EMS store in West Hartford, others in New England to close as company reorganizes

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EMS Store in West Hartford from Google Street View

MERIDEN  — The Meriden based 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.

The company said the EMS store at Corbins Corner in West Hartford will be closing. No Bob’s Stores in Connecticut are scheduled to close.

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 other New England EMS stores slated to close are in Foxborough, Massachusetts and Warwick, Rhode Island. 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.