In an attempt to salvage itself from bankruptcy in 1996, Gander Mountain sold the rights to its catalog operation to Cabelas for $35 million, which allowed Gander Mountain to continue to operate its retail stores but banned the companys catalog and Internet marketing operations. When a revitalized Gander Mountain started selling shotgun barrels on its website in 2003, a series of lawsuits ensued between the two companies.
Cabela’s said Gander had violated the 1996 agreement while Gander claimed Cabela’s had never used the Gander name for any commercial purposes. Last summer, the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota issued an order granting Gander Mountain the right to use certain Gander Mountain trademarks in direct marketing.
Gander Mountains re-entry into the direct merchant business follows the retailers $70 million December acquisition of Greenville, N.C.-based Overton’s Inc. from the Cleveland-based private-equity firm Linsalata Capital Partners.
GanderMountain.coms features includes a “bragging board” where customers will be able to upload photos of their latest hunting or fishing expeditions, and customers will be able to write product reviews and read other customer reviews prior to making a purchase.