Gander Outdoors solicits public input on new inventory

Gander Outdoors wants customer help restocking shelves after the nationwide liquidation sale.

The former Gander Mountain purports a “simple vision” as it moves past bankruptcy proceedings, according to its website.

“We will be your hometown outfitter – offering the best gear for all your outdoor needs, at the best value,” the site says. “The next step starts with you.”

Customers can submit suggestions for new inventory online – even if its an invention not yet available for mass consumption.

It’s not the first time CEO Marcus Lemonis has invited the general public to shape Gander’s new brand. Last month, Lemonis awarded $100,000 to a Colorado-based graphic designer for his winning logo design after a six-week search.

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.

Camping World, the nation’s largest recreational vehicle dealer, led the investor group that bought out $390 million worth of Gander Mountain assets, including its Overtons boating business, during an April 28 auction. Lemonis said a separate liquidation company bought the store inventory currently on sale across the country.

In the days following the auction, Lemonis changed the company’s name to Gander Outdoors. He’s released the latest updates on store closures and changes for the brand via his Twitter account.

He announced live on Twitter last month he’d saved 60 of the existing 162 Gander Mountain locations and plans to build 45 more over the next two years.

“Some locations will sell RVs. Some will have an Overtons. Some will sell fishing and have marine and live bait, campers,” he said. “We wanted it to feel like a family business that could work for everybody no matter what your outdoor lifestyle.”

Lemonis also promised customers a better selection of guns at lower prices, blaming the company’s collapse on “poor real estate transactions” and “undisciplined inventory buying.”

“Terrible, terrible inventory, terrible overhead, and candidly they didn’t need 160 stores,” he told investors in May. “Their largest shareholder was creating direction on inventory … not curated market by market. Not really understanding what sells in Michigan doesn’t necessarily sell in Jacksonville, Florida and really understanding that.”