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Gander Mountain is one of a few national chains dedicated to outdoor sports that sells firearms. Along with stores like Cabela’s, Bass Pro, Dick’s and Academy, they offer gear for everything from camping to hunting and everything in between, but do doubt in part because of its slumping firearms business, Gander Mountain is in trouble. According to, the St. Paul Minnesota based retail store is no longer able to support itself and is closing a number of stores.

Gander Mountain, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Friday, said it will shutter 32 “underperforming” stores, but none in the St. Louis area.

The struggling outdoors retailer also said it has secured debtor-in-possession financing from Wells Fargo, and is in discussions with “a number of parties” interested in bidding on the company. It hopes to close on a sale by May 15, the company said.

“Employee pay will continue to arrive on time and in full, employee benefits will remain in place, retirement accounts are intact and protected,” Gander Mountain said in a statement.

In the wake of Donald Trump’s election firearms sales are in a significant slump. The panic buying that happened when Barack Obama announced his planned “assault weapons” ban and Hillary Clinton was expected to be the next Commander In Chief saw huge increases in gun purchases by the general public. But without that driving force companies are having a tougher time making ends meet. SilencerCo just had a round of layoffs not too long ago, Remington cut staff in New York yesterday, and now Gander Mountain has fallen the latest victim of the firearms slump.

Donald Trump might be driving job creation in other industries, but he’s isn’t doing any favors for the gun business.

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  1. If the dems got behind national constitutional carry without restrictions it would destroy firearms companies in America.

    Good thing the dems are too stupid to breath without instructions.

    • How so? That would significantly increase the (already impressive) demand for compact handguns.

      • The main enemy of firearms owners has been the dems. If the dems get behind the ownership of firearms it will relieve the sky is falling pressure from the potg. People relax. They lose their fear that types of guns or carry are being banned. Sales will slump.

        This is what happened in 68. We were becoming a mostly a city people and guns were for the most part used just for hunting and target shooting. Had the dems left well enough alone gun ownership was really on its way out.

        Then they passed the 68 gca. That jolted me and a bunch others into the pro gun fight.

        • jwm, I remember those days . And among those pushing for GCA ’68 behind the scenes were the major domestic manufacturing gun companies feeling the competition of quality imported military surplus rifles and handguns available in those days for $20 something through mail order advertisements in the back pages of gun magazines, as compared to new US made products at about $50 to $100 in the brick ‘n mortar retail stores.

      • Gander put themself out of business by having too much overstock into many varieties of things that didn’t live on any day you could walk into a Gander Mountain store and see an ocean of clothing of all different kinds and maybe one or two people looking at the clothing it’s just too much inventory of too many different kinds that isn’t moving fast enough the stores themselves are too big for the amount of customers flowing in the door to buy goods. I am sure that Donald Trump’s election did reduce the amount of frenzied gun buying however no retailer should be depending upon here in their frenzy buying of anyone particular good to sustain the entire store in the case of Gander Mountain firearms did not account for even 20% of the floor space of the store so to blame their circumstances on Donald Trump and the lack of frenzy done buying is simply to avoid the fact that the other portion of the store was selling things that people weren’t buying certainly not in comparison to the amount of goods offered I love shopping there but I can’t deny the fact that there was not a sufficient amount of people occupying and buying goods from the 80% of the store that separate from guns If anybody is the victim here it is the employees of the stores who came into work and knew their products and were there to help customers but behind the scenes corporate was buying more goods than they could sell and creating this problem over a period of years

  2. I call BS on that. The same reason Sports Authority went out of business is the same reason this company is going out. Firearms is only a small portion of their revenue. Blame competition from the likes of Dicks and mismanagement not Donald Trump.

    • Agreed.

      Who buys guns from the major retails like Bass pro, etc.? Sometimes around Christmas they’ll have a few good deals on a few rifles but the rest of the year and with handguns, their prices stink. Local gun shops beat them all the time on price and service.

      I don’t understand how big chains have such poor pricing, you’d think they would get better pricing since they probably buy a fair number of guns across all the stores.

      • They may get better pricing but they also have much more overhead. More employees, big stores that cost a lot to heat / cool , cost a lot to keep the lights on and probably higher property taxes for the land they occupy.

      • The problem is their “deals” usually just bring the price down to what you could get at any local gun store 365days of the year.

        • Exactly this. I used to shop at Gander like a decade ago. Eventually I realized they charge a 20% premium on everything they sell, and their service sucks. Magazines are especially outrageous. I saw steel AR15 magazines that were selling online for 7 bucks going for 40 bucks each in store. Just crazy.

      • Their pricing structure is like many other stores. The items that sell the best are t he ones that have the highest markups.
        When guns were selling well, their prices went up. Same with ammo.
        Now that guns sales are down, these stores aren’t able to respond quickly enough, and they lose money by the bucketful. Finding a new profit leader is hard sometimes, but is made harder with top-heavy management, especially when the accounting office is full of bean counters who understand figures but not marketing.

