Along with the recent announcement of Gander Mountain filing for bankruptcy, we also have MC Sports, a Mid-West based sporting store that has been known for a very long commitment to responsible firearms sales, is closing down all 68 of the current stores. From the news article about the Michigan based sporting goods store chain-
The company, also known as Michigan Sporting Goods Distributors Inc., said in a statement it was “unable to reach an agreement on a viable out of court proposal” to restructure its balance sheet and operating performance. It said the filing will allow MC “to address a number of legacy costs,” including long-term leases and trade debt that have “hampered the company’s ability to develop a clear path forward.”
MC Sports has more than $14 million in trade debt, according to its court filings. It owes about $3.8 million to Nike and $2.4 million to Under Armour with totals in the hundreds of thousands for others such as Adidas Group, Columbia Sportswear and Wilson Team Sports, among others.
The company also has almost $475,000 in debt for media and marketing services, court filings show.
I’m not a business-oriented person, but I can certainly speculate about the Gander Mountain and MC Sports closures. Both store chains began in the Mid-West, Gander Mountain in Wisconsin in the 1960s, and MC Sports in Michigan in 1946. They grew tremendously large in this region of the United States, probably reaching their peak in the 1980s and 1990s, but Gander filed for bankruptcy protection in the 1990s. Honestly, I think both stores were victims of the internet and globalization. They offered a diverse set of firearms and ammunition choices at reasonable prices to folks who couldn’t otherwise go to larger gun shops or didn’t have enough choice at small town places. As a physical store front this is an outstanding service that they capitalized on in small town Midwest USA. With the growth of the internet, and the ability of smaller stores to actually compete with the big ones because it being so easy to order firearms and parts, these giant sporting goods stores appeared to have been just losing money faster than they could make money. Moving on from these stores, we could possibly see Dick’s going down the same path, but I don’t know if that is the case because Dick’s caters to such a different market entirely when it comes to demographics, in addition to being located all over the United States.
Only time will tell what the future holds for these larger brick and mortar sporting goods stores.