The owner of Twin Cities-based Gander Outdoors, supplanting its bankrupt predecessor Gander Mountain, has announced an accelerated and ambitious expansion, with dozens of stores opening in the coming months in Minnesota and many other states.
Owner Marcus Lemonis, a CNBC personality and chairman of the parent company Camping World Holdings, went on Facebook Live on Wednesday and ticked off the nearly six dozen locations one by one as the camera scanned the list.
The first of these stores, in Lakeville, opened a couple of weeks ago. New Gander Outdoors stores will open no later than late May to early June in Baxter, Bemidji, Columbus, Hermantown and southeast of Winona in Onalaska, Wis.
The Lakeville location and a few others have opened already, and the rest on the list “are going to be opening at a very rapid pace,” Lemonis said. The store sites run up and down the East Coast, throughout the Midwest and stretch as far as Colorado and Texas.
The timeline is much more accelerated and the number of stores involved is slightly more than what the company indicated in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission in October, when the parent company revealed plans to open 15 to 20 Gander Outdoors stores by March and another 40 to 45 by October.
Shoppers will experience “very distinct departments” in a Gander Outdoors, rather than the big-box feel of the Gander Mountain experience, Lemonis said.
Those departments will be broken into three areas: hunting and firearms shooting; fishing, boating, tubing and other aquatic activities; and active sports, such as camping, bicycling, hiking and kayaking.
Lemonis said last year that Gander Mountain billing itself as “America’s Firearm Superstore” hurt the business.
Lemonis owns Camping World locations in Rogers and Monticello, a Union 73 clothing store in City Center in Minneapolis and seven Bentley’s Pet Stuff stores.
He moved the headquarters of Gander Mountain to Bloomington from St. Paul.