Gander Mountain Liquidating 126 Stores After Camping World Buys Them at Auction

Camping World

The saga that is the financial health of Gander Mountain is nearing a close. Back in February TFB reported that Gander Mountain was rumored to be facing money problems. The rumors apparently were so bothersome that Gander Mountain was prompted to give a public statement. Rumors were put to rest temporarily in early March when they filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. The rumor mill started back up with people believing Sportsman’s Warehouse was the front-runner to buy Gander Mountain. This was proven wrong when Camping World Holdings (aka “Camping World”) bought them at a bankruptcy auction for $390 million. Sportsman’s Warehouse was bidding against Camping World in hopes of purchasing them, but bowed out before the $390 million mark.

As part of the deal of purchasing Gander Mountain, Camping World must keep open at least 17 of the former 160 retail locations. If there is any doubt in people’s minds of that being true, here is an e-mail sent out by Gander Mountain regarding their current situation within the market.

Camping World

There is a public statement that extends from this e-mail on a Gander Mountain website that further details this:

In March 2017, Gander Mountain filed for voluntary Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and began the work to restructure the company and remain a part of the outdoor community. In May 2017, Gander Mountain and Overton’s were acquired by Camping World Holdings, Inc.

The announcement of Camping World acquiring the Gander Mountain brand means that we will continue to be a part of the specialty outdoor market. Many of our customers that depend on us for their recreational lifestyle will continue to enjoy the great products and services that have been the company’s hallmark throughout its history. We at Gander Mountain believe that our best days are still ahead of us and we ask that you join us in welcoming and supporting this successful transition. Camping World shares the same passion for the outdoors as Gander Mountain and our customers, making for a great melding of businesses and outdoor communities.

Welcome to the team, Camping World! We are excited for the future and the infinite possibilities ahead of us to serve the outdoor community!

Check back in Fall 2017 for more details!

The public statement paints a nice warm picture, but the fact of the matter is 126 sporting goods stores are closing. There may only be 34 or less stores that remain. Regardless if you are a fan of Gander Mountain stores, it is always disheartening to hear firearm companies failing.

The extension to the e-mail that Gander Mountain recently sent out can be seen HERE.

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.


  • Tim

    Buggy whips, man. Gotta stop making ’em.

  • BillC

    “…it is always disheartening to hear firearm companies failing.”
    It’s not a “firearms” company. It’s also not “disheartening” to hear them fail. They sucked, in every, single, metric.

    • Rick O’Shay

      This is my take on it too. They’re no more a firearms company than Cabela’s or Bass Pro or Academy. They were a lifestyle retailer, and lousy one at that. Their Austin location had nothing going for it that any of the other big box outdoor retailers weren’t already doing, and better. And that’s saying something. Cabela’s and Bass Pro aren’t legendary for their low, low prices.

      • nova3930

        Exactly. Both Cabelas and Bass Pro at least have some stuff that’s reasonably priced, never could say the same for Gander. On sale even their stuff was still high….

      • Frank

        Yeah, last time I went in they had a display of Benchmade knives that were all at or above MSRP.

      • missourisam

        I lived close to the original Bass Pro store in Springfield, Mo. when they were getting started. Since they have grown, Bass Pro has gotten far from their roots that helped them grow. My main gripe is their loss leader type of advertising. They will advertise a real bargain, but unless you want to stand in line to be the first in the door, you will never be able to buy that product. I finally asked an honest store clerk what the deal was. He told me that in this case, an add for ammo, there had been eight boxes on the shelf when the store opened on the first day of the sale. With no limit, the first customer bought all the stock, and the sales personnel were told to push the same caliber at a higher price, and a large profit margin. I have not shopped a sale at Bass Pro since, nor will I.

    • Paul White

      This. Although they’re saying our local one may actually be retained, which shocks me.

      I don’t know, I sure wouldn’t mind if they manage to not suck, good options are nice to have, but as they’ve been, hoooy boy.

