by Joseph P. Tartaro | Executive Editor
Competition and consumer retailer choices in the shooting, hunting and outdoor trade may be shrinking. Bass Pro Shops recently acquired Cabela’s a few short months ago, and now another competitor is up for grabs.
Gander Mountain Company, which operates retail stores in 28 states, announced on March 10 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” for Minnesota.
The company’s announcement said this “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.”
The court’s protections will enable Gander Mountain to manage the sale process on an expedited basis while protecting the interests of its 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.