Sporting goods chain closes doors; new owner to honor gift cards

For people who enjoy hunting, fishing, camping and other outdoor activities, Wholesale Sports Outdoor Outfitters is one of the "go-to" places to shop for gear and supplies.

So for customers in Federal Way and other locations around the state, the signs on the locked doors come as a surprise.

"We are now Sportsman's Warehouse," the signs reads.

Kerry Mansmith of Maple Valley feared the worst, because he's holding a gift card he says Wholesale Sports gave him in late January when he made a return without the receipt. In most cases, store closure means gift cardholders are out of luck.

"It's for like, 97 bucks," said Mansmith. "That's a lot of money, especially when they didn't tell me they were closing."

Wholesale Sports is out of Canada. On March 11, 10 locations in Oregon, Washington and Montana were acquired by a competitor -- Sportsman's Warehouse, is based in Midvale, Utah. Puyallup has the closest Sportsman's Warehouse location in the greater Seattle area. According to the company, the Wholesale Sports stores are closed temporarily for remodeling and restocking.

The good news? Sportsman's Warehouse says it plans to honor all gift cards issued by Wholesale Sports.

"Yes we will be honoring the Wholesale Sports gift cards. We are in the process of transferring all of their gift card information to our database so we can accept the gift cards at all of our stores. This process will take a few weeks but once it is complete we will certainly honor," said Chief Marketing Officer Karen Seaman by email.

According to Federal Way store manager John Powell, the stores will reopen on different dates over the next few weeks and most stores should be up and running under the Sportsman's Warehouse name by Easter weekend, although the stores will be closed on Easter Sunday in observance of the holiday.

Sportsman's Warehouse, the previous owner of some of the Wholesale Sports locations, stresses it will be a while before the Puyallup store is set up to accept gift cards from Wholesale Sports. The company also says some Wholesale Sports stores will not reopen, including locations in Lacey and Burlington.

But again, it's significant that the new owners are accepting gift cards issued by the previous owners. That's often not the case. Which is why it's always wise to use any gift card you get as soon as you can.