Sunday, January 20, 2019

Sports Authority #373 - Viera, FL

Sports Authority #373
6729 Colonnade Avenue, Melbourne (Viera), FL - Viera Market Center

     This Sports Authority opened in 2005 as an original anchor (along with Kohl's and Office Depot) to the Viera Market Center, a shopping center built as an outparcel to The Avenue at Viera (the next door "Lifestyle Center" anchored by Brevard County's only remaining Belk store). This Sports Authority survived the first closing round announced in March 2016, however this store went down with the rest of the chain at the end of July 2016.

     Time once again to get another one of these Sports Authority liquidations out of the way. This was Brevard County's 2nd Sports Authority store, which opened in 2005. Even at 11 years old, this store and the entire complex is was a part of still feels like new. Sports Authority's departure was the first major retail closing The Avenue at Viera has ever faced in the entire complex's 12 year history. The building is still vacant (although a Spirit Halloween store has operated in here for the last few Halloween seasons). With how The Avenue keeps adding more new stores in newly built outparcels, I'm surprised this space has been sitting empty for so long. Actually, it seems like every time I venture up to Viera, I find another new store that popped up!

     This was the typical Sports Authority exterior used from the 2000's until practically the end. I think the last new stores built didn't have that metal thing holding up the sign, instead having the sign mounted directly to the building (the only significant modification I can think of since). You can also see all of the "Going Out of Business" signs and banners clearer in this picture.

     Closeup of the entryway. As l_dawg2000 said, "The front looks a lot nicer with the sign mounted on that metal bracing! Too bad they cheapened out in the end." I guess with their financial problems in recent years, they had to save money wherever they could.

     Heading inside and turning to the right, the first department encountered was the golf department. This store had essentially the same layout as the 1995 built Melbourne store, with this store just feeling a bit more modernized due to it being 10 years newer.

     The main aisle that runs along the right side of the store is pictured here, between women's clothing and shoes. There was definitely no shortage of "Going Out of Business" signs here!

     The right center side of the store was home to the shoe department. In this photo, you can see the decor this store had, which I think was Sports Authority's most recent decor, which they had used from the mid-2000's until the very end. Speaking of the very end, PlazaACME commented, "It was weird seeing Sports Authority still opening stores up until the end." They were acting almost like there was no bankruptcy about to happen in that respect. However, their original plan was to restructure their debt and keep some stores open - closing everything was a decision made late in the bankruptcy process. They probably felt they could keep opening stores as they thought they would still be around now.

     Another look along the right side wall. This photo was taken further toward the back of the store, looking toward the front of the building.

     Looking from the shoe department into the clothing department in the center of the store here. The ceiling grid that hung over the center of the store makes for an interesting effect in this picture.

     The back right corner of the store was home to the bicycle department.

     Located next to the bicycle department was the Tech Services counter. I wasn't exactly sure what they did at the Tech Services counter, so after some Googling I found out that this counter was where you would go to get your bicycle and ski equipment fixed.

     Here we are looking from the bicycle department in the back right corner of the store down the main back aisle. Ahead is the Water Sports and Camping departments.

     Sale Boats! Some kayaks, canoes, surfboards and various other boats on display in the Water Sports department. As the closing progressed, the overstock boats would gradually be taken out from the back and stacked wherever there was open space on the sales floor, similar to this scene from the Melbourne store.

     A look down one of the camping aisles, this one home to backpacks, coolers, and a whole lot of folding chairs.

     Another one of the aisles in the Camping department.

     This photo provides a better view of the department sign for the Camping department.

     This is the aisle that runs through the center of the store, providing a straight path from the front doors to the back of the store. This aisle also served as the dividing line between the women's clothing and men's clothing departments. No shortage of "Going out of Business" signs in this aisle either.

     Looking down the back wall of the store here.

     Here is the main back aisle once again, this time looking from the left side of the store toward the right.

     A random photo of a price scanner.

     One thing I noticed at this closing was many items had signs like these in front of them stating "This merchandise is excluded from any discounts in the store closing sale event at this time." It was mostly with certain brands, and not specific to any one department or products under strict government regulation. One of the main complaints about Sports Authority's going out of business sales was that they excluded a lot of merchandise from the sale prices (at least at first, I'm not sure if they did this the entire time). PlazaACME later confirmed for me that "they went on sale towards the end."

     Moving on to the left side of the store now, where we have this view looking down the main left side aisle. Here we are looking from the back of the store toward the front.

     The wall signage for the Team Sports department.

     Looking down the left side wall from the back toward the front in this photo.

     The Team Sports department had this other sign as well, located closer to the front of the store.

     Here is a random photo looking across the store, as seen from the team sports department.

     Going further down the left side aisle, we find ourselves closer to the front of the store now.

     The main left side aisle bends slightly to the left once you get to the fitness department. From here, you can see the front entrance and the checkouts.

     The fitness department was located in the front left corner of the store. This was the only department during my visit that was looking a bit thin this early on.

     Looking from fitness back toward Team Sports and Men's clothing.

     The front registers are visible in the background of this photo, behind all of that fitness equipment.

     Some of the men's clothing department can be seen here. The structure with the "MENS" sign on it was a fitting room.

     Here we're looking from the Fitness department across the front aisle of the store.

     A photo taken down the store center aisle, the front doors visible in the background.

     The exit lies straight ahead. This photo officially wraps up this Sports Authority closing set. However, I have two more random photos I took of Sports Authority's next-door neighbor to share before wrapping up today's post...

Office Depot #2546
6729 Colonnade Avenue, Melbourne (Viera), FL - Viera Market Center

     This Office Depot opened in 2005 with the rest of the plaza.

     On the way out of Sports Authority, I got these two random photos of the next door Office Depot. Office Depot is the most dominant office supply chain in South Brevard, with a total of 4 stores in the area, compared to Staples' 2 stores, and 0 for Office Max (their lone South Brevard location in Melbourne Square Mall closed long ago).

     A closer-up photo of the front of the store.

     With our brief look at the Office Depot out of the way, that wraps up everything I have from the Viera Market Center. So until the next post,


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