Gander Mountain files for bankruptcy, 3 Minnesota stores to close

The outdoor and hunting goods retailer is shuttering 32 stores around the country.

Gander Mountain has filed for bankruptcy protection and will close 32 of its underperforming stores.

The St. Paul-based outdoor retailer confirmed on Friday it had filed for Chapter 11 relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, following an "in-depth review of the company's strategic options."

It told GoMN News that 32 of its stores will close and that will include three in Minnesota – in Rogers, Mankato and Woodbury.

That will leave the retailer with nine locations in Minnesota – in Blaine, Forest Lake, Lakeville, Eden Prairie, St. Cloud, Bemidji, Duluth, Rochester and Baxter.

It will mean dozens of jobs lost in Minnesota, with Gander stores generally employing 20-30 full-time workers and 20-30 on a part-time to seasonal basis.

A company spokesman told GoMN some of the affected workers might be moved to other open positions elsewhere in the state.

The store in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, will also be closing.

The bankruptcy filing will help the retailer speed up its sale while protecting its employees. It says it's in "active discussions with a number of parties" interested in buying the firm and expects to get bids prior to an auction being held late next month.

It's hoping to close the sale by May 15. In the meantime, employees will continue to be paid on time, their benefits will stay in place and their retirement accounts protected.

It was reported last month that the company was nearing bankruptcy, with the Star Tribune saying it comes at a time when its competitors, like Cabela's and Sports Authority, have also been struggling.

The company is owned by David Pratt and the Erickson family, which also owns Holiday Station stores, the newspaper notes.

Gander has more than 150 stores across 27 states in the Midwest, southern and eastern U.S.

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