Gander Mountain Could Be Headed For Bankruptcy

Gander Mountain - Closed March 2012
Flickr | m01229

Though nothing is official yet, it appears that outdoor sporting goods chain Gander Mountain is preparing to file for bankruptcy.

The news, first reported by Reuters, comes after Gander Mountain tried—and failed—to lure new customers to its stores.

Gander Mountain, which calls itself America’s firearms superstore, has locations all over the eastern and southern parts of the United States.

According to Reuters, the company is working with a financial advisory firm and could file for bankruptcy as early as this month.

Reuters floated some possible reasons for the bankruptcy, including an uptick in background checks on people seeking to buy guns in 2016. The FBI performed a record 27.5 million background checks last year, a 19 percent increase from 2015. Gander Mountain also competes for business with Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s.

So far, the company isn’t saying much about its financial troubles.

“They’ve taken a vow of silence,” company spokesman Jess Myers told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

There are roughly 160 Gander Mountain locations in 27 states, according to the newspaper.

Several new stores opened in Pennsylvania, Colorado and Texas last year, and more than 50 new stores have opened since 2012. That aggressive expansion could explain the company’s financial troubles.

If the company files for bankruptcy, Gander Mountain would follow other retailers such as Sports Chalet and Sports Authority Inc. At least four outdoor retailers have filed for bankruptcy in the last year.

According to Reuters, Gander Mountain has a $30 million loan and revolving credit lines for $25 million and $500 million. It’s unclear how much money the company has actually borrowed, however.

The company tried to sell off its online and catalog boating business last year but couldn’t find a buyer.

Gander Mountain was established in 1960 and sells guns, ammunition, shooting equipment, archery gear, outerwear, shoes and camping and fishing supplies.

What This Means For Gander Mountain Shoppers

If you have a gift card or store credit to the store, keep in mind that a bankruptcy filing doesn’t necessarily mean a company will go out of business (Eddie Bauer and American Apparel, among others, have survived filing Chapter 11). Still, that could be a potential outcome for this Minnesota-based company, so if there’s something you want to spend your credits on, why not use them now. At the very least, keep an eye on the news about this retailer to ensure your spending power doesn’t go to waste.

About the Author

Sarah Kuta

Sarah Kuta is an award-winning writer and editor based in Colorado. She writes regularly about how to find deals, save money and find side gigs. Reach her at More.

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