Is Eastbay going out of business in 2023?

Is Eastbay going out of business? Customers at Eastbay are disappointed by the announcement of its closing. The retailer has long been a favorite of athletes and the general public. Its website’s FAQ section stated: “We’re bidding goodbye to Eastbay at the end of December 2022.”

Eastbay was started in Wausau, Wisconsin 1980 by Art Juedes and Rick Gering. It started as a mobile “shoe clinic” with a physical location. After expanding as a mail-order shop, it was eventually bought out by Foot Locker, Inc., in 1997.

For years, Eastbay’s catalog, which featured a variety of collections of sneakers, clothing, and other apparel, was a favorite among its clients. 

People are upset that the brand is closing permanently since they will no longer receive the catalog in the mail each month. Let us know more about this business in this article.

Overview of the Company

Eastbay was an American athletic footwear, clothing, and sporting goods retailer. The business offered its products online and via direct mail. It joined the F. W. Woolworth Company in 1997 and eventually changed its name to Foot Locker, Inc.

Richard Gering and Art Juedes founded a shoe sales company in 1980. That is how the business got its start. They established shoe clinics near Wausau, Wisconsin, their hometown, using around $7,000 worth of running shoes. They offered lists of prices and sold their shoes at every stop.

They created a catalog for baseball and track and field shoes in 1983. In 1990, Eastbay launched its apparel line, including coats, pants, shorts, undergarments, socks, and tops. They offered these with the East Bay emblem in the colors and styles of several sports teams.

Eastbay launched its first public offering on the NASDAQ stock exchange on September 29, 1995. The F. W. Woolworth Company purchased the business from the shareholders two years later.

F.W. Woolworth Company, Eastbay’s parent business, also underwent a significant transformation. In 1997, it was reconstituted as Venator Group. Later, in 2001, it changed its name to Foot Locker, Inc.

Foot Locker announced in 2022 that Eastbay and its Wausau distribution hub would shut down permanently in the first half of 2023. It would result in 210 job losses, as they stated. 

On January 13, 2023, the Eastbay website was discontinued and merged under the Champs Sports brand.

BSN Sports acquired the Eastbay Team Sales Division

BSN Sports is a division of Varsity Brands. It is among the most prominent direct marketers and distributors of sporting goods, footwear, and apparel. Along with that, they offer branding for the school and league markets. On June 27, 2022, it was revealed that it agreed to buy the entire Eastbay Team Sales business from Foot Locker Retail, Inc., a Foot Locker, Inc. subsidiary.

Over 1,100 Field Sales Professionals at BSN Sports serve coaches and athletic directors in almost every zip code in the country. BSN Sports is an industry leader in the school and league sectors. 

These Field Sales Professionals are supported by the Company’s

  • Category Managers,
  • Territory Managers,
  • Customer Service agents,
  • robust marketing infrastructure, and
  • cutting-edge technology.

These enable Sales Professionals to offer customers the most extensive and specialized one-stop buying experience.

According to BSN SPORTS President Terry Babilla, “We are thrilled that the workers of Eastbay Team Sales will be joining the BSN SPORTS family. 

It is dedicated to supporting athletes, athletic directors, and coaches. All of them have a greater influence on lives in a year than most individuals do in a lifetime.”

“With this focused approach, our new Sales Experts will benefit. They can access the best and widest inventory selection, leading design and customization tools, and assistance resources. 

It’s because they offer the stellar client service that each client deserves. We welcome the Eastbay Team staff to the BSN Sports family. 

We also expect the merger of our teams will be successful and fulfilling as we approach the 2022-2023 academic year,” he added.

BSN Sports’ parent business, Varsity Brands, is a portfolio company of Bain Capital Private Equity.

Retro sneakerheads will soon lose their source of happy memories!

As mentioned above, in June 2022, Foot Locker Inc. agreed to sell its team sales division to BSN Sports. Additionally, it stated that it would fully integrate the retail website into the Champs Sports banner. 

