Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Tokyo-Area Running Specialty Chain Art Sports Declares Bankruptcy

https://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20170510-00010001-teikokudb-ind

translated and edited by Brett Larner

Headquartered in Shibuya, Tokyo, retailer Art Sports Co., Ltd. filed for bankruptcy in the Tokyo District Court on May 9, receiving a decision later the same day to commence bankruptcy proceedings. Attorney Michio Suzuki of the Hashimoto Sogo firm represented the company in the application, with attorney Akihisa Kagawa of the Kagawa firm acting as bankruptcy trustee.

Art Sports was founded in April, 1967, celebrating its 69th anniversary as a premier sporting goods retailer last month, operating eight stores in the Tokyo area as well as an online shopping portal. Primarily handling running gear and tennis goods, it expanded its operations to also deal with equipment for sports cycling, mountaineering and other outdoor activities in its separate "Art Sports," "OD Box" and "Annex" outlets. For the fiscal year ending February, 1991 it posted annual sales of about 5,741,000,000 yen [~$50.5 million USD at current exchange rates].

However, in the years following that sales declined due to a combination of sluggish consumption and closing of unprofitable stores. For the fiscal year ending Feburary, 2016 Art Sports' sales had fallen to roughly 2,400,000,000 yen [~$21 million USD]. During that time the company sought to cut expenses by reducing personnel and relocating its head office, but in recent years it continued to experience unsustainable cash flow problems, and with increasing concern among its business partners it ultimately landed in its current position.

Art Sports' liability to its approximately 420 creditors at the time of its application for bankruptcy is estimated at 1,550,000,000 yen [~$15.5 million USD]. Business operations are reported to be in transfer to another company.

Translator's note: Art Sports, especially its main Shibuya location, is a longtime fixture for Tokyo runners. I bought my last pair of shoes there. Its inability to survive in the midst of a thriving amateur running boom is food for thought. It will be missed.

3 comments:

Metts said...

When I'm in Yokohama I usually go to B&D sports, near Izesakicho eki. I started going there around 2008. I was surprised that it looked like a real running store and not one of those big box mall sports stores. So even though I didn't live in Yokohama they always remembered me when I went there and bought 3, 4, 5 pairs of running shoes. They always had shoes on sale for 4,900, 5,900 etc. But lately, the selection just hasn't been the same, especially the sale shoes. I also found ABC Mart at Yokohama eki, 2nd floor, was almost a running shoe floor, but not the same as B&D. Asics would never sell their real running shoes at ABC. When ABC started selling the Saucony A5 racing flat there I bought a lot of them. They even started to carry another racing flat because I bought it there too. But they also haven't had the same selection lately.

Metts said...

Excuse, I've been in Japan enough times not to make a mistake on subway stations; Sakuragicho eki is where the B&D is. Izesakicho is Kannai eki.

TokyoRacer said...

Yes, it's a real shame and quite a shock, honestly. I suppose the fact that all of the major shoe companies now have their own stores in Tokyo, in fact most of them have several, was a contributing factor.