UPDATE: Gander Mountain Makes Public Statement Amid Bankruptcy Allegations

Gander Mountain

Gander Mountain is a privately owned company and normally they do not make public statements of any kind. Amidst a multitude of speculation that they were going bankrupt they finally broke their silence.

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.

What is interesting about this public statement from Gander Mountain is they never openly address the allegations of going bankrupt. They seem to dance around the topic at hand.

What is also interesting is their mentioning of “normal economic cycles, changes in our industry and shifts in consumer demand.” Many people in the industry know that after 8 years of a certain former president this following year may be very soft for sales. When it comes to firearm businesses large and small only the strong will survive.

You can read into their public statement as you may, but obviously Gander Mountain is not happy about the public speculation of their company.

The outdoors, fitness and anything related to firearms are my passions. I am a S&W Armorer, Glock Armorer, reloader and am coping with an addiction to classic S&W and Colt revolvers (by buying more revolvers). I’ve been a guest writer for Sierra Bullets and love long walks to the gun range.


  • nova3930

    Yeah they’re going under

  • Seth Hill

    Don’t know what their financials look like, but maybe more competitive prices may help or would have helped?

    • TheWarriorWorkshop

      It would always blow me away that Gander would have a certain price on a firearm and I could go 5 miles away to a small mom and pop store and see that same gun for $50-$100 less. A company that size should be able to outprice small stores.

      • salty

        zactly, used glocks (police trade in beaters) for $450…. holy balls how boutno?!?!?! fun store, but id rather have ugly and cheap than pretty and pricey any day of the week

      • Seth Hill

        Like I said, I don’t know what their financials look like, but those 162 stores create more overhead than a single mom and pop shop does. It could very well be that there is so much overhead that the deals they get are just enough to cover their operating expenses for all of their locations. Then again, they could be pricing as a premium because they think they can. I know that if I was the CEO of the place and I saw continual losses (you don’t have talk of bankruptcy after a single quarter of loss), the first thing I would do is start digging into the financials, pricing, expenses, etc.

  • Vhyrus

    The press release was like business buzzwords mad libs. Omni-channel? Seriously?

  • A.WChuck

    Aw, our very own TFB was engaged in the “recent speculative news articles”. An easy way to kill a company is spread rumors, hearsay, and speculation. Ya can’t call those bullets back…

  • J.T.

    I have a feeling they will close some “under-performing” stores to hold off bankruptcy for a couple years. They have opened 60 new stores over the last 4-5 years in order to capitalize on the Obama gun and ammo market and it is probably coming back to bite them now that things are slower.

    • LGonDISQUS

      Real estate might be the whistle that plays the best cash song.

      Sears knows this well, too.

  • RSG

    I really hope this is a wake up call for them to be more price competitive. The fewer options for the consumer, the better for the remaining retailers. I’m all for more choices.

  • Phillip Cooper

    … and so of course TFB still has to stamp that big “BANKRUPT” bit over the splash graphic, right?

    You guys are seriously just playing this right from the MSM clickbait handbook, aren’t you?

  • Bill Revoir

    Gander Mountain is not concerned with “very soft” firearm sales, they have become a clothing/footwear store that just happens to carry firearms with prices at or over MSRP over the last few years.

    • SPQR9

      Quite a few “clothing/footwear” stores have gone out of business recently….

    • Nashvone

      That business model might work with first time firearm buyers but they quickly learn.

    • Mike

      I bought some nice “operator” clothing from GM a few years ago, Guns are above MSRP, crazy

  • 1LT Homer

    Oh no! Where will I buy guns and ammo at retail +10% markup?

    I say bring back Galyans.

    • iksnilol

      10% markup? Where’d you find GM that cheap?

  • John

    Huh. Maybe Wal-Mart really did stop carrying ARs because they weren’t profitable.

    • Cymond

      Maybe AR-15s weren’t profitable, but they even got rid of the 18″ pump shotguns, and all of the tactical style airsoft/air guns.

      • Pumpkin King XXIII

        I think they must have been selling them too low. A friend of mine was a small ffl and use to buy colt ar’s and Remington 870s from Walmart. He said it was cheaper than he could get them from his distributor.
        So maybe they were selling them too cheap.

    • BigR

      Wal Mart sucks!!!!

  • Juggernaut

    If they can’t make money in a super- low interest environment they will never make money.

  • baserock love

    Hmm, not to sound like a broken record here but maybe this “constant adaptation and desire to offer our customers the best selection, best value and best service” should be ya know, not charging 10% to 20% more for just about everything compared to every competitor in the area.

    The ONLY thing i can buy at GM is powder and primers as they have for some reason not marked up the living crap out of those. If i see a gun i want, it’s 100 dollars less at the small non chain store that’s 10 minutes away. If i see ammo it’s 20% more than at the wal mart or online and 10% more than the academy across the street.

    A box of 150 rounds of xm193 american eagle at walmart is 48 bucks but costs 70 bucks at GM. Cheap range .223 that’s 7.75 for 20 at walmart is almost 12 dollars at GM.

  • Rimfire

    Yes, not only new gun and ammo pricing, but used guns were always way too pricey compared to everyone else

    • Nashvone

      You mean used guns at new gun prices?

      • iksnilol

        You can literally buy a NIB Glock cheaper at all other retailers than you can get an used beater Glock at GM.

  • Hinermad

    “…they never openly address the allegations of going bankrupt.”

    If they’re evaluating their options, which is what it sounds like, then it would be premature to either confirm or deny it. Even if that’s the best looking option they’re considering right now.

    Maybe they’re trying to actually be honest about what they’re doing, instead of denying it now and filing for bankruptcy in three weeks.

