Six Gander Mountain stores in Minnesota are now expected to close and six to stay open, the new owner of the firearms and sporting goods chain said Friday.
All 160 stores in the chain, which was based in St. Paul, are now running liquidation sales as Camping World Holdings and its chairman, celebrity businessman Marcus Lemonis, negotiate with landlords of the various properties.
The firm's latest update of stores that will stay open had 57 in total, including the six in Minnesota and eight in Wisconsin.
The Minnesota locations on the open list are Baxter, Bemidji, Duluth, Forest Lake, Lakeville and Woodbury. The Woodbury unit will likely leave its current store and move to a new site across the highway, the company said.
Gander Mountain stores in Blaine, Eden Prairie, Mankato, Rochester, Rogers and St. Cloud are now expected to close.
Camping World acquired assets of Gander Mountain and a related boating business, Overton's, in a bankruptcy auction in May. Originally, Lemonis said he hoped to keep 70 or more locations open.
"While our initial list is now less than 70, we are not willing to open stores which we do not believe have a clear path to profitability," Lemonis said in a statement Friday.
The stores remaining open will likely be a hybrid of Gander Outdoors and Overton's, complete with fishing and marine gear and live bait. It's likely that the list will expand somewhat.
On Thursday, Lemonis tweeted a list of 36 stores across the country, including Woodbury. When a follower appeared to question why Lemonis would build new when there's an existing Gander Mountain store across the street, Lemonis tweeted, "Across the highway with reasonable rent, a @CampingWorld, @Overtons and base camp."
Another Twitter follower wondered why the Eden Prairie location is closing in a highly populated area with no big box competitors nearby. "Light rail is going to make it a one-wag [sic] street. No thanks," Lemonis replied on Twitter.
Earlier this week, Lemonis also tweeted a picture of the new Gander Outdoors logo after holding a nationwide contest. Response was mixed. Early in May, Lemonis followers praised his accessibility and transparency in social media, but on Thursday the tide turned when it was discovered that one of the runner-up winners had downloaded a logo from Shutterstock.
Along with the ongoing Gander Outdoors stores, Lemonis in Minnesota owns Camping World locations in Rogers and Monticello, Union 73 clothing boutique in City Center in Minneapolis and seven Bentley's Pet Stuff stores. He stars on the "The Profit" on CNBC, offering advice and sometimes capital for part ownership in struggling businesses.