Some of the re-branded Gander Outdoors stores will open come November, according to the company’s top executive.
Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis — who bought out Gander Mountain’s intellectual property and store leases in an April bankruptcy auction — told investors last week he remains committed to “only open stores with a historical level of profitability.”
“In line with that, we believe to have a unique opportunity to expand into the broader outdoor lifestyle market and leverage our existing array of products and services,” he said during a conference call with investors Thursday. “We’re focused on locations that can offer all of our Gander, Overton’s, Camping World and Good Sam products and services for the RV, boating and outdoor lifestyle. With the first of these locations targeted to open in November and our continued acquisition efforts and our new store opening strategy, we intend to increase our borrowings in the coming weeks.”
Gander Mountain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protections in Minnesota court on March 10.
Less than a month after Lemonis bought out the company, he changed its name to Gander Outdoors and announced he would likely close half of the chain’s 162 locations as he attempts to fix years of “undisciplined inventory buying,” including $100 million wasted on a “bad assortment of guns.”
“I’d rather have 50 stores heavily curated for that local market than 150 stores that look like everything is the same, which is essentially what it was,” he said. “Just a really shitty inventory system is what they have … never seen something so stupid.”
Estimated gun sales plunged 26 percent in July compared to last year, following a 12 percent decline in June. The summer slowdown tailed an unanticipated busy spring for federal background checks — and by proxy, gun sales — though retailers and gun makers have suggested the “promotion-heavy sales environment” artificially propped up National Instant Criminal Background Check System data in the second quarter.
Camping World reported “record” earnings last week, raking in $1.3 billion in the second quarter — a 20 percent increase over 2016.
Lemonis said a separate liquidation company bought all of Gander Mountain’s existing inventory on sale across the country.