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The Active Story Continues

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

active ride shop A follow up to a story we touched on a few days ago, today has another chapter… Chapter 11 that is. Yesterday afternoon Active Ride Shop filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Chapter 11 bankruptcy is a form of bankruptcy reorganization available to individuals, corporations and partnerships. It has no limits on the amount of debt as some other types of bankruptcy do. It is the usual choice for large businesses seeking to restructure their debt. Within the last week Active has removed 3 more stores from their website, Irvine (Alton Location), Mission Viejo, and Westwood. With the quick turn of events more locations are most likely on deck to close their doors as well.

Check out the official press release:

Active Ride Shop to Reorganize Under Chapter 11 – Active Ride Shop Remains Fully Operational and Open for Business

Mira Loma, CA, March 23rd, 2009 – Active Ride Shop today announced that it has filed a voluntary petition for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court in Riverside. The company is focusing on executing a comprehensive corporate restructuring plan without interruption to business operations.

Active Ride Shop recently announced that it was taking action to address the company’s financial challenges. Alongside the strategic counsel provided by Marc Winthrop, of Winthrop Couchot, one of Southern California’s leading bankruptcy law firms and Stephen Bell, of Phoenix Group Advisory Services, LLC, a professional financial and operational advisory firm, the company has determined that it would be in the best interest of its stakeholders to file for reorganization protection under Chapter 11.

Operating under the protection of Chapter 11 will provide the company’s vendors with assurances that they will be paid for merchandise the company receives post-filing so the company can be sufficiently stocked for the spring selling season. The restructuring plan will position Active Ride Shop with a stronger business foundation, an improved multi-channel distribution source for its vendors, and a more meaningful offering for its customers.

The company recognizes that, to achieve these objectives, there is a critical need to create a more efficient operation with a reduced cost structure. As previously announced, the company has closed 8 under-performing retail locations. This week, the company took action to realign its corporate support structure alongside the smaller store base, which will include 21 retail stores as well its e-commerce storefront. The store closings and corporate workforce reductions will result in combined workforce compensation and related costs in excess of 30%. Further, as part of its restructuring efforts, the company will continue to evaluate the productivity of all assets, analyze additional cost-cutting initiatives and research strategic alternatives to maximize the value of the business.

John Wallace, chief executive officer and founder of Active Ride Shop, said “The swift and dramatic downturn in the local economy had a major impact on our business in the 3rd and 4th quarters of 2008. In combination with the robust growth and expansion we experienced during the previous 24 months, this perfect storm of economic retraction left us with no other option.” He continued, “The preemptive cost cutting initiatives that we took throughout 2008 were not enough to protect our investments without filing for Chapter 11 reorganization protection.”

“We appreciate the support we have received from our vendors and suppliers during this downturn. With this support, we have every reason to believe that we will emerge from Chapter 11 with a stronger business and a more impactful market presence. Most importantly, Active Ride Shop will be restored to solid financial footing as a direct result of this support.”

“The recent work force reductions and downsizing activities have not been easy for the employees of Active Ride Shop which makes us even more appreciative of their dedication and loyalty. We are especially saddened at the loss of employment for many long term employees. The impact of these decisions is far reaching, and we deeply regret the effect this has on our employees and their families.”

“We move forward with this reorganization with the firm knowledge that the steps we are taking will bring lasting positive changes to our business and satisfaction and value to our customers” concluded Wallace.

About Active
Established in 1989, Active Ride Shop maintains its position among the top retailers and mail-order businesses in the action sports industry. Awarded Surf Industry (SIMA) Men’s Retailer of the Year Award (2008), #1 Specialty Retailer by the Future Trade, #36 on DNR’s “top 50 most influential menswear retailers”. Active has locations throughout Southern California and delivers catalogs to action sports enthusiasts nationwide. Active Ride Shop sponsors the most elite skateboarders and snowboarders in the world, and is proud of its offering of the finest brands and hottest trends in the industry. For more information about Active Ride Shop visit www.activerideshop.com

Posted in Industry | 2 Comments »

Active Ride Shop set to Close More Stores

Monday, March 16th, 2009

active ride shopActive Ride Shop, one of the industry’s largest action sports retail shops in the Southern California area, is set to close some of its 20+ doors in the upcoming months. The retailer has closed five stores to date due to under performance. Shops once located in Chula Vista, Lake Elsinore, downtown San Diego and at the Shops at Las Americas, also in San Diego, are no longer listed on the homepage of Active’s website. Over the past year Active opened a bunch of new stores and a new headquarters in Mira Loma to continue the predicted momentum the stores and the brand would have in the future. Active has almost doubled its store count within the past few years; most of the growth, expansion, and investment was underway before the economy took a turn for the worst.

Active currently has 25 stores and from what I gather online, approximately 10 stores will close by the beginning of April. With online retail being a place of never-ending completion, Active has a good chance to still hold its own amongst the competition such as CCS and other direct brand shops. A strong private label business, Active has been able to re-create a lot of on-trend apparel and accessories that are more accessible to kids and their family’s budgets. The shop also has a strong skate and snow hardgoods offering as well, and has been one of the few shops to mainstream the apparel and hardgoods offerings into major malls and retail centers. This niche could be a good crutch as the economic crisis continues to effect brands and retail businesses alike, this may give Active a fighting chance as we see where the rollercoaster ride takes the action sports industry over the next few months and years.

Posted in Industry | 12 Comments »

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