Gresvig, one of Norway’s largest nationwide sporting goods chains, filed for bankruptcy on Monday. The chain with long roots in the country claimed that costs tied to its retail store structure became “too demanding.”
The board of Gresvig Retail Group has also had higher purchasing costs than arch rival XXL, for example, which has larger volume and has proven to be a tough competitor for most all retail sports chains in Norway. Gresvig owns what’s now called the G-Sport chain along with Intersport stores in Norway. The latter are expected to remain in operation, but the fate of Gresvig’s own 95 stores employing more than 2,000 workers was unclear.
Gresvig’s chief executive Lars Kristian Lindberg told state broadcaster NRK that the company had been restructuring from three to one chain, cutting costs and reducing both purchasing and inventory. “But we just have a backpack that’s too heavy to carry, when it comes to costs tied directly and indirectly to our retail structure,” Lindberg said. “It just became too demanding.”
Stores would remain open pending a reorganization plan, “and we will operate as normally as possible,” Lindberg said. Franchise operations would not be affected.
XXL’s stock jumped on news of Gresvig’s bankruptcy, but it has struggled as well with weak results. Gresvig is the latest in a sting of retailers to go bankrupt as shopping patterns change and expenses don’t keep up with revenues.