Sports retail giant Gander Mountain is rolling back and filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company isn’t closing all of its doors but it will be shutting down low-profit locations.
This follows bankruptcy rumors for a few weeks following a recent Reuters report. Earlier this month Gander Mountain responded to those rumors in a statement saying that they were looking at ways to turn their business around.
The company is working with Wells Fargo to structure a “going-concern” sale of its businesses. The Gander Mountain Company also owns Overton’s, a brick-and-mortar and online boating goods retailer. Across the U.S. Gander Mountain will be closing and selling 32 of its locations.
“[Bankruptcy] is the result of an in-depth review of the company’s strategic options undertaken in recent months to preserve the value of the company and position it for long-term success,” said the company in a statement. “Like many retailers, Gander Mountain experienced challenging traffic patterns and shifts in consumer demand resulting from increased direct-to-customer sales by key vendors and accelerated growth of e-commerce.
“Despite aggressive actions to improve the efficiency of the company’s retail operations and support functions, the underlying financial impact from underperforming stores and unproductive, excess inventory hampered efforts to create a sustainable path forward.”
WFMJ has a list of all 32 stores in 11 states that are closing. The company still has long-term plans for the remaining stores.
In 2012 the company added more than 60 locations across the country. This increased the number of stores to over 160 in 28 states. Gander Mounting is currently working with “a number of interested parties” looking to solicit bids prior to their auction. The company expects to hold an asset auction in April of 2017, with sales closing in the month after that.
Gander Mountain’s business model had clear flaws. As a firearms retailer, Gander Mountain’s business should have been booming. Gun sales from 2012 through 2016 were nothing short of record-breaking.
While gun sales only represent a portion of Gander Mountain’s income, the company’s inability to capitalize on four straight years of increasing gun sales indicates flaws with their old sales model.
The structured bankruptcy will allow Gander Mountain to protect their interests and their employees.
“The company generally expects to conduct normal business operations during the pendency of its restructuring,” added the statement. “Employee pay will continue to arrive on time and in full, employee benefits will remain in place and retirement accounts are intact and protected.”