Modell’s Sporting Goods on Monday announced that the retailer was formally launching a “crowdsourcing campaign” to find an outside investor to support the retail business.
The company also said that on Saturday, Mitchell Modell, CEO and one of his landlords negotiated a deal to reverse the closure of four stores that were announced last week. As a result of their agreement, 64 union jobs were saved.
Modell’s announced last week it was closing 24 of its 141 locations. With the deal reached on four locations, Modell’s said in Monday’s statement that it will be closing more than 15 percent of its store base.
The store closings were first announced by Modell during an interview Friday with Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo. The closings come after Modell’s said the prior week that it’s seeking concessions around payments from vendors and landlords to provide time to enact a restructuring and avert a bankruptcy filing. Modell’s has also hired RBC, an investment bank, to help find an outside investor to acquire a minority stake in the company to shore up finances.
“For the first time ever, I never thought I would sell equity, but I’m now willing to sell a minority stake in our company,” said Modell on Fox Business. “But the fascinating part of the story is how I plan to do this. We are looking at this platform as crowdsourcing at the highest level. I’m hoping someone watching the show will say I love the brand and want to invest.”
Modell said in Monday’s statement that he sees it as “my responsibility to make sure people are still able to go to Mo’s,” playing on the famous “Gotta Go to Mo’s” tagline.
In a video included in the release that is being shared with vendors and landlords, Modell chronicled the story of his company’s history and his fight. He also appealed to vendors, landlords and customers to help him save the 130-year retailer.
Modell said himself and his entire family, are “all in,” both financially and strategically.
“We will do whatever it takes to save these stores and protect the communities that we have served and loved for generations,” he continued. “This is not a business, and these are more than associates. Much more. This is a real family, and with a little help, we hope to serve your children, just as we served you, for generations to come.”
Photo courtesy Modell’s