Gander Mountain announces liquidation sale, not closing all stores

Gander Mountain announces nationwide liquidation sale. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)

Gander Mountain announces nationwide liquidation sale. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)

Gander Mountain announced over the weekend it will liquidate all 162 locations — though the company’s new CEO said about 70 stores will continue operations with refreshed inventory.

The “going-out-of-business” sale advertised on the company’s website caused widespread confusion about the fate of Gander Mountain, with multiple reports surfacing of the Minnesota-based chain’s plans to close all of its storefronts.

Camping World Chairman and CEO Marcus Lemonis took to Twitter Sunday to correct the record, telling followers the liquidation sale only means Gander Mountain will sell off its current inventory.

“I keep seeing reports from news organizations in cities where Gander Mountains exist that all stores are closing and they are not,” he said on Periscope Live Sunday. “All stores are liquidating and the inventory in there is going to go away, but the stores aren’t closing.”

Camping World, the nation’s largest recreational vehicle dealer, bid $38 million last week for Gander Mountain’s intellectual property, store leases and its Overton’s boating business, all valued at $390 million.

“What we did not buy is the inventory that’s in all the stores, the distribution center,” Lemonis said. “A group of liquidators bought that.”

“My goal is to open at least 70, remain and keep them operating as Gander Mountain, potentially add an Overton’s boating or Camping World to them, and run them and run a good business,” he added.

While more than half of the stores are on the chopping block, Lemonis said he will continue posting surviving locations on his Twitter feed, however “unorthodox” it may seem.

“I will not be picking stores that do not have a clear path to profitability,” he said. “I will not do that, under any circumstance.”

Gander Mountain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protections in Minnesota court on March 10, indicating its intention to shutter 32 stores in 11 states and liquidate more than $500 million worth of assets.

Court documents show the company will not sell the identifying information of the 1.8 million customers listed in its firearms registry. Instead, the names of 817,000 active customers and more than 1 million inactive customers will be sent to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, according to court documents filed Wednesday.

Staff at a Gander Mountain in Hattiesburg, Mississippi told Guns.com the store’s guns and ammunition will see markdowns next week.

“The announcement of Camping World acquiring the Gander Mountain brand means that we will continue to be a part of the specialty outdoor market,” the company said on its website. “We at Gander Mountain believe that our best days are still ahead of us and we ask that you join us in welcoming and supporting this successful transition. Camping World shares the same passion for the outdoors as Gander Mountain and our customers, making for a great melding of businesses and outdoor communities.”