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GERMANTOWN - Gander Mountain, the nation's largest outdoor retail network, has announced it will soon close its Germantown location, W190 N10768 Commerce Circle, following an announcement earlier this month that the company had filed for bankruptcy.

The closing will mean that as many as 60 employees at its Germantown location will be out of jobs.

Under the Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection that was filed by the company on Friday, March 10, the company is seeking a going-concern sale and soliciting bids prior to an auction in late April with a closing by May 15.

Like other brick and mortar stores, the company attributes its bankruptcy, in part, to competition from e-commerce sites. A date has not been established to close the Germantown store yet, according to the store's customer service center, but a statement on the company's website indicates the store will close "in the coming weeks."

"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," according to the release. "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 162 stores in 26 states nationally; the Germantown and Eau Claire locations are the only two stores in Wisconsin closing, with 32 underperforming stores closing across the country.

"Employee pay will continue to arrive on time and in full, employee benefits will remain in place, retirement accounts are intact and protected," the release said.

"The decision to close these stores was not an easy one, and was made only after an extensive strategic review of our options," company spokesperson Jess Myers said. "A Gander Mountain store generally employs 20-30 full time people and another 20-30 on a part-time and seasonal basis. Our employees at stores affected by these closings may be considered for employment opportunities elsewhere within our system."

If Germantown employees elected to stay within the company, the closest Gander Mountain location to the area is in Waukesha, 2440 E. Moreland Blvd., which is nearly 14 miles away.

Myers said information on the store closing will be communicated directly to the employees and on the company's website as it becomes available.

"We have a plan in place for an orderly windup of our stores and will be carrying it out over the next several weeks," Myers said. "As more is known about how individual employees will be affected by these actions, we’ll communicate that information directly to those employees. General information will be posted at GanderMountain.com as it becomes available. We’re grateful for the continued support of our employees, our customers and our trade partners as we move forward with our restructuring.”

For more information on Gander Mountain or other store closings, visit www.gandermountain.com.

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