    • I agree 100+ %…I mean come on…Sudden “so called firearms slump”. What did this business do before when it wasn’t “selling-firearms-by the dump truckload!?!?” I’m going say bad book keeping, mismanagement, corporate malfeasance, etc…

    • agreed. gander is not suffering any market slump…….they are overpriced & have some of the poorest customer service in ANY outdoor based company, i have EVER been in……..the ONLY plus i can say is they had a promo, not published, that they would match a local price on a gun plus a discount (kant remember…..i’m old)……..i am just now getting the email flyer, i signed up for over a year ago BUT EVERY DAY! ugh……guess they are trying to catch up……to late for me.

    • Gander’s prices on guns were OK but the internet is quickly becoming the big player in the gun business.

      Not even taking into consideration the crazy deals on Slickguns, I’ve found that if I use the price I find there is always a lot less than the usual price of the LGS to whom I’m shipping it. No need to haggle—just a simple online experience. And then there’s Rural King. Rural King is a MONSTER in gun sales. Their prices are so low I’ve been told they don’t really make money on gun sales…

    • Ah, yes… Sports Authority… I remember well when they acquired the Oshman’s brand – and promptly ran it into the dirt. Whoever was calling the shots at that company had no idea what Sporting Goods are to people who actually like to go outside; their first order of business was remove all of the guns and hunting gear from the store and severely cut back on the fishing too. And now they’re gone.
      Gander Mountain, on the other hand, was a big-store format dedicated to only one thing: the pursuit and taking of anything that walks, flies or swims. A cool idea to be sure – I fell in love immediately when the opened their first store in town. While their prices weren’t always bad, they often weren’t great – at least not as great as a big company with lots of buying power should be. And of course, there was the specialization of it all: Academy and Dick’s sell the guns, the ammo, the archery, the clothes – but they also have diversified with everything else that some weird people out there consider worthwhile – athletics, fitness, footwear, everyday clothing, etc.
      That diversity is what gives Academy (and that recent interloper to Texas, Dick’s) their staying power. Even when gun sales are down, people will still have a need to wander in and shop for something other than a new gun or ammo, and even their gun-shy spouse can still find something there they might want.

    • Wrong. I work at Gander Mountain. Firearms are responsible for at least 40% of our gross profit. Sales have dropped, but we are still selling quite a bit in our store. Overton’s was a large contributing factor of the Chapter 11, and GMTN has been trying to sell it for a long time. In addition, the family which owns the company are not retailers, and don’t know how to properly manage a large retail operation. Example: We have inventory which is YEARS old and hasn’t gone anywhere. All it does is sit on the shelves and eats money. Another problem is not having the product we need, especially product which compliments and should accompany items we do sell, from magazines and other accessories for popular firearms. These are small examples, but are indicative of a larger problem. Our prices tend to be too high, and payroll too low to support enough employees. Pay for firearms associates who have important responsibilities and obligations is low, compensation for meeting ever-increasing corporate demands is non-existent, and we are not only brow beaten into compliance, but get no incentives other than a pat on the back when we perform well, something the department in our store does very well. The only reason most of us stay is because we like what we do, and the people we work with. We have loyalty to each other and the customers we serve. We really don’t feel anything for the company. From what I’ve heard, the people who are interested in purchasing the company ARE retailers, and know how a retail store works, so we’re hoping this pending sale will greatly improve the company, and make Gander Mountain truly America’s firearm store.

  3. The store near me has a huge parking lot that is almost always empty. Never understood how they could stay open. Even the internal gun store was a ghost town during the Obama years. Prices did not reflect local conditions. That is, Gander gun prices were at the top of the price range in the city, but they seemed to have very little traffic. Even their sales prices only put them at the middle of the pricing scale. Must admit, it was nice to go there and not be harassed by “helpers”, or squozen by a horde of people.

  4. I’m finishing my last couple weeks at Gander Mountain before moving to a new job. This is hardly a surprise. “Slump” or no, Gander’s prices are always way too high to be competitive. I’m constantly matching prices with Cabela’s or Fleet Farm or what-have-you. Not just a few bucks, either. Average is probably around $75 knocked off to remain competitive.

    Not only that, but we’ve been shifting inventory between stores to the tune of 15,000 items at a time over the last month. Almost 300 guns got transferred out at once 3 weeks ago. All while being assured that our store isn’t closing.

    Meanwhile, we’re constantly told to push firearm protection plans, merchandise protection plans, and store-label credit cards. As if getting a new shooter up to speed on guns, ammo, holsters, safes, magazines, sights, scopes, etc. wasn’t enough information overload. As one of our best salesmen liked to say (before his hours were cut for not selling enough pro plans), “You can’t pay the electric bill with credit card applications.”

    Couple that with a general refusal to send AKs, AR-10s, full-size revolvers, and other high-demand items to the physical stores, and I could hardly act shocked when word came down yesterday that we were closing up shop soon.

