Report: another outdoors retailer on brink of bankruptcy

February 11, 2017

Bass Pro Shops rival Gander Mountain is preparing a bankruptcy filing this month, multiple sources told Reuters, with an unspecified impact on its stores nationally.

St. Paul, Minn.-based Gander Mountain declined comment to Reuters. In addition to its retail stores, Gander Mountain operates Overton’s, a boating products website that has two retail outlets in North Carolina.

Founded in 1960, Gander Mountain has 160 stores today, none in New England and the closest to Connecticut located in Kingston, N.Y. in the Hudson River Valley. Bass Pro Shops opened its first Connecticut store in Bridgeport in 2015, and is in the process of acquiring outdoors retailer Cabela’s (NYSE: CAB) which has a location in East Hartford, in a deal valued at $5.5 billion.

Like Maine-based L.L. Bean, Gander Mountain offers a lifetime guarantee on its products. The Associated Press reported Friday that L.L. Bean may alter that policy in a bid to cut back on what the AP termed “fraudulent returns.” L.L. Bean has locations in Danbury and Orange.

Multiple sports retailers have filed for bankruptcy protection in the past year, including the Eastern Outfitters parent company of Eastern Mountain Sports, earlier this week.

Sports Authority and Golfsmith also filed for bankruptcy restructurings last year, with the brands subsequently acquired by Dick’s Sporting Goods (NYSE: DKS), which is in the process of renovating a Sports Authority on Connecticut Avenue under the Dick’s logo with a planned reopening in March.

Alex.Soule@scni.com; 203-354-1047; www.twitter.com/casoulman