The sporting goods scene has seen some big changes lately, especially here in Rochester. Now, another related retailer is closing down three stores in Minnesota. Could Rochester's location be far behind?

Over the past several months, Rochester has seen its sporting goods retail scene really change shape. It started about this time last year, when Sports Authority announced that it was closing many of its stores, including the one here, and filing for bankruptcy. Then, just two months ago, the Dick's Sporting Goods location in Rochester announced it would also be closing its doors. Now, word comes of another sporting retailer facing hard times.

Google Street View
Google Street View

St. Paul, Minnesota-based outdoor goods retailer Gander Mountain has announced that it is closing several stores as part of a restructuring plan. According to a story in USA Today, "the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and has announced it will close 32 of its 162 stores. The stores set to close are in 11 different states."

While the Rochester location is safe for now, there are three stores in Minnesota that Gander Mountain has slated for closure. The stores are located in Mankato and Rogers, as well as one of their Twin Cities locations, in Woodbury.

Perhaps it's not a question of if the location here in Rochester will also close, but when. The explosion of online retail options, especially in the area of sports equipment, is taking its toll on traditional retailers of all kinds, all over the world. Lower overhead means online stores can offer discounts and opportunities that big box stores are finding hard to match.

Let's hope that Gander Mountain continues to carry on here in the Med City. We've already lost so many sporting goods stores in town lately...

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