    • Yup, just as I thought…Mismanagement, corporate malfeasance, bad book keeping…Another case of idiot bottom-feeding , middle-and upper tier management personnel who have not a clue of what their doing…To busy being cute, clever , and overly-complicated…Attempting to execute ridiculous half-ass operational planning, and F**King around with the hired help…Forgetting the golden rule of retail business….The customer is always first!!!!

      • Guess who upper management is ? EX sports authority & Circut city management, good choice Gander, lol ?

    • “Couple that with a general refusal to send AKs, AR-10s, full-size revolvers, ”

      I have seen all 3 on the racks at my local Gander.

      Selling firearms at slightly above MSRP hurt them more than anything.

    • Just visited the one in Liberty Township Ohio. Brand new store, brand new development, Bought a knife and some malted milk balls. The lady at the checkout liked my Us Army Inf hat asked if I was a vet and gave me a discount.

      Big place and 2/3 of parking lot empty. They sell under(handed)armor which most POTG have sworn off. Didn’t even look at the guns.

      And right down the road on 75 they are building a new Bass Pro.

    • I will tell a sales person ONCE not to push for the merchandise protection; I WILL walk out.

      • Unfortunately, if we don’t push firearms protection plans, Summit replacement plans, store credit cards and get accessory “baskets”, we’ll be fired. This is just another example of the brow beating we deal with on a daily basis. See my above post.

  5. If there are political causes, it would more likely be the fact that their core stores are in the most heavily anti gun northern states.

    Reality is that their prices aren’t competitive, and they over expanded.

    • Hank, need to get your info right. Minnesota is not an anti gun state. Not that the state reps don`t like the idea…but ant gun bills don`t fly far here. At least to date.

  6. They did it to themselves, no pity party here. This is what happens when you treat customers like they are dumb and can’t tell they are getting raked over the coals. “Bass Pro Shop” will be next. Iam sorry for the people who lost their jobs though.

    • Given that the private equity firm that owns Bass Pro Shops and Ranger Boats is acquiring Cabela’s, pending approval from the feds, I’m going to say that your prediction is premature.

  7. Gander Mtn is going out of business probably more due to crappy customer service, arrogant, know it all salespeople and high prices on firearms. Nobody that I know will do business with them, preferring to go to small local dealers or online shopping. In short, Gander Mtn blows. Good riddance.

    • Agreed. Retailers need to wake up the fact that the only competitive advantage brick and mortar has over online is customer service. If you staff minimally, get the cheapest people you can and then beat them like rented mules (sell more store credit cards and warranties dammit!) it give the customer the, correct, impression that you don’t give two shits about them. This was my experience with Gander. Couple that with totally noncompetitive pricing and you’ve got failure.

      • In a town a little ways from me (my brother calls it the middle of nowhere), there is a Field & Stream 1871, Dick’s & Gander Mountain. Guess which one always has an empty parking lot? Hint: GM. Even though F&S is a spinoff of Dick’s, much nicer stores. However, I find much better firearm prices either online or at semi local gun shows. Just have to have cash at the shows to get a deal. I also find it amazing that the same gun at Davidson’s shipped to my local gun store can be as much as $100 cheaper than the same gun in the display case at the store. Go figure.

    • NO, no, no. A Chapter 11 is a reorganization, not a liquidation. They have debtor-in-possession financing, and this will get rid of debt. Stockholders and suppliers will have to eat losses, but make new sales. There may be some ripple effect bankruptcies — possibly.

  8. All brick and mortar chains are in trouble. Pinning this on a slump in gun sales is a stretch. Hysterical panic buying may have had a hand in hiding or delaying realization of fundamental financial troubles but they were always there.

    If things keep going the way they are retail will return to the days of the Sears catalog where small need-it-now general stores exist in most towns and the only place to see big box monolith stores will be in the bigger cities as online shopping will take up the vast majority of all retail and sellers will no longer have the consistent customer base to support having 250,000 square foot homogenized retail centers in every town across America.

    In truth we hit that point some years ago. It’s just taking some companies a little longer than others to accept the new reality of retail.

    • We do a lot of our shopping on line. Beats messing with traffic, parking and rubbing elbows with as@holes.

      • As an as@hole, I love shopping online. I don’t have to go to the stores with all those nice people.

        • I knew it! We are surrounded by As$holes!

          Someone had to make a Spaceballs in joke.

          In reality, to me, their prices during the panic years has been bordering on ludicrous.

          Sell a brick of 22 for $70 did it for me about them.

    • I think your comment is right on target. Internet shopping has made it very difficult for large retailers to sell enough to make the rent, when many of the same items can be purchased and delivered to your door for less. Let me add one additional thought: it seems to me that gun sales masked Gander’s inherent weaknesses, and that its business could not survive on the sales of all of the other merchandise it stocks. In other words, it was failing but for its firearms sales, and that says a lot about the failure of the business model.

  9. Manufacturers, retailers and gun ranges have neglected the untapped market. The whole industry is to blame and at the center is the NSSF. I live in the Northeast and what few places there are to shoot are dumps. And they’re crowded.

