Gander Mountain, the outdoor retailer based in St. Paul, Minnesota, has confirmed it has filed for Chapter 11 relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, and will close 32 of its underperforming stores.

This news, while unfortunate, was inevitably in the cards because the outdoor-based retailer has been preparing for bankruptcy for some time now.

According to GoMN News, three Minnesota stores are set to close, including those in Rogers, Mankato and Woodbury.

Gander Mountain released the following news release, which details future plans for the company:

 

Gander Mountain? > We Live Outdoors

News Release

Gander Mountain, Subsidiaries File for Chapter 11 Reorganization
Company seeks “going-concern” sale to complete restructuring
Operations remain ongoing during process; employee pay, benefits protecte

ST. PAUL, March 10, 2017 – Gander Mountain Company announced today that, to maximize the opportunity to achieve a “going-concern” sale of its business, it and certain of its subsidiaries have filed voluntary petitions for relief under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code.

Today’s action 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. 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.

The company’s strategic review yielded the following conclusions:

  • A narrowly focused and lower cost operating model is necessary to position the company for profitable growth;
  • The company does not have the financial capacity or time to reset its operations to fully implement the new model and, as a result;
  • The best available path forward is to sell the company on a going-concern basis.

The court’s protections will enable us to manage the sale process on an expedited basis while protecting the interests of our customers, employees and other stakeholders. Gander Mountain is in active discussions with a number of parties interested in a going-concern sale and expects to solicit bids prior to an auction to be held in late April 2017. The company expects to submit the winning bid to the Court for approval in early May and anticipates a closing of the sale by May 15.

The company generally expects to conduct normal business operations during the pendency of its restructuring. Employee pay will continue to arrive on time and in full, employee benefits will remain in place, retirement accounts are intact and protected. As a product of the company’s strategic review, 32 underperforming retail locations will begin a shutdown process in the next several weeks.

The company has obtained a committed debtor-in-possession (“DIP”) financing facility underwritten by Wells Fargo. Subject to court approval, this DIP financing, combined with cash from operations, is expected to provide sufficient liquidity to support the company’s continuing business operations and to minimize any disruption during the reorganization process.

The petitions were filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Minnesota. More information about Gander Mountain’s restructuring is available online at www.donlinrecano.com/gmc. Court filings and claims information are available at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court website, http://www.mnb.uscourts.gov/.

Gander Mountain’s advisors in the restructuring are Houlihan Lokey Capital Inc. serving as financial advisor and investment banker, Lighthouse Management Group serving as Chief Restructuring Officer, and Fredrikson & Byron, PA serving as legal advisors.

 

About Gander Mountain Company

Gander Mountain is the nation’s largest outdoor retail network with stores across 26 states. We are a fully integrated Omni-Channel retailer dedicated to servicing the hunting, camping, fishing, shooting sports, and outdoor products markets. As ‘America’s Firearms Supercenter’, we are a market leader in the shooting sports category with an extensive offering of firearms, ammunition, and accessories. For the nearest store location call 800-282-5993 or visit www.GanderMountain.com.

Gander Mountain is also the parent company of Overton’s (www.overtons.com), a leading catalog- and Internet-based retailer of products for boating and other water sports enthusiasts.

 

Contact Information:
Jess Myers, Ewald Consulting
jessm@ewald.com
651-290-7465 (o)
612-910-3058 (c)

 

Image courtesy Flickr

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9 thoughts on “BREAKING: Gander Mountain Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and Plans to Close at Least 32 Stores

  1. I was very sad when they went under the first time. I used to buy most of my gear from them. I think their problem this time was trying to expand too fast.

  2. I quit going to the gander mountain closest to me because they never had the lures I use. I almost never found what I was looking for. I tried again this past weekend for a new winch for my boat and left disappointed once again.

  3. I visited the new store near me in Snellville, GA. Overpriced compared to the nearby Bass-Pro store, and very few sales associates to be found.

  4. It’s too bad. A few years ago we had two smaller Gander Mountain Stores, both PACKED with merchandise. Then they closed both and built a new large store outside of the city near the interstate highway. Since, it has been a real disappointment. My preteen son, at the time, now 18, loved to fish; we went to Gander Mountain all the time for him. It got to the point that lots of times we would walk out with nothing. Most of the time they didn’t have what he was looking for. We heard they moved, partly, because they moved to an unincorporated area so that they could expand their gun sales department. I do believe that is true. Gander Mountain turned into a clothing and crap boutique instead of a dedicated hardcore outdoors retail source. I would not miss them. Sad though.

  5. The last 3 times I visited a Gander MT. store was in York, PA (twice) and Plattsburgh NY. The York store had employees who were uniformed and unmotivated (not a desirable combination). The employees in Plattsburgh were much better but I think these smaller locations have inventory dedicated to the hobby angler, hunter, shooter, etc. I guess I have been spoiled by the destination location Cabela and Bass Pro store locations.
    The company’s strategic review needs to address the shift to on-line purchases by consumers. A good model is Midway USA. I can get what I need at a competitive price in a couple of days. Great company, very well managed and the CEO supports hunting and shooting organizations with his mouth and his wallet.

  6. Why would they stock a store with walleye fishing equipment when there’s not a lake within 100 miles that has Walleye in it,but large and Smallmouth Bass are the primary preditor fish along with Panfish. ???

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