Mixed messages on Gander Mountain closures

Staff Report

St. Paul, Minn. — Outdoor retailer Gander Mountain is closing some, and perhaps all, of its stores following its acquisition by Camping World Holdings Inc. through bankruptcy proceedings.

At press time it was unclear whether all Gander Mountain stores, including those in New York state, would close.

The company said on its website that all 126 Gander Mountain stores would be shuttered. But Camping World owner Marcus Lemonis, on his Twitter feed, denied that would be the case.

Lemonis instead said Camping World was in negotiations with landlords to determine what Gander Mountain stores might remain open for business.

He said those negotiations included talks with landlords on the fate of Gander Mountain stores in Plattsburgh, Watertown and Kingston.

Indications are Gander Mountain stores in Johnson City (Broome County)Henrietta (Monroe County) will close.

But Lemonis offered up a list last week of several stores that would remain open, including New Hartford and Cicero.

Company spokesman Jess Myers said in an email the New Hartford location is now slated to stay open, but that may  depend on whether certain conditions can be met.

“… Our current goal is (to) operate 70 or more locations, subject to, among other things, our ability to negotiate lease terms with landlords on terms acceptable to us and approval of the Bankruptcy Court,” Lemonis said in a news release. “The current liquidation of the existing Gander Mountain inventory will allow us to start with a clean slate of what we consider the appropriate mix and level of inventory ….”

The company filed for bankruptcy in March and announced at that time it would close 32 under-performing stores.

Camping World Holdings, which operates a network of stores catering to recreational vehicle owners, said earlier this month that it won a bankruptcy auction of Gander Mountain’s assets.

The deal requires Camping World to assume the leases on only 17 Gander Mountain stores, and gives it the right to assign others.

Gander Mountain, on its website, announced all its stores would close and a total liquidation sale has begun, with gift cards honored until May 18.

Gander Mountain has been in business for 57 years and has stores in 26 states. It sells guns, hunting and fishing equipment, camping gear and other items for outdoor recreation.

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