    • SPQR9

      There are legal reasons for maintaining that they have not made a decision yet.

  • mark

    Until it’s confirmed by the company can you take down the “BANKRUPT” stamp from your article? I don’t have any Gander Mountains near me but I’m sure the employees would appreciate you not contributing to the rumor mill. Perhaps rediscover your journalistic ETHICS. We’d hate to think your standards were down in the gutter with the likes of NYT and CNN.

  • john4637

    Hopefully for Gander the national workforce will grow again under our new president and folks will have a little money again to spend on recreation.

  • Nashvone

    My local brick and mortar has a better selection, more knowledgeable staff and better pricing than GM would even think of having. The only people they are kidding are the first time buyers of any outdoor gear.

  • Harold

    I hope you get sued and lose for the bankruptcy speculation.

    • Paul White

      the odds of that are nil. Gander would have to prove both that they knew it was false and that it was done with malicious intent.

      • Sonny

        One can still hope.

        • Cymond

          I don’t think that lawsuit would get very far.

  • ccpotter

    I don’t get gun owners being gleeful about a very pro-2A gun store falling on hard times. If you’re going to root for someone to go bankrupt, do it for Dick’s.

    Gander’s prices are high, I get it (though their sale prices can be competitive). Their business model is based on bringing in new shooters with a non-threatening environment that looks and feels like a department store, rather than the MSM/Hollywood stereotype of the dingy hole-in-the-wall gun shop full of neckbearded militia wackos. That’s how they get away with the higher pricing, but is that really a bad thing? People who didn’t grow up with firearms and don’t have gun-owning friends are intimidated by the process of looking at and buying guns, and stores like Gander provide a security blanket. When they get more experienced, they’ll probably go elsewhere. But you have to get them in the door.

    Also, people who go to brick and mortar stores with no intention of actually buying anything, take up the staff’s time asking for advice and looking at their inventory, then go home and buy the item from an online retailer, deserve to burn in hell. If you plan to buy online, then browse online. Not just talking about guns, but it definitely applies here.

    • bobby_b

      Exactly. A lot of “first guns” were bought at Gander.

    • baserock love

      I’m sorry but did you just call a company that by your own admission gouges the living hell out of and preys on people new to the gun world “very pro 2a”?

      Sounds more like they’re very pro exploiting the 2a. They are price gougers.

      And i think the perverse pleasure I and other people are getting from it is the fact that a lot of people here for one thing or another go to gander mountain periodically, and we would LIKE to shop there but can’t because we just can’t justify it and every time we’ve gone in there we’ve wondered “How does this place stay in business?”. Well now we know.

      • Pumpkin King XXIII

        Beat me to it. The prices were so high on gums I serious had doubts they wanted to sell them.
        There is no GM too near me, so when I visiti my cousin in Bryan Texas I would stopped by.
        My cousin said don’t bother, no one shops there everyone knows they are too expensive to buy anything from. I think I went there 7 to 10 times and never bought anything because it was too overpriced. Quit trying a couple of years ago. The black Friday deal were not even good.
        It’s almost impossible to recover from the thought that you price gouge.
        When you have that bulk buying you should be able to slap the prices down. So it means they are either too inefficient or they are greedy. Either way you won’t make it, when the small competition is beating your price.

        • baserock love

          Yup, it’s a great store…..if you could find ANY reason to shop there.

          Also funny you mention, i live in bryan texas and that’s the GM i’m talking about. Next time you’re there drop me a message here and we can go sling some lead and maybe pick through the bones of the GM liquidation sale to find anything worth paying what they’re asking for haha.

    • BigR

      The problem is Gander’s prices are so high, we’re forced to go on line, to buy! Maybe THEY

  • Maz Gunsmith

    I pray GM remains in business for many years to come. I always send a new potential customer over to GM, so they may compare the pricing of firearms. Serious buyers most always return to my small Shop to purchase a new or used firearm. Thank you GM, for your continued Big-Box failed methodology. Your continued over-pricing of firearms (new & used),for ammunition and accessories, is a huge help for us Mom/Pop Gun Shops. Thank you, & wishing Gander Mountain many years of continued success.

  • Eagle12457N@hotmail.com

    I’ve been a GM customer since the days of a small catalogue store out in the middle of nowhere southeastern Wisconsin. GM has lost their way with a Big Box business model which was the exact opposite of how they successfully started out, quality equipment at affordable price points. For the past 10 years every time I stopped in at one of GM’s flagship stores to get something I needed they either didn’t have it or it was $10 to $30 more than other competors.

    If GM has any hope at all to survive NOW is the time to change. Go back to what you were good at, warehouse sales, sell on line, cut your margins and reduce realestate holdings (under performing stores). GM management should have taken the hint 2 years ago when Cabelas was about togo under.

    Eagle 68

  • Bigg Bunyon

    Living in a small town, I used to buy reloading supplies and components exclusively from Gander Mountain. That was back in the late ’70s and ’80s. Then they started expanding and for some reason their nice little (but well presented) catalog began to looking more and more like a Neiman Marcus fashion statement production. What was once a great company to deal with, rather quickly became a chore to wade through. It seemed to me the medium WAS the message and I lost interest. At about this time I discovered MidwayUSA and later many others.
    Gander Mountain seemed to me to be expanding for the sake of expanding and lost their way as a result. I hate to see a pro 2nd amendment company go into receivership, but they brought this on themselves.

  • edski

    Wanted to buy a Ruger 1911 Commander stainless. Went to the local (2 Miles) GM. The Price $999. Went to the local Cabelas (9 Miles) The Price $699. I won’t even go in the store anymore.