    Gun shop owners and need a primer on how to deal with new and inexperienced gun owners. Stop scaring people away from recreational shooting. The NSSF should be leading the way in this. If not them, then who?

    The past 8 years was an opportunity blown.

    You want your gun rights protected and restored in places they’re infringed? You need more gun owners who vote. Most of the potential market already vote. Now, just make them into gun owners.

  10. Gander lost my business when they lied over the phone about a layaway. And I drove 45 miles one way. I’ve been to a few other Gander Mountain stores since and the prices were outrageously high. I’m not against bigbox stores as I’ve bought 2 guns and mucho ammo from Cabelas…

    • How long will it take for Bass to ruin Cabelas. The world doesn’t need more outlets fishing boats and overpriced chicom clothing for yuppies. Cabelas has more than a enough to such but at least has a decent % of firearms and outdoor stuff.

      • I regularly peruse the used racks and cases at the Allen, TX Cabela’s and the word that’s filtered down is that the basic structure at Cabela’s and Bass Pro will remain intact. Cabela’s will shift away from selling boats and focus more on the shooting/camping/hunting market and Bass Pro Shops will focus on the sport fishing side of the industry.

        The gun sections of the 2 Bass Pro Shops here in DFW (Garland and Grapevine) are pretty dinky compared to the Allen TX store, and it’s the smaller of the 2 Cabela’s here; the Fort Worth Cabela’s is easily half again the size of Allen.

  11. Many locations of these big box stores (Gander, Bass Pro, etc) keep trigger locks on their guns at the counter and will not remove them for customers at all until after they have committed to buy and started filling out paperwork. That turns away a lot of buyers, especially those who know enough to evaluate a gun’s trigger before committing. After encountering this, I pretty much wrote off these kinds of stores for my own gun buys. I’ll stick with the small LGS.

  12. Who bought guns at Gander Mountain?? Their demise cannot be due to a “slump” in gun sales. When you price Glocks at $700, they don’t sell. DUH!

    To suggest that a “slump” in gun sales is responsible for their bankruptcy doesn’t make sense. What percentage of their revenue was gun sales? Judging by my own observations… I never saw anyone buy a gun there. The gun department was tucked away in the back corner. The sales clerks were NOT friendly nor helpful. And, again… $700 for a Glock.

    • + A whole bunch. That’s like them charging $1200 for a USED Sig 1911 and $1300 for a brand new one. I got a brand new one with a threaded barrel for $900 at my local store and I’m sure they don’t buy in bulk like the national chains do.

  13. Not a bit surprised that Gander Mountain is folding, the nearest one is 80 miles away! would make up a list and go. problem was finding knowledgeable help in the store for my questions, then not very knowledgeable about product line. also a majority of firearm sales men tried being smoke artists about firearms period, They dropped product line forcing people to seek else where! (reloading) bought a couple of 4 Wheeler’s would not back warranty! also most of their stock was overpriced for the article in question, with a little digging could find same item on line, cheaper, even including shipping. Seems on line shopping is doing away with traditional stores and that is sad! Never did see much paper advertisement. sorta like other stores with sale’ s information held in store!

  14. They went through a BIG expansion, lousy inventory and too expensive.

    Also, brick and mortar stores have seen significant sales reduction all over.

    Don’t hire their CEO, another Nardeli.

  15. Trying to charge substantially more than everyone else tends while carrying the exact same inventory has a predictable outcome. This is it.

    Bass Pro, while generally sucking, has good prices when things are on sale. Excellent prices on clothes, again, when on sale.

  16. As others have said Gander Mountain was unable to make money during the gun crisis because their prices are just way too high
    One second of research by just calling bass pro or searching on the Internet would show you that every single item is available cheaper elsewhere
    I am amazed that a giant store with buying power like that did not price their items competitively
    I see people buying guns at bass pro even though it’s overpriced as well
    Why didn’t Gander Mountain price their guns one dollar less than bass pro ?

  17. Like many have already commented, it’s less about the “slump” and more about their sky high pricing. Prime example was when I saw a used firearm costing higher than what I picked it up for brand new at another locally owned store. When the craze was on they got away with it, mainly due to the “If we’re the only ones with it in stock, we can charge what we want” mind set. I’m not talking $10 or even $50, most firearms I saw there on my one and only trip were $100-$200 (in some cases more) higher than almost every local store. Yes, I’m sorry that so many people are going to lose their jobs but most of the blame needs to reside the corporation itself for bad business practices, not politics.

    • Looked at a Benelli their one time, first thing out of sales guy was pitching a credit card and a gun cleaning plan, what about info on the the gun first ? Went to local shop, $ 175 cheaper anyway.

  18. When shopping for my first AR, I checked Gander’s prices for a M&P 15 sport vs online prices. I found that I could either pay $539 plus no tax and free shipping online, or $699 plus 8% tax in store. I ended up saving over $200 and ordered online. Same goes for almost any other gun shop I’ve been in, they charge more up front, and you have to tack on tax after that. Online really is the way to go now.

