The outdoor gear and apparel retailer becomes the third retail chain in the Top 500 to file for bankruptcy this month.

Outdoor gear and apparel retailer Gander Mountain Co. has become the latest retail chain to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Gander Mountain, No. 213 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500 Guide, filed on Friday in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court District of Minnesota citing estimated assets of $500 million to $1 billion and liabilities within the same range. The company lists outdoor sports and recreation consumer products manufacturer Vista Products as its largest creditor, with an outstanding debt of $15.2 million.

In announcing its filing, Gander Mountain cited “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’s online store is up and running and will continue to operate, however the company will close 32 of its 162 store locations, or 19.8%, in the near future.

Gander Mountain generated an Internet Retailer-estimated $133.3 million in online sales in 2015, up 5.0% from $127.0 million the previous year, according to Top500Guide.com. In August, the retailer hired Sports Authority veteran Ron Stoupa as its senior vice president of marketing and e-commerce.

Gander Mountain becomes the second retailer in the Top 500 to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this week and the third to do so this month. Electronics retail chain hhgregg Appliances Inc. (No. 246) filed Monday, while apparel brand BCBG Max Azria Group LLC (No. 431) announced it had filed for Chapter 11 protection on March 1.

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Other retail chains filing for bankruptcy so far in 2017 include:

  • Sporting goods retailer Eastern Mountain Sports’ operator filed for Chapter 11 in February.
  • Marbles: The Brain Store (No. 869 in the Top 1000) filed in February. Marbles is liquidating its online and offline inventory, with a notice on its website saying all sales are final and all online and offline locations will be closing.
  • The Wet Seal LLC (No. 510) filed in February. Wet Seal’s intellectual property was acquired last week at auction for $3 million by investment firm Gordon Brothers, which intends to revive the brand.
  • Apparel retailer Limited Stores LLC (No. 216) filed for Chapter 11 in January and shut down its online store. The Limited’s intellectual property was acquired in late February by private equity firm Sycamore Partners, which says it will eventually revive the brand.

For more on why companies are buying financially troubled retailers and what is being done to breathe new life into those retailers, check out “Brand Revival” in the March issue of Internet Retailer magazine.

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