Sportsman’s Warehouse Loses Gander Mountain Bid, $3.8 Million in First Quarter

Sportsman’s Warehouse had a poor first quarter this year, losing both the Gander Mountain bid as well as $3.8 million in earnings, according to a conference call with financial analysts.

John Schaefer, the company’s CEO, blamed “softness in firearm demand” for the disappointing sales, noting that he is “maintaining a conservative approach for the second quarter.”

The company’s numbers look especially dismal, Schaefer explained, compared to last year’s first and second quarters, which saw a rise in firearm and ammunition demand in the wake of the San Bernardino and Orlando nightclub shootings.

Poor sales may have prevented the company from purchasing several Gander Mountain stores earlier this year. Gander Mountain filed for bankruptcy on March 10, 2017, and Sportsman’s Warehouse placed a bid on a subset of “well positioned stores.”

“We made a bid for these assets and inventory as part of the bankruptcy auction,” Schaeffer told analysts Thursday. “However, when the price of those assets exceeded the price we were willing to pay for the assets, we chose not to continue with the auction process.”

Still, despite the company’s poor numbers comparative to last year, Schaefer gave investors cause to be optimistic. The previous year saw historically high firearms and ammunition sales, and this year’s drop in demand still represents an overall acceptable performance.

“As we said previously, the underlying demand in this department remains strong when compared to historical levels, partially driven by increased participation rates in outdoor shooting sports as more women and children participate, despite the year-over-year decline in hunting and shooting,” Schaefer said during a conference call with investors Thursday.

“We are also encouraged to see that a significant portion of our sales continued to be generated from the use category, especially in our rural markets which are typically more stable and consistent over time compared to protection purchases and skews toward the historical 5 percent to 8 percent annual growth rate.”

Schaefer also believes his company’s balance between locally-owned sporting goods stores and big box national chains will result in continued success.

“Despite the recent slowdown in firearm demand across the industry, we believe we are the best positioned retailer in our niche to capture market share,” Schaefer said in a press release, because Sportsman’s Warehouse provides “convenience as a neighborhood store in larger markets or big box appeal in smaller markets.”

The company opened four new stores in the first quarter and ended the quarter with 79 stores in 22 states. They plan to open 12 more stores in 2017.

About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over two years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco.

{ 11 comments… add one }
  • Mike May 28, 2017, 12:42 pm

    Agree with most comments about GM. But in my location, after I believe Sandy Hook and obamba 2, you couldn’t buy a .22 round for any price. GM came back to our area , after being flooded out years prior with plenty of .22’s. They were expensive, prob .07-.10 per round, but at least they had them in pretty good quantities. Will miss them for that reason.
    As far as firearms, we’d go and find what we wanted or needed, then call our local FFL and save consistently 25% or more.
    Hope the new venue learns from GM’s mistakes

  • Jack May 28, 2017, 7:17 am

    I was in SWH yesterday to price some powder and couldn’t believe how much more they were asking over other business’s around my area, they’re charging $3-5/lb more than any one else……no wonder their business is falling off.

  • ME May 28, 2017, 1:15 am

    For one they didn’t ” lose” 3.8 million dollars, they just made 3.8 mil less than what they made last year during the same period.
    Good stores, better selection and lower priced than basspro. I do wish they would carry more CZ firearms though.

  • Noel P. May 27, 2017, 9:21 pm

    I won’t miss Gander Mountain one bit. They offered a good price on a foreign AR and I went over and checked them out. I told them that I would pay cash if they could guarantee they could get it in within two weeks. After three weeks of run around and a BTW price increase I told them to forget it. We have good dealers here and a. Implement of old line national companies but the closing of the Gander Mountain store didn’t even cause a blink. Everyone I have talked to or read a post by on about this firm has nothing good to say; it is a small wonder that they are on the outs. Even Dicks here gives good service and backs up their promices. Need more like that !

  • George May 26, 2017, 1:39 pm

    Sportsmans Warehouse was a blessing for our town. Prior to their arrival, all the local stores operated a de facto price fixing cartel, with prices consistently well over MSRP, no matter which shop you went to. Prices for transfers were so outrageous, I went and got my own FFL just to avoid dealing with them. SW came in and within 6 months, one of the rip off artists was out of business, another moved out of town and those left are a little more realistic on prices these days. I don’t work there but they have a great selection, are fairly priced and these days, have a good range of shooting accessories, scopes, reloading gear and supplies. Its the one place in town I can go to look at the latest guns, handle them, shoot the breeze with the staff and not feel like I’m expected to buy something from them.

    Couldn’t agree more on the ridiculous rules though but those are set by their corporate office not the local stores.

  • Bobo May 26, 2017, 12:18 pm

    Several years ago I went to gander looking for a certain Shotgun. Three clerks were standing there talking to another guy about the local high school football game. When I asked for help they said they’ll be with me soon and continued their BS conversation. After several minutes I said I was leaving and the clerk said OK. On another occasion I was looking at a firearm and they quoted me a price $100 above the MSRP! I’ve never set foot in gander since.

  • SuperG May 26, 2017, 10:41 am

    Maybe it is the company’s anal-retentive rules that are driving customers away? I went there to buy a Beretta Nano and they demanded two forms of ID, though my state of Oregon only requires one, and then because the addresses were different they refused the sale. So I left, swearing I’d never be back, and drove down the street to Fred Meyers and bought it there. When I told the guy there what had happened, he even matched their price. Guess what? I’ve never been back and always retell this story when ever I can too.

  • MJB May 26, 2017, 9:48 am

    Since Trump has been President ammo and firearm sales have plummeted and it’s a good thing. Now we can expect prices to fall back to reasonable profit margins rather than the ripoff margins that companies have gotten rich on. I just saw an ad locally from a gun store selling a DPMS AR for less than $400 after rebate. A 50 round box of 22 LR ammo should be about a buck not 4 or 5.

  • Michael Keim May 26, 2017, 9:42 am

    They’re overpriced and low on stock. They had to close their stores east of the Mississippi River to stay competitive. How would they have kept Gander open?

  • Dr. Strangelove May 26, 2017, 5:21 am

    Sportsman’s Warehouse is almost as overpriced as Gander, I’m not surprised that they are losing money in this market.

    • RANDY THOMAS May 31, 2017, 1:51 am

      I have all but stopped buying from Sportsman Warehouse as I get mad every time I see the “member price” vs. the non member price. That’s a bunch of garbage….. the price should be the same for everyone! This member’s only price is a scam. When I see it, I just go and look to see who else has it cheaper and not play the “CLUB” game! The only reason for the two prices is to get people to think they save by being a member which is not true. You pay up from in member dues even if you do not buy anything. Go to Safeway, Bimart, Lowes and so on and ANYONE can get the same cheaper price by playing the stupid game! I dont play the game as there are plenty of sellers who give you a better price. Also, I stopped buying from Sportsman because they have gotten into all the clothing, shoes, bedding, kitchen ware, toys and everything including Christman decorations. They are suppose to be for hunting, fishing and camping, not a Walmart or sears that sells a little of everything. I remember when I used to go to Sportsman to find those special items and government over stocks. They have very little of those things now. If I want to go to Walmart or Bimart…. I can go and get it hands-on today.

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