  19. I don’t think the gun “slump” was the problem with Gander Mountain. If anything, the rush to buy kept them in business longer than it would have in normal conditions. Their business model doesn’t fit with modern economic realities. They tried the Sears model that has failed. Both Gander Mountain and Sears didn’t adjust to the reality of competition from stores that price items more aggressively and priovide better customer service.

  20. One hundred percent conjecture on why the stores are closing. I’d be willing to bet money there are several factors involved in their financial troubles, none or very few of which have anything to do with Trump.

  21. “Donald Trump might be driving job creation in other industries, but he’s isn’t doing any favors for the gun business.”
    What does President Trump have to do with hurting the gun business or Gander Mountain going belly up? Would you prefer pResident Obowel to continue his reign or Hitlery to be in charge?

    • Firearm sales did not take a huge hit, still plenty selling. If you are not competitive, you will loose out; crappy CS hurts too. I don’t have mail delivered to the house & UPS will only drop the package at the Post Office in the town. Online shopping is a whole lot easier & since the package goes to the PO, I don’t have to worry about a bear walking off with it. Might go to a bigger town a few times a year when the Big Boxes are having big sales. The total price (low) wins.

  22. Sure, and I suppose that Sears, Kmart, JCPenney, Macy’s, Abercrombie, HHGregg etc. have announced the closing of a total of 1500 stores because of declining gun sales.

    Nah. Brick and mortar retail is as dead as Kelsey’s nuts, and online shopping killed it.

    When the malls start to shutter en masse all across America, then the real devastation will begin. And brother, it won’t be pretty.

    • +1
      I was just about to mention JCPenney and Macy’s. Although, Ross and Marshall’s and outdoor-style shopping like The Grove and Americana seem to be thriving.

  23. High prices + poor Customer service + nothing “special” = failure. Businesses can often get away with having one or two but all three equates to failure. Perhaps it’s their corporate culture but it seems to me that the employees resent/dislike customers, especially at the gun counter.

  24. Check your local Gander Mountain for a clearance sale. There may be some great deals coming soon.

  25. Firearms at the retail level seem to have a 5% to 10% mark up. An under armour tee-shirt has a 50% to %100 mark up. There’s more money to be made per unit in selling tee-shirts than firearms. I surely would blame firearm sales for their demise. As the Commander in Chief says, “They make bad deals.”

  26. “Poor business strategy forces Gander Mountain into bankruptcy. 32 stores to close”


  27. Gander Mountain is going out of business because there guns are 10% over msrp, there gear is 20%, there inventory is always wanting (especially on sale items) and most importantly there customer service sucks. Last time I was in one I waited 45 mins for service even though there where more employees in the store then customers, once the manager started helping me, he was so arrogant I politely bid farewell and walked out after 5 min. I wrote the company about the experience and never heard back. The only big box store actually worth it in San Antonio is Academy, good prices, good customer service and good inventory.

    • Except Academy started hiding their scary black rifles after the Pulse Club massacre. Fock them.

      • Academy has the scary black rifles back on display, but they did piss me off when they temporarily removed them.

      • well, it’s a catch 22… stores like Academy can survive because they don’t rely on gun sales like Gander Mt. That means they have to be a bit more cautious about offending the people that don’t come in for guns. It’s not ideal, but they did bring the guns back.

  28. MEh. Gander prices are too high to pick up anything not on sale, especially firearms stuff. They should have raked in the cash during Obama. I like the store and I hate to see this but I really think it had much to do with their pricing, even relative to mom and pop gun stores

    Firearms sales are only down when compared to where they were artificially inflated to because of the communist administration. I’d argue they are still up if you removed the Obama data and extrapolated to now.

  29. As others are saying, they’re having issues because they’re over priced. A 50rd box of 9mm was always upwards of $20. Glocks for $700 and 1911’s always above $1100.

    Cabela’s on the other hand, while not the cheapest prices for firearms their ammo is competitively priced as well as their gear.

    • I bought a gun from Cabela’s just this week…they have Ruger 10/22 takedowns on sale for $329…a very decent price. So, catch the sales, and you can get reasonable deals, if you don’t feel like waiting on mailorder to show up. Plus, they have a great inventory of gun ‘stuff’ (cleaning supplies, accessories, etc) if you are impulsive…and prices there are generally good.

  30. If firearms sales at Gander Mountain are anything like they are at Cabela’s, no wonder they went out of business. To that end, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Cabela’s follow suit.

    • The nearest Cabela’s to me is 130 miles, I go there every time I visit my brother 15 miles from them. They are always busy & to look at a gun you take a number. And yes they actually close a few sales. Everyday prices are high, but some sale prices are quite good.

  31. I am not surprised they are going out of business if the other stores they have do business like the one I shopped at. I bought a pair of waterproof boots and one leaked, they would not let me return them. I said, so you are willing to lose my business over a $25 pair of boots? They did lose my business, and I will dance a jig if they close, good riddance.

  32. Tramp does not care about weapons, he has body guards before he took the WH, now he has got 1000 SS agents to hold his hand, Tramp does not go camping or any sport, yes one fucking women, not his wife.

