Bankrupt Gander Mountain Could Have A Buyer, Allowing Stores To Stay Open

Image courtesy of Nicholas Eckhart

When specialty sporting goods retailer Gander Mountain recently went bankrupt, the future of the company’s physical locations was in doubt. Now comes a report that there may be a buyer for Gander Mountain that could keep some of the chain’s stores open.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune, citing people familiar with the matter, reports that Utah-based Sportsman’s Warehouse plans to bid on 80% of the fishing, hunting, and camping superstores.

Sportsman’s Warehouse has yet to decide if the locations will keep the Gander Mountain name or if it will transition the stores to its own brand, sources tell the Star Tribune.

Acquiring the Gander Mountain stores would expand the footprint of Sportsman’s Warehouse, which operates 80 stores in mostly the western U.S. Gander Mountain, which filed for bankruptcy in March, operates 160 stores, mostly in the East. The chain previously announced plans to close 32 stores during its Chapter 11 proceedings.

If Sportsman’s Warehouse doesn’t purchase Gander Mountain, the bankrupt company has already brought in Gordon Brothers and Hilco Merchant Resources to conduct going-out-of-business sales.

Gander Mountain is just the latest sporting retailer to face tough times. Sporting goods and outdoors stores as a whole aren’t doing so well lately: Sports Authority filed for bankruptcy and liquidated hundreds of stores last year, and the owner of Eastern Mountain Sports has filed for bankruptcy twice in the last year. Just last week, Bob’s and Eastern Mountain Sports were purchased by Sports Direct, which already operates hundreds of stores in Europe and has had its eye on U.S. expansion for a while.

Golfsmith, the largest golf-only store in North America, filed for bankruptcy in Sept. 2016 after people stopped playing golf as much. In February, midwestern sporting goods chain MC Sports filed for bankruptcy and began liquidation sales.