  • Jess

    Well… I greatly dislike Gander Mountain because their prices were ridiculous, and at least the one around where I live, no one had any idea what they were talking about. But really, it is the only one around that had stuff I was interested in. Hopefully REI, Cabela’s or Bass Pro takes over that location, since there already is a Camping World right next door and it has nothing that Gander Mountain has.

    • Gun Fu Guru

      Many every Gander Mountains have a Camping World across the street. My one in Roanoke VA does. The two near my parents do. The one by my mother-in-law’s does.

  • olivehead

    As someone else said, none of these “outdoor superstores” are known for their low prices, especially on firearms. Bass Pro and Cabela’s will go the way of Gander Mountain if they don’t get with the program, i.e., establish more of an online business and make money from volume, not jacked up prices per unit. There are a couple well known and generally price-gouging LGS in my neck of the woods (although at one of the 2 you can sometimes find a good deal on a particular used gun), but when your big box retail prices are higher than those two LGS, you have a problem. Cabela’s (Cabela’s’s?) gun library needs some work, too. When you’re offering a used S&W 686 standard 4″ model for $899.99, again, you have a problem.

    • Nashvone

      There’s a LGS in my area that has a larger selection with better prices and a more knowledgeable staff than either BassPro or Gander Mountain. Will I miss GM in my area? Not One Bit.

    • P161911

      I was shocked to see the price match signs at Gander Mountain, when they were $100 more in the Glocks than the Academy less than a mile down the road.

    • Vet for Trump

      My local Bass Pro jacked up all the prices on reloading supplies again, so I contacted them on their website and told them I will no longer be a customer and to delete my online account and remove me from their mailing list. Threw away my Preferred Customer card. Now I save up and order my supplies from Graf’s or Powder Valley or Midsouth Shooters Supplies or DiamondK Brass.
      Guns I buy at Academy or Walmart.

  • Eric Lawrence

    Stopped by a Gander Mtn yesterday. All firearms acc were 10 percent off, so their $20 Pmags were still 4-5 dollars too expensive. Guns and ammo are not discounted. Gander was at the very bottom of the barrel when solvent and even when going out of business they are still too expensive. Sad.

    • flyingburgers

      Liquidations usually work as a reverse auction… the discount percentage goes up as the store clears out. The liquidator isn’t going to bother doing market research to figure out how much things really should cost.

      • nova3930

        Yep, I’ll probably roll by the local one later in the process. Might be some bits and pieces at a decent price by that time…

    • Bill

      from what i’ve seen, most stores are charging way too much for items. Just stop and watch the “sales” … when they offer items for 70% off .. do you really suppose that they are not making any money … even with the price reduced by 70% ? Is there any reason that the buying public cannot “negotiate”??

  • Will

    I have visited three Gander Mountain locations, within 50 miles of my home, and there were some of the most high pressure sales stores I’ve ever entered.
    At the Ofallon, Il. Store I was asked, no less than, twenty times by associates if they could be of any assistance to me. Very nice folks but it’s a self service, warehouse type store, except for firearms.
    They had a good selection of products
    I like to browse and take my time. That was my ONLY complaint about Gander Mountain.

    • Gun Fu Guru

      Funny. When I visited my Roanoke VA store, no one bothered to help me. When I walked to the gun counter and asked to see a gun, they asked if I grabbed a number even though I was literally the only customer in the store.

      • Nashvone

        It’s a way companies keep track of customer interaction. Where I work, there are at least a half dozen ways for me to get in touch with the IT department. No matter which one I choose, I still have to submit a “HelpDesk” ticket so they can say “See. I helped someone today which justifies my phony baloney job.”

      • Rooftop Voter

        That reminds me of the scene from “Meet the Parents” when Ben Stiller is made to wait behind the line at the airport when he is the ONLY one in that line at the ticket counter. Loved his comment to the agent about “those sticks in her hair.”
        Yep, make ’em wait. Why? Because I can.

        • Gun Fu Guru

          Too right, mate. Very POG attitude.

  • Jim N Jenna SK

    They deserve it. I’m so happy.

    • Jim N Jenna SK

      To add to why, just one reason..

