- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 19, 2016

MERIDEN, Conn. (AP) - The parent company of Eastern Mountain Sports and Bob’s Stores has filed for bankruptcy protection and plans to shutter several New England bricks-and-mortar locations.

Meriden, Connecticut-based Vestis Retail Group LLC said Monday that the move was made because of increased competition from big-box stores and online retailers, as well as an unseasonably warm winter that made for poor sales of cold weather clothing.

Eastern Mountain Sports sells outdoors gear, while Bob’s is a discount footwear and clothing store.

The New England EMS stores slated to close are in Foxborough, Massachusetts; Warwick, Rhode Island; and West Hartford, Connecticut. The Bob’s location scheduled to close is in South Portland, Maine.

If the courts approve, the company would emerge from bankruptcy with 35 Bob’s Stores and 53 Eastern Mountain locations.

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