Sportsman’s Warehouse May Scoop Up Gander Mountain Stores, Sources Say

Sportsman’s Warehouse May Scoop Up Gander Mountain Stores, Sources Say

The outdoor products retailer from Utah is said to be looking into the purchase of roughly 130 Gander Mountain locations.

Gander Mountain, the recently bankrupt hunting retailer, is in talks with Sportsman’s Warehouse to sell off the majority of its stores and liquidate what remains, according to early reports. The company has been in the hunt for a buyer, which it hopes to officially announce by early May.

People close to the private dealings told Bloomberg that Midvale, Utah-based Sportsman’s Warehouse is planning to bid on up to 80 percent of Gander Mountain’s locations. If true, the deal would be a major expansion for Sportsman’s Warehouse, more than doubling its storefront count.

The company currently operates 80 stores in 22 states, predominately in the western half of the U.S. (It’s closest location to Minnesota is in Ankeny, Iowa.)

By comparison, St. Paul-based Gander Mountain, known for its specialty in firearms, is much larger. When it filed for bankruptcy in March, the company had 162 stores in 26 states, stretching from the Midwest to the Atlantic coast.

What remains to be seen is what Sportsman’s Warehouse would do with Gander Mountain locations. Sources told Bloomberg the company has yet to decide whether it would keep the Gander Mountain name or switch the locations to its own brand.

Gander Mountain’s plan has been to solicit bids for the company before auctioning away unsold merchandise in late April. Investment firm Gordon Brothers and Hilco Merchant Resources, a consultancy specializing in divestitures, have jumped in to act as opening bidders during the auction.

If Gordon and Hilco manage to sell all of Gander Mountain’s inventory in its stores and warehouses, the retailer could see a 91 percent return on what it paid for the items. Bloomberg said that payday could be as much as $430 million.