  33. Come on people, I clearly can’t carry this industry by myself…despite my best efforts as of late.

  34. My cabelas gives 5% off for retired military at the register on everything. LGS won’t do that. I picked up a pistol last year and the LGS wanted the same as Cabelas and they wouldn’t budge a nickle so I went 10 minutes down the road and saved 20 bucks. I also didn;t get the paranoid speech about gun confiscations and how I needed another AR.

    • I tried to buy a firearm at Cabela’s last week. It was my first and last attempt. Found the gun I wanted. They were asking $60 over the nearby local gun store, but I’ve always liked Cabela’s and figured since I was already there….so I told the salesman I wanted the gun. He began to fill out some paperwork, the likes of which I had never seen before in any gun purchase I’ve made. Whatever, must be Cabela’s own internal paperwork. After 10 minutes, he said, “Ok, we’ll take you up to the purchasing counter now. It should take about an hour to get the background check done.” Whoa. Ok, filling out a 4473 doesn’t take an hour, and there was no one else in the store buying a gun. They gave me a buzzer, like you get at Applebee’s. At this point, I’m getting annoyed, as it’s already taken me longer than any other gun sale I’ve ever been involved in. A little over an hour goes by, they finally get to me. I fill out a 4473 on a computer. The check is run. I’m given the “proceed” message from NICS. Ok, let’s do this. Finally. I’m told it will be about another half hour, they are running behind. No one else is in the store buying a gun. That’s it, I’m done. I walk. Already been there over an hour, overpaying, given the clearance to proceed from NICS, and they still need another half hour.

      So in a nutshell, my experience at Cabela’s suggests they are brutally incompetent. I won’t be going back.

        • Cabelas is the best store for having everything under one roof but their gun buying experience is a joke. The guys who work the gun counter are Fudds who like to talk and not sell, and yes, I’ve waited long enough without being helped that I’ve walked.

          Buying anything other than a gun has been great, though.

      • HP, I have no idea what the experience you describe is about. I’ve bought a few guns at Cabellas,and I have had nowhere near the paperwork you describe. All they do is what’s required by the government.
        Now, maybe you’re in a state that requires more paperwork, I don’t know. Maybe you bought during a time when the NICS system was overloaded, I don’t know.
        But I seriously doubt the problems you described were any different from what you would have encountered at any other LGS in your area at that time.

  35. I reject the premise. Gander sells a whole lot more than firearms. I’d have to see some data showing how it is the gun sales and the gun sales alone which drove them to bankruptcy before I’ll throw in with that headline.

    • “I reject the premise. Gander sells a whole lot more than firearms.”

      Gander CARRIES a whole lot more than firearms. Not sure that translates into enough sales. The one nearest me (garland, tx) is nearly always empty, while the Academy literally across the street is always packed. Gander prices are just unreasonable. I was on a duck hunt and having some shoulder problems a couple of years ago, so I decided to look at a limb saver. I had an Academy, Gander and WalMart within probably 1 mile of each other, and all three had the exact item in stock.

      Gander $40
      Academy $32
      WalMart $25

      That kind of price difference extended to just about every other item I saw in the store. I’ve always wondered how they stay in business. When even Bass Pro can beat your prices, you need to take a hard look at your strategy.

  36. Gander Mountain is insanely expensive. Not just for guns but for every other product line in the store.
    If they’re going bankrupt is has nothing to do with guns and everything to do with their overall pricing.

    Blaming a gun slump on Trump is a way to push blame- and let the Executive Management keep their bonus’s.

  37. Zero to do with Trump. Too many category killer “outdoorsman” superstores with cookie cutter guns and parts. People are wise to the $21.99 PMAG thing now. Pricing used guns like new ones when, in most states, I can just buy one private sale with no sales tax.

  38. Never been in a Gander but if they are like most of their competition they are primarily a clothing store. Sports Authority had at least 80% of their retail area dedicated to clothing. Dicks, Bass Pro, & Scheels aren’t far behind. Even the remaining 20% was largely the same stuff everyone else was selling. I would blame market saturation rather than a downturn in gun sales. How mush of the SOS do people need? Most LGS seem to be staying in business just selling guns and shooting accessories.

  39. After seeing a RM380 there for $750 while the LGS down the street can’t get rid of the one they had at $350, it made me realize that Gander Mountain is totally out of touch with their markets. I was not surprised when i heard they were having financial troubles.

  40. Donald Trump might be driving job creation in other industries, but he’s isn’t doing any favors for the gun business.

    The gun business shouldn’t complain. The gun business is comprised of individuals with rights. Those individuals should recognize that rights of the populace are more important than their jobs. They can get another job, but it would be doubtful they could roll back regulations on firearms once put in place by democrats. Be happy that you lost your job! It’s a much better result than what could have happened. Also. Thank you for supporting the firearm industry with your talent and efforts. Our rights appear secure, at least momentarily, and in part due to your efforts.

