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Hunting and fishing chain to file for bankruptcy this month

The hunting and fishing chain Gander Mountain is preparing to file for bankruptcy this month, according to multiple reports. The company is headquartered in St. Paul and will file after an aggressive expansion of its stores nationwide did not bring in new customers as expected.

The store bills itself as America's firearm superstore, but has failed to capitalize on the millions of gun sales that have occurred over the past year-plus. In 2016 alone the FBI ran more than 27.5 million background checks for people who wanted to buy guns. That number represents a 19 percent increase from 2015.

The company has faced tough competition from Cabela's and Bass Pro Shops, which has made an offer totaling $5.5 billion to purchase Cabela's. These stores have changed their operations, offering shooting activities on-site for customers as well as adding restaurants to attract more clientele.

Gander Mountain went private back in 2010 by Gratco, a holding company controlled by the Gander Mountain CEO. Also involved in the privatization of Gander Mountain was Holiday Stationstores, a gas station retail company controlled by the family that owns Erickson.

Gander Mountain began its expansion aggressively throughout the United States in 2012, opening or announcing at least 60 new locations to total 160. The company holds a $30 million loan on top of revolving credit lines of $25 million and $500 million. It is not known how much money is left available on the credit lines for Gander Mountain to draw on.

If Gander Mountain decided to file for bankruptcy, the company would become the fifth to do so in the last 12 months in the outdoor retail category. Others that have filed for bankruptcy include Sports Authority and Sports Chalet.

The company attempted to sell its online and boat catalog business last year, but was not able to find a buyer. The attempted sale was an effort to address some of the company's struggles.

An experienced business bankruptcy attorney can help guide you through the bankruptcy process in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, even if yours isn't on the scale of Gander Mountain's.

Source: Prairie Business, "Gander Mountain preparing to file for bankruptcy this month," Reuters Media, Feb. 13, 2017

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