      Went to buy a 3k rifle. Asked to see it. Got treated as if I was never going to afford it, this is after I had to point it out to the employee. He didn’t even know what rifle I was talking about even though it was RIGHT BEHIND HIM. Never again. Incompetent people.

  • Darhar M.

    Good riddance to their overpriced goods.

  • FOC Ewe

    Richard Tip needs to do a follow up Gander Mountain video….

  • Kerry Tatlow

    My local GM always did right by me. I will definitely miss them.

  • Vet for Trump

    The GM in Myrtle Beach just opened a year ago, now it’s closing.
    Only been there twice, once to look around and once I bought some once-fired brass.
    Prices on guns were too high compared to Walmart and Academy.

  • Matt Collins

    The only good thing I have to say about Gander Mtn, is that when I stopped in at the Huber Heights, Ohio location about a month ago – they had a bunch of .30 Remington AR “Hog Hammer” ammo on clearance, priced at $22 per box of 20, which is really low for that obscure caliber. That is literally the only good thing I can say about my one & only experience at Gander Mountain since I am from Maine where we don’t have one. After looking through the store I was left thinking: “What’s the point of this when compared to Cabela’s & Bass Pro”? the ammo selection was weak.

  • nova3930

    QUICK! Markup everything 300% before we “liquidate it” for half off!

    • Ted Unlis

      That’s exactly what Cabelas does with most of their “sale” or “clearance” items.

    • A_fed_up_fed

      Reminds me of Montgomery Ward in the 1970s. The retail business was changing but Wards ignored them until 1991 when they were liquidated in bankruptcy. In the Wards district where I worked, it was the “Markup in inventory” that counted, even if sales numbers were subpar. So if a store was packed with merchandise that had been bought for $1 million and was retail tagged at $2 million average, the Markup In Inventory was 50% and the store manager got a big bonus. Sales would suck because the competition selling the same items only used a 32% markup rate. Even though Wards sales figures kept falling, their store managers kept getting awards because their managers kept the Markup In Inventory requirement high, because they got bonuses to do that.

  • Seth Hill

    Well, if anyone can fix Gander Mountain it would be Marcus. I will say, I did not see or consider Camping World being interested in GM.

  • Ted Unlis

    What I find perplexing about the collapse of Gander Mountain is why it didn’t come years sooner. Full retail plus pricing on just about every item they sold was the inept business model Gander Mountain management stubbornly chose to cling to past the point of no return.

  • Bon

    Worked there, whole company was in fantasy land on things and could not keep anyone to save their life. When you try pretending that you give wages that are competitive and liveable for a family your already a joke let alone when you look at how they operate and sell. Privately owned did not help this one at all.

  • AC97

    And nothing of value was lost.

  • Paul Hurst

    Another store that gave me crap service goes down the toilet. No tears shed.

  • Joseph A. Merrill III

    Company has been a failure in Motion since the doors first opened. I knew the founder he never had a proper sense of how to conduct a business which would serve it’s customers not just his bottom line.

  • JDC

    Had to laugh. GM is headquartered in nearby Minnesota. As others have said, they sell for MSRP and above…usually above. Sportsman’s Guide HQ is located about 10 miles away. They sell ammo and firearms along with a MUCH bigger selection of sporting goods and clothing for good prices, below MSRP and well below on some sale items.

    I went into the Gander 12 miles from my house after the first closure was in the paper. As others noted, the “sale” prices posted were higher than I could buy it in person or online elsewhere. The “used” guns were mostly posted at nearly MSRP prices, even those “well used” ones.

    One of the guys behind the gun counter was chatting about why the store closing…”This store has never been profitable. They are closing it and a few others, but the company is healthy and almost every other store is profitable.” Company line, obviously. This was about 30 days before they filed for chapter 11.

    Now they are offering “up to 30% off” after almost 45 days. Gee, almost at MSRP, eh?

