was not supported because shortly thereafter (1-2 years?) the quality of the inventory, the content of inventory itself, and the professionalism of the staff seemed to diminish back to the same old 1970-1980’s Modells – and I again stopped going back. Today, there is very little of their inventory that cannot be obtained elsewhere and more cheaply. Such a shame – another New York Icon slowly experiencing what I call “institutional hypothermia” where they sacrifice their arms in an attempt to save the body – simply because leadership can’t figure out how or simply doesn’t want to cater to today’s market.

      I honestly hope they can find their way.

    4. wake says:

      dame shame sorry to see them go!

    5. UWS says:

      Modells a New York institution closing and not a peep from NYC Small Business Services or the Mayors Office. When will Greg Bishop the Commissioner of NYC SBS be fired?

      • Sherman says:

        @ UWS

        Modell’s is not a “small business” so I’m not sure why you expect a small business agency to help them.

        In any case I’m sorry to see them go but by their own admission they are facing a myriad of challenges and there’s little any city agency can do for them.

        A few months ago I was in the Modell’s on 77th Street with my wife. There was something we needed that was actually cheaper to buy via the Modell’s website than at the actual store. We asked the manager if she could match the price from their own online site but she said no. We said we would not buy this product at the store but buy it online instead. She still refused to budge.

        This is an example of very poor customer service and when a store’s own website undercuts its own prices it’s a sign of a dysfunctional business model.


      • Peter says:

        Here’s a peep: don’t fill a giant space with overpriced junk that moves slowly, and expect the SBS, the mayor or the Easter Bunny to bail you out. Especially when the same junk is available online – same or next day delivery – for a much better margin to the seller.

    6. james says:

      Now I don’t know where to buy a mismatched pair of sneakers or a poorly stitched gym pants for the gym.

    7. ben says:

      A whopping 10% off! I guess they apparently went to the Barneys NY school of liquidation sale.

    8. Keith says:

      The customer service at the Amsterdam store was awful. At least twice I went there to buy something and no one was working the register so I walked out. It’s hard to make a profit if you don’t collect money. Employees would be on their phones texting.

    9. SHLOMO says:

      Oh well i prefer ebay for all my sportswear shopping. Won’t be sad to see them go

    10. jason brown says:

      when is modell’s gonna be closing down?

    11. Gloria Jean Roberts says:

      All this reminds me of is that we as Americans are heading into the greatest depression of all time. Stores are closing all over and real estate store fronts are what generates a large portion of income. Jobs are fading as that happens no one will be able to afford the rents next thing to go will be the malls and prime real estate.
      If you think it’s a great idea to order online it’s not. Jobs are depleting and so will incomes. We are headed towards a disaster.

    12. Bob says:

      It’s hard to tell whether this is a symptom of the death of retail or whether these stores were just mismanaged. I have to say that I always thought shopping at Modell’s was more trouble than it was worth. The 97th and Columbus location was always a disaster zone, they never had normal sizes, they kept moving around the footprint in weird ways, and the service was just atrocious. On more than one occasion I left, went home, and ordered something online — not because of cost or convenience, but just because I could not successfully make a purchase at Modell’s.

      And while you might say that was because of cost cutting to compete with the internet… I remember them being pretty much the same before we all had computers. So, yeah, I want to see New York-based stores succeed, but… ya gotta make people want to shop there, too.

    13. Ken says:

      Meanwhile, according to the “president” in India, “This is truly an exciting time in the United States, Our economy is booming like never before. Our people are prospering and spirits are soaring. There is tremendous love, tremendous like. We like and we love everybody.”

      • Woody says:

        There’s nothing inaccurate about that statement. Retail is just one business sector and the economy can be booming without a strong brick-and-mortar retail landscape. People are still buying lots of merchandise online and new jobs have been created to service that demand.

    14. Mark Moore says:

      No surprise. I have tried really hard to support the Modells on Columbus but it’s depressing and filled with cheap clothing and then I walk out with nothing. I looked there for new boots and a new winter coat but everything there is trashy. It’s not even a sporting goods store any more, it’s a place to buy $15 sweatshirts.

      Almost all those stores with the cavernous basements on that stretch of Columbus are suffering. Petco and Duane Reade both went out of business. The only one that seems to be doing well is Michaels, maybe Home Goods.

    15. wombatnyc says:

      The only thing I’ll miss at Modells is the Quench chewing gun by the registers. knew of no other place to buy it . Yum Yum

    16. Bill says:

      Hmmmm … Big enough for a supermarket perhaps? (One can always hope.)

    17. dannyb says:

      fwiw, there’s no listing of layoffs at the NYS “Workers Adjustment and Retraining Notification” (“WARN”) website:

    18. UWS Craig says:

      Ever since Art Modell moved the Browns out of Cleveland it has been tough to shop at that store.