UPDATE: Gander Mountain released a statement Wednesday regarding reports that they could be preparing for bankruptcy:
“As a privately held company, it is our longstanding policy not to comment on our business affairs. Unfortunately, recent speculative news articles have caused concern among some of our customers, employees, and trade partners, and require us to make a rare exception.
“Gander Mountain is the nation's largest outdoor retail network with 162 specialty 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.
“Like most retailers, we are subject to normal economic cycles, changes in our industry and shifts in consumer demand that require us to adapt our business accordingly. It’s been that way since 1960, when we started out as a catalog company in small-town Wisconsin, and it remains the case today. It is this constant adaptation and desire to offer our customers the best selection, best value and best service that has been our hallmark for generations.
“Gander Mountain and its ownership group have undertaken a best-practices approach to review our strategic options specific to positioning the company for long-term success. When we engage in such a review we often seek information and advice from external advisors to inform our decisions. To assist in this process, we have retained Houlihan Lokey as independent advisors and we are confident that the outcome of the review will identify the right go-forward strategy. In the meantime, our Gander Mountain stores and gandermountain.com remain the place to go for all of our customers’ outdoor adventure needs.”
Gander Mountain could be preparing for bankruptcy as early as this month.
The bankruptcy rumors come from Reuters, which reports the sporting-goods chain could file this month.
Gander Mountain is working with a financial advisory firm as it gets ready to file bankruptcy. Gander Mountain calls itself "America's Firearms Superstore," but in recent years, the company has faced stiff competition from rivals live Bass Pro Shop and Cabela's.
For now, it is unclear what bankruptcy could mean for the future of the store in Wichita. Gander Mountain opened in the city in 2005 as the first big store in the downtown waterwalk project.
The City of Wichita paid Gander Mountain $7 million to come to town. Gander Mountain has not commented on the bankruptcy report.