  • keazzy

    I’ll never forget that at the beginning of the 22 ammo shortage, my Gander Mt. was sending employees to Walmart everyday to buy up what they had and resell it at their store. Who ever came up with that idea didn’t realize Walmart had slightly different packaging and busted them for doing it. I don’t remember the brand but supposedly Walmart told the ammo companies if they wanted Walmart as a customer they would have to do something about their relationship with Gander. That’s all hearsay but I would love to think it happened that way. I can attest for the ammo coming from Walmart though.

    This reminds me. How is Springfield today.

  • Raptor Fred
  • Anonymoose

    Found out on Friday that my local store is closing. RIP

  • Geoff Timm

    During the .22LR shortage I got a few “Sale” priced boxes. My last purchase I needed a M-lock mount from Magpul. They had it at MSRP. Geoff Who notes they weren’t his first two choices for the Magpul item.

  • Bigg Bunyon

    Back when they were a catalog company, I bought all my loading supplies, components and general shooting items from them. Then their catalogs became “high end” slick paper boutique affairs and their prices began to skyrocket. That was in the late ’70s early ’80s I seem to recall. Once they fully embraced the boutique appearance, I stopped using them completely as they no longer appealed to me for a number of reason with price being just one of them.
    I hate to see businesses fail and stores close, but they brought this on themselves.

  • Ramon Valenzuela

    They were lousey for sure .way over priced .i went there yestetday to use my reward certificates i earned be spending my hard earned money there and was told sorry were no longer excepting them.thats straight up fraud .there was no email,no warning ,jerks.after all its not like they were coupons .i signed up for a credit card ,spent my money and earned them .good ridens butt holes.

  • Rooftop Voter

    The only time the local GM had any decent prices was during their grand opening. About a week later, prices started their incremental climb and never looked back. They must be really proud of their inventory judging from the pricing I saw about 3 weeks ago. You know they are not moving product when there is dust on the items but there are freshly applied higher price tags on the shelf edge. Parking lot looks like Ground Zero at Alamogordo. Won’t be missed here.

  • Richard Chelvan

    It was predetermined by economic forces. The same forces that were at work when companies like Gander put a lot of mom and pop gun, hunting/fishing, and camping stores out of business! Amazon is killing even Wally World.

  • JamesDrouin

    “As part of the deal of purchasing Gander Mountain, Camping World must keep open at least 17 of the former 160 retail locations.”

    Nothing wrong with starting small(ish) and then building up. However, GM’s problem was “management”, and really “bad management” at that.

  • Marko

    Apparently not many people remember the last time they went bankrupt. Maybe 20-25 years ago. they had (three?) stores in Wisconsin and a huge store and mail order complex in Wilmot, WI. Closed all of it. Screwed a bunch of their suppliers, One of them a company I dealt with for my store, stuck him for 250K. After the fire died down they reopened, and really started expanding to the 126 we see today. At this level of business its all just a real life monopoly game. Unfortunately the employees are the ones left without jobs.

  • OldGringo

    Camping World’s president was accused of being both anti-gun and anti-hunting a few years ago. SO, he made some press release saying Camping World supported all types of outdoor activities. But if you go to a Camping World store you never seen things like gun vaults and safes that most hunters and people that travel with long guns need. They have many truck accessories as well but no gun racks, or other items that serve gun people. Many of us got on a “boycott Camping World” internet campaign a while back when he voiced support and maybe gave money to gun control groups. SO lets sit back and see if they keep assault type rifles and handguns in their product line.

  • Mikial

    Wish I had some extra money to go in and buy a bunch of stuff at major liquidation discounts. Assuming of course, their discount prices weren’t still higher than everyone elses regular prices.

  • Scott

    When there liquidation started, I went in just to see what kind of deals they had on firearms. Since they were liquidating, they were no longer having any sales, but they weren’t reducing the prices of their firearms.
    So now, during an ‘Everything must go’ situation, there prices increased due to lack of sale prices.

  • Pumpkin King XXIII

    Wow, went to the one in Tyler today and the savings are huge, guns a whole 5% off, fishing rods and reels 10&15% off, and cloths 15 to 20 off. So essentially they are still higher than cabelas, bass pro and academy even in liquidation.