Gander Mountain Files For Bankruptcy, Plans To Close 32 Stores

Image courtesy of Nicholas Eckhart

The sporting goods retail apocalypse continues, and as predicted a month ago, the latest victim is Gander Mountain. The chain of hunting, fishing, and camping superstores, which does substantial business in firearms, filed for bankruptcy at the end of last week. The business will go up for auction, with company leaders hoping to close the sale by May 15.

In its Chapter 11 filing [PDF], the company lists its debts at somewhere between $500 million and $1 billion. Top creditors include Vista Outdoor, parent company to notable sporting goods brands like Camelbak water carriers, Tasco and Bushnell optical equipment, and Bell safety equipment. Gander Mountain owes Vista Outdoor $15 million.

Fishing gear conglomerate Pure Fishing comes in a distant second at $4.5 million, and rounding out the top five are firearms distributor Ellett Brothers and gun manufacturers Sig Sauer and Remington.

The company wants to sell itself as a going concern, which means selling some or all of its stores to a new owner that would keep them open. You might remember that was also the goal of another, less specialized sporting goods chain, Sports Authority, which failed to find a buyer for any of its stores and liquidated all of them.

The chain plans to close 32 stores during the Chapter 11 proceedings, locations that it says are underperforming.

“As we go through this process, the 7,000 employees of Gander Mountain will do everything in their power to make it invisible and inconsequential to you,” company president Jay Tibbets wrote in a letter to customers.

That’s not quite true for customers whose local store will be closing, though Tibbets also points out that the website is always available “24 hours a day from the comfort of your home, truck or cabin.”

Like other sporting goods chains and retailers in general, Gander Mountain cites online competition as a reason for its troubles. The chain also faces the pending possible merger of its biggest rivals in the outdoors superstore category, with the planned acquisition of Cabela’s by Bass Pro Shops.

While the fate of the other stores is still in question, here’s the list of locations that we know will be closing right away.

 

Addresss Town State
540 E Meighan Blvd Gadsden AL
7765 Airport Boulevard Mobile AL
2424 Eastern Blvd Montgomery AL
3325 MacFarland Blvd. East Tuscaloosa AL
145 Mason McKnight Jr. Parkway Augusta GA
1200 Scenic Hwy, Suite G Lawrenceville GA
1990 Jonesboro Road McDonough GA
1400 South Randall Road Algonquin IL
2006 N. Prospect Avenue Champaign IL
2371 Chuckwagon Drive Springfield IL
2175 Barrett Drive Greenfield IN
1630 Southlake Mall Merrillville IN
1940 Adams St. Mankato MN
20870 Rogers Drive Rogers MN
10270 Hudson Rd. Woodbury MN
13610 Hoover Creek Blvd Charlotte NC
2100 Village Market Place Morrisville NC
8635 Clinton St. New Hartford NY
5877 Grubb Road Chattanooga TN
2630 Eldridge Parkway Houston TX
19820 Hempstead Rd. Houston TX
701 East Central Texas Expressway Killeen TX
2302 N.E. Bob Bullock Ste. 101 Laredo TX
4006 W. Loop 289 Lubbock TX
3203 S IH-35 Suite 500 Round Rock TX
8203 State Hwy 151 Ste 104 San Antonio TX
19890 Southwest Freeway Sugarland TX
2301 University Ave. Texarkana TX
2600 Bagby Ave. Waco TX
6440 Sculy Drive Eau Claire WI
W 190 – N10768 Commerce Circle Germantown WI
2600 Mountaineer Blvd. S. Charleston WV