New Home for The Female Athlete

After filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Jan. 3. Trumbull, CT-based The Female Athlete has found a buyer. TFA Acquisition, a division of America’s Shopping Mall, was approved to buy the assets of the women’s athletic gear cataloger on Feb. 15 at a hearing at the Long Island Federal Courthouse in Central Islip, NY.

The catalog company could not be reached for comment. Upper Saddle River, NJ-based America’s Shopping Mall owns three other catalogers: home products book Joan Cook, leather apparel mailer Deerskin, and business-to-business calendar, poster, and office supplies marketer Remarkable Products.

As of Feb. 20, the Website of the four-year-old The Female Athlete was still live, but links to the site’s online shopping features appeared to be disabled. As of this past fall, the company had planned to mail 20 million copies of four catalog editions in 2001, according to the site.

These are tough times for fledgling marketers of sports apparel, equipment, and accessories. The Female Athlete’s financial troubles came on the heels of the closures of two relatively high-profile Internet-based sports gear catalogers, and, which was partially financed by such sports legends as basketball star Michael Jordan and hockey great Wayne Gretzky, closed up shop in early February, after two rounds of layoffs. And women’s sports apparel multichannel marketer closed its catalog and Website operations in January, leaving only its 900-sq.-ft. store at the Crunch Gym in midtown Manhattan.

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