Skip to main content

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.

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.

Most-Read This Week

Kariuki Cracks Course Record at 30th Anniversary Ageo City Half Marathon

2017 Kanto Regionals 10000 m and half marathon D2 champion Simon Kariuki (Nihon Yakka Univ.)  overcame windy conditions at the 30th edition of the Ageo City Half Marathon to shave one second off the course record, winning in a PB 1:01:25.

Kariuki and 2017 Kanto Regionals D1 5000 m and 10000 m champ Patrick Mathenge Wambui (Nihon Univ.) took it out in the first km, setting up a fascinating duel between Kanto's top two collegiate men on the track.


Led by Hayato Seki, star runner of this year's Izumo Ekiden champ Tokai University in his half marathon debut, the main body of the Japanese pack gradually relinquished the lead to the Kenyan pair, down 50 seconds by 10 km and continuing to drift back from then. Ageo has typically seen its lead Japanese collegiate men running between high-61 and mid-62, but nobody in the field seemed willing to go ahead of Seki and the runner on his shoulder, 2017 World University Games half marathon gold medalist Kei Katanishi (Komazawa Univ.).


Near …

Kosimbei, Kwemoi and Shitara Lead Hachioji 10000 m Field

Nestled deep in the misty foothills of the western Tokyo mountains, Hosei University's late November Hachioji Long Distance meet has quietly turned into one of the world's premier track 10000 m, its A-heat never quite dipping under 27 minutes yet but still producing record-setting depth and the two fastest Japanese men's 10000 m in history.
This year's entry list is another monster, with 27:02.59 man Nicholas Kosimbei (Toyota) leading 17 men with recent times under 28 minutes, twelve of them Kenyan, three Japanese and two Ethiopian. Fresh off a 27:22.73 win at last weekend's Nittai University Time Trials, two-time steeplechase junior world champion Jonathan Ndiku (Hitachi Butsuryu) is slated to pace what is scheduled to be a sub-28 race, but with Kosimbei, sub-27:30 men John Maina (Fujitsu) and Rodgers Chumo Kwemoi (Aisan Kogyo) and five others under 27:45 including last year's winnerRonald Kwemoi (Komori Corp.) on the list the front end should go faster. 
Rig…

Krifchin and Lemciyeh Win Kobe Marathon

The Kobe Marathon held its 7th running on Nov. 19.  19,709 runners took part in this year's race, with 600,000 people cheering them on along the course between the start at Kobe City Hall and the finish in the Kobe Harbor area which this year celebrates its 150th anniversary. American Maegan Krifchin, 29, won the women's race in a course record time of 2:33:14. Khalil Lemciyeh of Morocco also broke the men's course record, winning in 2:12:49.

The Kobe Marathon is organized by the Hyogo Prefectural Government and the City of Kobe. 7,500 volunteers helped runners over the course of the three days of race weekend. This year the turnaround point moved 1.25 km to the west, taking runners under Akashi Kaikyo Bridge for the first time. The final section of the course on Port Island was shortened to make up the distance. At noon at the finish area temperatures were 12 degrees with 65% humidity. 18,949 people finished the race.

At the starting ceremony in front of City Hall, a mom…