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Will Gander Mountain file for business bankruptcy?

Hunting and fishing are popular activities in Kentucky. And, many outdoor enthusiasts may have bought their goods from Gander Mountain, Co., one of the major outdoor sporting goods chains in the nation. In fact, the chain markets itself as our nation's "firearms superstore." However, according to some reports, Gander Mountain is on the verge of filing for bankruptcy.

According to reports, the chain aggressively tried to grow its store base to 160 locations, 60 of which were new since 2012. However, such efforts did not draw in new customers as it was hoped.

Moreover, the chain has experienced serious competition from other chains, such as Cabela's, Inc., and Bass Pro Shops. These competitors have been revamping their locations to include gun activities and eating establishments to draw in more customers. And, in 2016, Bass Pro and Cabela's reached an agreement where the former would purchase the latter for $5.5 billion, although the merger has yet to be completed due to antitrust concerns.

Gander Mountain is reportedly working with attorneys and financial advisors to prepare for filing for bankruptcy. Data from Thomson Reuters reports that Gander Mountain has a loan in the amount of $30 million, $500 million and $25 million in revolving credit lines. It would be the fifth such company to file for bankruptcy over the past year. The chain wished to sell its boating business, which sold through catalogs and the Internet, but a suitable buyer was not found.

It remains to be seen whether Gander Mountain will go through with its bankruptcy filing. Sometimes, stores going through business bankruptcy and stay open, while other times, they close their doors. In the end, filing for business bankruptcy is sometimes the best way for a struggling business to turn around its operations and develop a plan that will allow it to address its debts.

Source: Reuters, "Gander Mountain preparing to file for bankruptcy this month - sources," Lauren Hirsch & Jessica DiNapoli, Feb. 10, 2017

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