Thus, it intends to complete the integration of the banners that started in 2019.At the time, Foot Locker Inc. reported that only 1% of the Company’s yearly consolidated sales came from team sales. The transaction’s terms weren’t made public.

The announcement of East Bay’s closure comes after a year (2022) in which Foot Locker Inc. has dominated headlines. The Company’s news that Dick Johnson would step down as president and CEO on September 1 created the biggest headline in August 2022.

Mary Dillon was named as his replacement by Foot Locker Inc. With effect from September 1, Dillon, the previous executive chair and CEO of Ulta Beauty Inc., took the president and CEO positions and joined the board.

Additionally, Foot Locker Inc. indicated that Dona Young, the Company’s lead independent director, will take over as non-executive chair on February 1, 2023. Johnson will remain as executive chairman of the board through January 31, 2023.

Why is Eastbay closing?

So, after 43 years of operation, Eastbay will close its doors at the end of 2022! “At the end of December 2022, we’ll bid farewell to Eastbay. 

We recommend visiting to find fantastic bargains on athletic footwear, apparel, and more.” As the business said in a statement.

As a result of Eastbay’s shutdown, 210 employees at the Company’s Wausau, Wisconsin, headquarters would likely lose their jobs. 

The Eastbay distribution center is scheduled to close at the end of April. The job terminations will start in late January.

Foot Locker notified the Department of Workforce Development that the facility would be closing. It cites “chances to improve our U.S. distribution network” as the reason. 

There is a need for orders outside of its Wausau distribution center due to the evolution of online retail over time.

Since 1997, Foot Locker has served as Eastbay’s parent business. At the time of the acquisition, it is said that Eastbay workers who were already employed there oversaw E-commerce for the former’s early online retail activities.

Even though the Wausau plant has been operating for a while, according to WPR, its presence has “dwindled” recently. With the strategic change, the Company hopes to serve all its consumers nationwide more efficiently.

The Wausau Chamber of Commerce’s President and CEO, Dave Eckmann, stated that:

“The business leadership has to make important choices. It is such things as where the global economy is, where employment is, what the expense of doing business is, shipping, and every other factor that comes with a distribution center.”

In November 2022, the store’s entryway featured a sign that said, “Store permanently closed.”

Eastbay held a 70 percent off closing sale

Following the launch of its final catalog earlier this year, Eastbay hosted a 70 percent off closing sale in January 2023. This was done to get rid of its leftover stock.

By using the promo code “Thanks70” at checkout, you may take advantage of the 70% off deal. It applies to the majority of the items on the website. 

Athletic gear, accessories, and sneakers are among the things available. These span the Men’s, Women’s, and Children’s divisions through lifestyle and other sports categories.

It’s advertised as Shop the ending sale at Eastbay immediately for 70% off. Also, the website plans to send shoppers to Champs Sports later.

Eastbay’s website will be down

According to a statement, “Foot Locker’s Eastbay website is about to complete the merger of Champs Sports and Eastbay that started in 2019. 

The sporting goods retailer would combine the retail website into the Champs Sports banner.” Customers will be routed to the Champs Sports website after January 13, when Eastbay will no longer be available.

A December Footwear News article announced the website’s closure at the end of December 2022. The website states that purchases expected to arrive after December 30 will still be accepted throughout January 2023. You may buy several items under the Eastbay brand on the Champs Sports website.

The closure of East Bay’s website indicates the end of a lengthy merger process. In 2020, Foot Locker united the corporate entities of Champs Sports and Eastbay. 

Later in 2021, the two brands will combine under the name Champs Sports x Eastbay with a new logo. At the time, the merged brand stated it would release joint experiences and services and focus on the young sports market.


According to Mary Dillon, the Company’s new CEO, the Foot Locker business is being simplified going forward. As mentioned, she joined the sporting goods retailer in September. 

The CEO stated in November that she was concentrating on expanding Foot Locker’s omnichannel capabilities. Also, she looks to enhance the FLX loyalty program, modernize its technology, and reduce costs. 

The retailer is also closing down two of its European joint ventures. It will no longer be expanding into Japan.