NEW: Will Gander Mountain Survive Post-Bankruptcy?

Marcus Lemons of CNBC’s “The Profit” — who controls Camping World Holdings — has bought 17 of 162 Gander Mountain stores. His company won the bid in late April to buy Gander Mountain, which is a competitor of Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s.

The St. Paul, MN-based outdoor retailer hasn’t had the best year thus far. In March, the company announced it was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It originally planned to close 32 stores across 11 states. In late April, Gander Mountain was bought out by Camping World–which has plans to close more of its stores. Lemonis said he plans to liquidate most of their fishing, hunting, and firearms inventory:

Lemonis also said Camping World intends to “refine the inventory selection” – which would seem to mean less hunting, fishing and guns, particularly since the bankruptcy plan indicates that much of the inventory will be liquidated.

And yet, he intends to keep some of the gunsmiths:

Lemonis also noted that he planned to keep Gander Mountain’s gunsmiths — even though much of the gun inventory is apparently being sold off — and will add “more specialists.” And he posted that he wants to keep the company’s headquarters in St. Paul, but looks to be angling for a better real estate deal. (Gander Mountain’s current lease runs through 2020.)

Some attribute to dwindling gun sales. Others say Gander’s lackluster customer service and reputation put it in its current situation–especially from competitors from Bass Pro Shops and Cabelas along with Internet sales. Many have said they won’t miss Gander Mountain if it were to crumble. Ouch.

Gander’s fate is on the table. I’ve had a generally positive experience with Gander Mountain here in Northern Virginia, but also am easily enticed by Bass Pro Shops (the closest being in Baltimore an hour away) and Cabela’s (45 minutes away from me in Gainesville, VA). But given the majority of feedback about the company, many won’t miss it and will accordingly take their business elsewhere.

What do you think about this purchase? What will come about from Gander Mountain? Stay tuned…

About the author

Gabriella Hoffman

Gabriella Hoffman is a media strategist based in the Washington, D.C. Metro Area. She has written for The Resurgent since March 2016 and serves as their D.C. Correspondent.

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