  41. The reason their firearm sales are so bad is because the prices they ask for them are way to high. The price they ask for firearms are ridiculous. I literally have seen some priced higher than msrp. Even the “sale” prices are higher than lGS. Same goes for cabelas too. Anyone who buys a firearm at either of these places hasn’t shopped around.

  42. These outdoor stores have been expanding and expanding for the past few years. If the only thing that is keeping them afloat is one item (in this case guns) then they deserve to go out. Didn’t anyone learn from the ->insert bubble here<-

    If Bass Pro was to expand based solely on explosive boat sales it would stand to reason that they would go belly up during the next drought.

    It sucks but I can't say I'll miss paying retail for firearms at Gander Mountain.

  43. It’s not just the major big box outfitters, we have local gun show vendors that still stick to pre election pricing and some, not all, still are hedging the sucker buyer.
    It’s not working.

    Why did Brownells have a fire sale on plain Jane AR’s a couple weeks ago? They sold out.

    Cause they stocked up to the hilt pre election, but realized that they need to simply move the product rather than have a corporate greed with fat mark ups.

    Colt ring a bell?

  44. In addition to insane ridiculous prices, Gander had this obnoxious ploy of advertising certain items at a decent price, but then these items would never, ever be in stock. Bait and Switch BS.

    And how many Gander employees had a “second job” selling ammo under the table to their buddies during the most recent ammo panic? For about 3-4 years running the .22 shelves were perpetually empty, despite the ads, and what other ammo was on the shelves was overpriced usually 15-20% vs. Wallys or anyone else.

    Forget trying to sell a gun there, too. If Dingleberry Dumb Dumb behind the counter actually knew what gun you brought in, there would be an insulting low-ball offer, usually about 25% of its fair market price.

    Speaking of employees, good luck getting one of them to actually open a display case and let you see something marked under $500. They could usually be seen attending to a Fudd buying an overpriced over/under. Working on commission?

    Gander was, is, and will continue to be a joke.

  45. Michigan-based MC Sports is going out of business also. They had decent prices on guns… I bought three pistols there over the past year. There’s a Gander Mountain and a Dick’s Sporting Goods store nearby as well.. the parking lots at both are usually empty. We’ve got two nearby Wal-Marts, several smaller gun stores and the occasional gun show in a Wisconsin county of about 120,000 people. I think it’s not just prices and online sales but a failure to diversify.. too many retailers are selling the same high-end stuff in a low-income market.

  46. Here are the 32 stores slated for closure:
    •Alabama (4) – Gadsden, Mobile, Montgomery, Tuscaloosa
    •Georgia (3) – Augusta, McDonough, Snellville
    •Illinois (3) – Champaign, Algonquin, Springfield
    •Indiana (2) – Merrillville, Greenfield
    •Minnesota (3) – Rogers, Mankato, Woodbury
    •New York (1) – New Hartford
    •North Carolina (2) – Raleigh, South Charlotte
    •Tennessee (1) – Chattanooga
    •Texas (10) – Houston, Killeen, Laredo, Lubbock, Round Rock, San Antonio, Sugar Land, Texarkana, Waco, West Houston
    •West Virginia (1) – Charleston
    •Wisconsin (2) – Eau Claire, Germantown

  47. What appears to be missed in this story is the fact that Gander Mountain’s gun prices are very high. When I visit my nephew in Blacksburg, Va. I stop at the local Gander Mountain store to handle the newest pistols. I find that I can usually buy them online and pay my FFL the transfer for substantially less than the store prices. All these major outdoor chains are at a price disadvantage to outfits like Sportsman’s Online Super Store which can undercut them on price. That’s the reality of e-commerce.

  48. How the one in Huntsville, AL was not on the closed list is beyond me. It’s right in the middle of our version of the ‘hood, and I was told that they had started moving all their kayaks and such inside since people were stealing them (even in daylight). The parking lot is a wasteland every time we drive by there. We got a Cabelas, Dicks Sporting Goods, and an Academy. All overpriced in my opinion (at least in the gun department). I always try to frequent our local shop (shout-out to Larry’s Pistol and Pawn) that’s been in business since Moses was in short pants.

  49. Two years ago I bought a new Gen 4 Glock 17 on sale at Field and Stream for $549. I went into Gander Mountain after just to see what they were charging. They had a USED Gen 4 Glock 17 for $599; the new ones were $699. Everything in that store from guns to ammo to camping gear to clothes is reliably 20% more expensive than their competitors. Gander Mountain’s days are numbered because they completely suck, not because of who won the election.

  50. I don’t shop there anymore.

    Why? Well, the staff manning the cash registers and the service desk are near the front door. And, about 50% of the time when I enter with a pistol bag they ask me to open it and allow them to inspect it.

    I NEVER allow anyone who is not LE to search my person or belongings. So, I refuse if they can’t show me a badge.

    I don’t need that sort of hassle.

