I don't believe that Sport Chalet is destined for a takeover I believe. Sport Chalet does round out the top tep list of sport retailers. Putting it up with the big players. While I do believe that Sport Chalet will most likely not expand outside of its west coast arena, it has defined itself as a reputable company, especially in its southern california market. There are a couple of main reasons that sport chalet won't agree to a buyout.
1. Sport Chalet is a unique store- Sport Chalet offers a higher quality product and better selection then your everyday sporting goods stores such as Big 5 or Sports Authority. Almost all of the Sport Chalet stores are located in prime shopping districts such as the Beverly Center in BeverlyHills/West Hollywood area, South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, Long Beach Town Center, Laguna Niguel, Across the Street from the Shops at Mission Viejo, The Mission Valley Shopping Center in San Diego, and the Marina Del Rey, and Irvine stores. All of these stores are located in prime retial locations that include Freeway Signage and Large parking areas. The interior of the stores are kept clean and prouct displays are kept current (IE the snow and ski shop isn't near the front of the store in July). Most managers hold 4 years degrees and are business savy. Employees go through maximum training with Vendors and In-store. 2. Also sport chalet brings high adventure gear into their store (Like what you find at an REI store). Rock Climbing, Scuba Diving (some stores have their own pools), Biking, Water Sports and pro golf are in all the stores.
I believe that SPCH is currently undervalued. The majority of the stock is still owned by the original owner Norbert Olberez a Cumundregon up in his 80's. (He used to hose himself off behind his first LaCanada store in the early days for a shower). Olberez has a stock option trust, if the fella ever passes away the management has rights to the stock and you'll see the value shoot up.
Many employees have a vested intrest in these stores. Sports Authority and Big Five have a very high turnover, while it is common to see the same faces in SPCH for 10 years. (the clothing manager at the Mission Viejo store has been with the company 28 years).
Thanks for the detailed background on SPCH. I bought this stock 3 years ago when my son and I would shop there (Long Beach) for various sporting goods in season. I was always impressed with the selection and extremely knowledgeable staff.
I knew that Olberez held most of the stock, but I'm glad to heard he is eventually turning it over to management. This may not be another Wal Mart or Best Buy, but it is a solid retailer that is definitely going to pay out in the long run.