Oshman's Sporting Goods

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Oshman’s Sporting Goods
Company typePrivate
Founded1919; 105 years ago (1919) (as Oshman’s Dry Goods); 1933; 91 years ago (1933) (as Oshman’s Sporting Goods)
Defunct2005; 19 years ago (2005)
FateAcquired by Gart Sports
HeadquartersHouston, Texas
Area served
United States
Key people
J. S. “Jake” Oshman (founder)
ProductsApparel, sports equipment, footwear, exercise equipment
ParentGart Sports (2001-2005)
WebsiteOshman's Sporting Goods (Archive)

Oshman's Sporting Goods Inc. was a sporting goods retailer in the United States. Their headquarters were in East End, Houston, Texas.[1][2] It operated traditional sporting goods stores and Oshman's Supersports USA megastores.


In 1919,[3] J.S. "Jake" Oshman, an immigrant from Latvia,[4] opened a store, Oshman's Dry Goods, in Richmond, Texas. In 1931 he moved to Houston by buying the stock of a bankrupt army-surplus store known as Crawford-Austin and liquidated its inventory. He discovered in the process that sporting goods, especially fishing and hunting supplies, sold well.

In 1933, he opened the first Oshman Outdoor Store,[3] in Downtown Houston at Capitol and Fannin. Founded as a proprietorship, Oshman's business was incorporated as Oshman's Sporting Goods 15 years later, in 1946, as the country emerged from World War II. As business increased, the store moved to a larger location at 902 Main in Downtown Houston. Oshman's opened locations in suburban shopping centers in Greater Houston, and then, in Bay City, Beaumont, Corpus Christi, and Pasadena.[1][4]

Oshman died in 1965. By that year Oshman's was Texas's largest sporting goods chain,[3] and it was the largest sporting goods chain in the southwestern United States. At that time the company had ten sporting goods stores and two wholesale firms located in the Gulf Coast region.[4]

In the 1970s, Oshman's was expanding in the Los Angeles area.[5]

In 1978, Oshman's purchased the rights to the trade name of Abercrombie and Fitch from First National Bank of Chicago for $1.5 million[6] ($5.2 million in 2013 dollars).[7] At the time, Abercrombie and Fitch had filed bankruptcy and was a brand that sold lavish items along with fishing and hunting gear.[8] Oshman's made plans to use the Abercrombie and Fitch name to create a mail-order business.[9]

As of October 31, 1987 the company operated 185 traditional stores, one Super Sports USA store, and 27 Abercrombie and Fitch stores. Around December 25 that year it stopped its proposed $50 million sale (of which $20 million could be in banknotes) of the stores to an investor group in New Jersey.[10] In 1988, Abercrombie was acquired by Limited Brands.[8]

In 1993, the company stated that it planned to close 33 stores.[11]

In 2001, Gart Sports Company announced that it would buy Oshman's for a combination of cash and stock valued around $82 million (~$135 million in 2023).[12] In June of that year it merged into GSC Acquisition Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of Gart.[1] Many of Oshman's stores became Sports Authority stores; they have since closed after filing for bankruptcy in 2016.[13]

Corporate affairs[edit]

In 1991, the company stated that it would consolidate the offices of its California and Texas divisions into its headquarters in Houston. The company said that the competitive conditions of the retailing industry and the slowing economy prompted its move.[14]


  1. ^ a b c "Oshman's Sporting Goods." Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved on September 14, 2011. "2302 Maxwell Lane Houston, TX 77023 United States"
  2. ^ Steinhauer, Jennifer. "Sporting Goods Retailers Start to Consider New Lineups." The New York Times. June 12, 1997. 1. Retrieved on September 14, 2011.
  3. ^ a b c "About Us." Oshman's Sporting Goods. February 1, 2003. Retrieved on September 15, 2011.
  4. ^ a b c "Founder of Oshman's Chain Dies." Houston Post. Saturday May 1, 1965. Section 1, Page 1, continued on Section 1, Page 3. Available via microfilm from the Houston Public Library Central Library Jesse H. Jones Building.
  5. ^ "Oshman's to Build Stores." Los Angeles Times. July 4, 1974. N6. Retrieved on September 14, 2011. "In keeping with its expansion plans for the Los Angeles area, Oshman's Sporting Goods has announced two more stores scheduled to open this fall"
  6. ^ "Why Abercrombie Is Losing Its Shirt". New York. Retrieved February 12, 2014.
  7. ^ http://www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm BLS Inflation Calculator
  8. ^ a b Wilson, Matthew. "The rise and fall — and rise again — of Abercrombie & Fitch". Business Insider. Retrieved 2023-12-06.
  9. ^ "Abercrombie Name Sold". The New York Times. 6 July 1978. Retrieved 6 December 2023.
  10. ^ Benedict, Daniel. "A&F sale called off/Oshman's dislikes group's proposal Archived 2012-10-22 at the Wayback Machine." Houston Chronicle. Friday December 25, 1987. Business 1. Retrieved on September 14, 2011.
  11. ^ "Oshman's plans to close 33 stores, take pretax charge of $15 million." The Dallas Morning News. December 28. 1993. Retrieved on September 14, 2011.
  12. ^ Pate, Kelly. "Gart Sports to acquire Oshman's Combination could create nation's most profitable sporting-goods firm Article 1 of 1 found." The Denver Post. February 23, 2001. C1. Retrieved on September 14, 2011.
  13. ^ "Sports Authority to close all its stores". Chicago Tribune. 2016-05-19. Retrieved 2023-12-06.
  14. ^ "Briefly Oshman's plans to consolidate headquarters HOUSTON." San Antonio Express-News. January 31, 1991. Retrieved on September 14, 2011.

External links[edit]