  51. The prices are terrible and the service is bad. It can be an hour wait, with a number like at the deli, to even talk to someone at the gun counter. For a long time, my local Gander was listed as a Glock Blue Label distributor, but no one could ever actually buy a blue label gun from them. In fact, no one I know ever could get a salesman to even admit they knew that Glock Blue Label was a thing. I live in the lower Hudson Valley in NY, which probably has the highest concentration of LEOs anywhere in the world, and they refused to learn how NY gun laws worked for law enforcement. It was truly the worst place to buy guns I could imagine.

  52. Gander Mtn was headed down the drain long before Trump was elected, so they can’t blame him. If you can manage to find something in stock, it was typically much higher priced than you could find it at a competitor.

  53. Not only are the firearms overpriced at Gander, you can get ammo and accessories cheaply online.

  54. I like the store personally. Don’t like where it’s located. I saw some sunglasses in there, probably none better exist, was incredible sun protection but they were 189.00 and up. But I loved them but can’t afford them. Guns are sky high everywhere. I went to walmart and cabellas. Cabellas was a horrible experience and I think the guy had a speaker in his ear recording our conversation, I’m not kidding. Here in Ga you can’t buy guns online, or ammunition to my knowledge so the brick and mortar story on the internet don’t apply here. You can broker them thru a local gun broker and pay them a fee. You have to get them from a licensed gun broker. Gander mount needs to open some pawn shop size stores, sell just guns, a few bows, but mostly guns, something people mostly can’t order on the internet. I wish we didn’t need guns but that’s the world we live in now.

  55. Where I live, both Sports Authority and now Dicks Sporting Goods have gone out of business. We still have Gander Mountain, Scheels and to a lesser extent Fleet Farm and Walmart selling sporting goods. The simple fact of the matter was there was too much competition, yet the saturation really didn’t drive their prices down because they have too much overhead. I can’t speak of guns, but with camping supplies, Sports Authority and Dicks were always 20% higher in price for the exact same items you could find at Fleet Farm and Walmart. Same with Gander Mt. and Scheels (and Cabela’) … expensive. While Gander Mt. does carry some higher-end brand names (which I have purchased), If I tried I could almost always find it cheaper online. Gander and Scheels for the most part are merely show rooms for online purchases. These shopping “experience” stores were a cool thing years ago. But now when you can easily price compare online, the lustre has worn off, when you realize you are being taken.

  56. I’m sure it has nothing to do with who is president. I’m an avid gun owner, target shooter, reloader, and hunter. I moved to South Dakota 7 years ago from Minnesota and just moved back here to Minnesota. I can say why I don’t shop at Gander Mountain. Every once in a while, I stop in just to see if something has changed and they might have something of interest to me and every time I find out it was a waste of my gas and time.

    Here’s the reasons I don’t shop there:

    – They only stock the most popular calibers in firearms and ammo. They are about as diverse as Walmart.
    – They never have the calibers I want. If you ask for 10mm, forget about it. If you ask for 260, forget about it. If you ask for 480 ruger, forget about it. Like I said, they are only worth buying from if your using the 3 most popular calibers.
    – They don’t sell reloading equipment
    – They don’t sell reloading , brass, primers, bullets, powder
    – They are over priced
    – if you ask if they have a certain caliber that falls outside of 30cal, 9mm, 40s&w or 45 ACP, they look at you weird and even ask why you would want any other caliber
    – most of the employees try to give wrong advice on things they are very obviously unfamiliar with.
    – Employees give you a vibe that your doing something wrong if your buying a firearm for your kid

    Why does Cabelas get my buisiness.
    – Because they have reasonable prices on ammo (their firearms are way overpriced now too though and they are starting to become less diverse)
    – Because they actually carry more than 3 calibers. They actually have the bullets I need or maybe a gun I might be interested in that even though it’s over priced, I may buy anyways because they are willing to carry a variety of calibers.
    – Because they sell reloading equipment and components
    – Because When I mention shooting with my kid, they look happy to see that another youth is becoming interested in shooting.

  57. 1. 126 Stores are closing up to is lack of Firearms Sales for weeks & months in time too. There were few people shopping in the Gander Mountain Stores is not that many on the week days to it true. People were shopping:an looking at long Guns is Rifles ,Shotguns for Hunting season too. Home Defense ; Semi auto Pistol, Revolver too .The Ammo sale was a lot Faster too. In sales too. it true!!! The number of Stores will remained for Business too. Do You agree? Answer is Yes!!!

  58. Folks, it has nothing to do with politics, customer service, or gun demand/availability. They simply weren’t competitive.
    It was rare they had a real bargain and 98% of the time, I could significantly beat their price from either local or online competitors.

    I do agree that with the bankruptcy filing, they jacked all their prices up and then ‘pretended’ to discount them. I was appalled when I found this happening in the Snellville, Ga. store. It’s a matter of ethics.

  59. I just read the Debtor in Possession case#17-30673 and #17-30675. It tells their reasons. Anything else is just hearsay! We loved going to Gander and could get some decent needed items now and then, but overall, to rich for my taste…and shallow pockets!

  60. What a load of BS. There is no slump. What killed Gander Mountain was there overly priced merchandise. Including their firearms. Enough with the lies.

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