March 11 (UPI) -- Outdoor retailer Gander Mountain filed for bankruptcy protection Friday and announced the closure of 32 stores nationwide as the company prepares for a quick sale by mid May, the company announced.
The privately held, Minnesota-based retailer said the Chapter 11 protection will also for the sale "on an expedited basis while protecting the interests of our customers, employees and other stakeholders." The company said it is in active discussions with several parties and anticipates closing a sale by May 15.
"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," the company said. "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 operates 160 stores in 26 states selling gear for hunting, fishing, camping, shooting and other outdoor activities. More than 50 stores opened in the last five years, including several in 2016 alone.