Sports Authority to Exit Hunting and Fishing Market

Sports Authority will be phasing out hunting and fishing departments at most stores due to low margins and inventory turns, The Denver Post reported.

Sports Authority will proceed slowly, meanwhile, with its S.A. Elite concept next year, CEO Darrell Webb told the newspaper in a lengthy interview. The Denver-based company has opened 10 S.A. Elite stores since launching the concept in May 2010 to focus on higher-end footwear and apparel.

Sports Authority expects to open 20 or 21 of its main banners this year and accelerate store openings to 25 next year, Webb said.

The Denver-based full-line sporting goods retailer operates 478 stores in 43 states, but had slowed its expansion to about eight stores per year from 2008 through 2010.