Are Sporting Goods Stores Coming To An End? Gander Is.

Gander Mountain Co. Filing For Bankruptcy

The St. Paul, Minnesota-based Gander Mountain Co. sporting goods stores is in the process of filing for bankruptcy. According to Reuters, the company is working with Lighthouse Management Group, a financial advisory firm, to file bankruptcy this month possibly.

The decision comes after Gander attempted to aggressively expand its store but failed to draw new customers to those stores. There are about 160 stores nationwide, and 60 of those opened after 2012. There are seven Gander Mountain stores in Florida, one being in Tampa.

“The company has a $30 million loan, and revolving credit lines for $25 million and $500 million, according to Thomson Reuters data.,” Reuters reported. “It is not clear how much money in the credit lines Gander Mountain has yet to draw down on.”

Gander has been in competition with Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Inc., which have been using restaurants and shooting activities to draw customers to their stores. Just last year Bass Pro worked a deal to buy Cabela’s for $5.5 billion, but that deal still has a number of hurdles to jump before closing.

The company’s closure would be the fifth outdoor retailer to file for bankruptcy in the last 12 months, reported Reuters, behind sports retailers like Sports Chalet and Sports Authority Inc.

Gander Mountain Inc. released the following statement, obtained by KWCH 12:

“As a privately held company, it is our longstanding policy not to comment on our business affairs. Unfortunately, recent speculative news articles have caused concern among some of our customers, employees, and trade partners, and require us to make a rare exception.

“Gander Mountain is the nation’s largest outdoor retail network with 162 specialty stores across 26 states. We are a fully integrated Omni-Channel retailer dedicated to servicing the hunting, camping, fishing, shooting sports, and outdoor products markets. As ‘America’s Firearms Supercenter™,’ we are a market leader in the shooting sports category with an extensive offering of firearms, ammunition, and accessories.

“Like most retailers, we are subject to normal economic cycles, changes in our industry and shifts in consumer demand that require us to adapt our business accordingly. It’s been that way since 1960, when we started out as a catalog company in small-town Wisconsin, and it remains the case today. It is this constant adaptation and desire to offer our customers the best selection, best value and best service that has been our hallmark for generations.

“Gander Mountain and its ownership group have undertaken a best-practices approach to review our strategic options specific to positioning the company for long-term success. When we engage in such a review we often seek information and advice from external advisors to inform our decisions. To assist in this process, we have retained Houlihan Lokey as independent advisors and we are confident that the outcome of the review will identify the right go-forward strategy. In the meantime, our Gander Mountain stores and remain the place to go for all of our customers’ outdoor adventure needs.”