Gander Outdoors rose the American flag at its first grand opening ceremony this week in Lakeville, Minnesota.
It’s the first of 57 new locations slated to open within the next year as CEO Marcus Lemonis attempts to shed the former Gander Mountain’s “misguided” reputation as “America’s Firearms Superstore.”
“We’re back … the store is new and improved,” he said Wednesday. “The one comment I got more than anything from customers across the country was that our selection wasn’t great and our pricing wasn’t great. The team … has spent months working with vendors and understanding the importance of this store and the importance of all of them, to make sure that they feel local.”
“So we no longer have ice fishing stuff in Palm Beach,” he added.
Gander Mountain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protections in a Minnesota federal court on March 10. In May — less than a month after Lemonis bought out the company — he changed its name to Gander Outdoors and announced he would close more than 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.”
“We are proud to have Gander Outdoors here,” said Lakeville Mayor Doug Anderson during the store’s grand opening ceremony Wednesday. “There’s a lot going on here. It seems like we are doing a ribbon cutting every one or two weeks and we are excited to have you folks in our community.”
The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports former Gander Mountain stores in Baxter, Bemidji, Forest Lake, and Hermantown should reopen next year.