Online outdoor retailer BigSkyCountry.com to be sold after parent Vann’s liquidates

Montana-based online outdoor retailer BigSkyCountry.com is on the block after its parent company Vann’s Inc. struggled to save its electronic and appliance retail business in bankruptcy.
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Montana-based online outdoor retailer BigSkyCountry.com is on the block after its parent company Vann’s Inc. struggled to save its electronic and appliance retail business in bankruptcy.

Officials with Vann’s informed a judge Wednesday that the company was unable to reorganize the electronic and appliance business through Chapter 11 bankruptcy and therefore will liquidate its inventory and close all six stores that employed 150 people.

The online outdoor business at BigSkyCountry.com will remain intact, however, and is “close to being sold to an outside buyer,” according to the local newspaper The Missoulian.

Vann’s, which had been selling electronics and appliances for 51 years, was just two years into selling outdoor products — it opened BigSkyCountry.com in 2010. Ultimately, store officials placed some of the blame on the new venture.

"This endeavor diverted the investment of financial and staff resources at a critical time for the core business and did not take advantage of Vann's experience or reputation in its traditional product line," Vann’s officials said in court documents. They also blamed the downturn in the economy along with shifting consumer buying habits with electronics and appliances.

--David Clucas

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