Penny Hardaway Getty Shoes Sneakers Foamposite
Getty Images

Eastbay is closing its doors after 43 years of operations at the end of 2022. The sneaker and apparel company made the official announcement on its website earlier this week.

“We’re saying goodbye to Eastbay at the end of December 2022. We encourage you to shop at champssports.com to find great deals for your athletic shoes, clothing, and more,” the company said in a statement.

According to Wisconsin Public Radio, Eastbay’s closure means that an estimated 210 people will be laid off at the company’s Wausau, Wisconsin headquarters, which was where it was founded by entrepreneurs Art Juedes and Rick Gering. Positions will begin to be terminated in late January while Eastbay’s distribution center will close at the end of April. 

“Eastbay and Foot Locker have been employment pillars in our community for decades so this is understandably hard news for our community and the 200 employees who are affected,” Wausau Mayor and former Eastbay employee Katie Rosenberg said.

In the early days of the internet, 1990s kids viewed Eastbay as a haven for finding the latest sneaker drops each month. There was no SNKRS app on your smartphone. Instead, you just flipped through a catalog that was mailed to your home and usually begged your parents to buy you the latest sneakers.

Sneaker and apparel enthusiasts could use the catalog buy everything from sports team Starter jackets to NBA team shorts. 1990s kids will never forget going through the catalog when it came to their home and circling everything that was on their wish list.

Since 1997, Eastbay has been a division of Foot Locker Inc. According to Hypebeast, the company said that the decision was made as “a result of efforts to optimize distribution processes in order to serve their nationwide customers more efficiently and effectively,”