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.
|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|