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Sporting goods retailer officially files for Chapter 11

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Gander Mountain has filed for bankruptcy, but it is proactively seeking a buyer.

The sporting goods retailer, which announced Friday, March 10 that it has filed for Chapter 11 protection, said it will pursue a “going concerns sale,” enabling it to function without the threat of liquidation for the foreseeable future.

The chain’s plan is to close 32 underperforming locations, and continue its search for a buyer. Currently, Gander Mountain is in active discussions with a number of interested parties, 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 chain said.

If Gander Mountain cannot get a buyer by late April, it will conduct a going out of business sale and shutter all of its stores, the company reported.

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, according to the company.

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