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Modell's Sporting Goods files for bankruptcy and will close all stores

New York(CNN Business) Modell's Sporting Goods filed for bankruptcy Wednesday and will close all of its 153 stores in the northeast.

Modell's, a family-owned chain founded in 1889, was known best for selling local teams' jerseys and equipment for youth leagues. Modell's billboards have been plastered at Yankee Stadium over the years and the company's tagline, "Gotta Go to Mo's," is present at New York sports stadiums.

CEO Mitchell Modell cited an "extremely challenging environment for retailers" in the decision to liquidate. "This is certainly not the outcome I wanted, and it is one of the most difficult days of my life," he said in a statement.

Sporting goods' retailers have been hit hard by the shift to online shopping. Sports Authority, Eastern Mountain Sports, and City Sports have also filed for bankruptcy in recent years.

Most customers do not buy new baseball gloves or hockey sticks frequently, and there are more options to buy running sneakers and workout gear than ever before online. Modell's, with a large presence in New York City, faced the added hurdle of meeting city landlords' high rent costs.

Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS), one of the last national sporting goods' chains standing, has benefited from rivals' closures. The company has more than 700 stores and has posted strong sales growth in recent years.

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