By Christine Kern, contributing writer
New owner says it is liquidating assets at all locations, but only closing some of them.
Gander Mountain filed for voluntary Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in March 2017, and began to move towards a restructuring of the company. In May, the company was acquired by Camping World Holdings, Inc., heading by Marcus Lemonis. While reports have erroneously stated that all Gander Mountain locations would be shuttered after the sale, Lemonis has taken to Twitter to refute those claims. He said that while Camping World is engaging in a liquidation of all Gander Mountain store inventory and start fresh, the company plans to keep approximately 70 of the current 126 locations open, according to 9news.
In today’s climate of store closings, it is easy to see how the Gander Mountain bankruptcy and subsequent sale could lead to conclusions that the chain would be eliminated. The confusion also stems from an announcement on the Gander Mountain website that states that all of its locations are going out of business. While Camping World purchased the brand name, business and web site as part of the deal, they did not purchase the rights to current store inventory, which is being sold off by liquidators. The stores that remain open will be stocked with new merchandise after the liquidations are completed, and that they will continue to operate under the Gander Mountain brand.
In response to questions regarding the future of the Gander Mountain Stores, Lemonis tweeted, “Same name. Same great people. Better rents and better product.” A complete list of the stores to be closed and those that will remain open has not yet been released by Camping World.
Lemonis also told AJC.com that he will remain communicative, and wanted to assure the Gander Mountain employees that they are not all going to lose their jobs. He said, “If you have a rent payment, a car payment, a tuition payment, you need to know what the hell is happening. I don’t want to disrupt what the liquidators are trying to do, but I am definitely going to protect my people at all costs. No matter what.”
In video posted to Twitter, Lemonis also posted a video to Twitter that asserted that he is working with landlords to keep individual stores open and retain the company headquarters in downtown Minneapolis-St. Paul.