Outdoor gear retailer Gander Mountain Co. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as of March 11, 2017. This company is among many other sporting goods and fashion retailers who have also declined in sales in past years, likely due to a shift in shopping patterns. More people are interested in online shopping than heading out to the brick and mortar stores, according to USA Today.
Taking a gander at what’s to come
Gander Mountain is seeking a buyer and plans to shut down 32 of 162 stores in Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Nearly 1,280 full-time and part-time employees are expected to be impacted by this decision. Despite closing a percentage of its stores, Gander Mountain expects the business to run as usual while awaiting the restructuring process.
A written statement by Gander Mountain was released March 11, explaining the reasoning behind the company’s actions:
“Today’s action is the result of an in-depth review of the company’s strategic options undertaken in recent months to preserve the value of the company and position it for long-term success. Like many retailers, Gander Mountain experienced challenging traffic patterns and shifts in consumer demand resulting from increased direct-to-customer sales by key vendors and accelerated growth of e-commerce.”
Gander Mountain believes filing for bankruptcy protection and selling the business is the best way to move forward.
“Despite aggressive actions to improve the efficiency of the company’s retail operations and support functions, the underlying financial impact from underperforming stores and unproductive, excess inventory hampered efforts to create a sustainable path forward.”
Gander Mountain is currently discussing deals with a number of prospects who are interested in a going-concern sale. The company plans to hold an official auction at the end of April, with hopes of granting rights to a winning party by early May. Gander Mountain anticipates the closing sale to take place no later than May 15 of this year.
It’s no surprise to many
The idea of Gander Mountain filing for bankruptcy may not be a surprise to many. In February, Reuters reported that the company would file bankruptcy soon, stating it would happen sometime last month. While the predictions were slightly off by timeframe, they weren’t off in essence of predicting the company would follow recent trends. According to the source, Gander Mountain would be the fifth outdoor retailer to file for bankruptcy within the last year – Sports Chalet and Sports Authority Inc. to name a few. Chains including American Apparel, Wet Seal and The Limited have filed for bankruptcy protection as well, according to USA Today.
What’s the bottom line? Shopping patterns are shifting. People are no longer interested in spending time at the mall, shopping from store to store. Instead, customers want to sit at home, on their couches and browse the internet, shifting from tab to tab through online retailers. Unfortunately for traditional retailers, the trends in online shopping are only expected to become more popular. Advances in technology will make it even easier for users to shop from their mobile devices. For retailers to succeed in this day and age – and the future – they need to hop on board with the trends in e-commerce.