Correction: An earlier version of this story said the Gander Mountain store in Raleigh would remain open. At this time, that store’s future is still uncertain. The Overton store in Raleigh will remain open.
Gander Mountain, the popular gun and hunting retailer, plans to keep at least 70 of its 126 stores open under new ownership.
Greenville-based Gander Mountain was acquired this month by Illinois-based Camping World Holdings in a bankruptcy auction.
Of Gander Mountain’s nine stores in North Carolina, Camping World plans to keep its locations in Greenville, Fayetteville and Winston-Salem. The company has not announced plans for stores in Raleigh, Morrisville and Charlotte.
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As part of its winning $37.8 million bid, Camping World also acquired Greenville-based Overton’s marine supply stores, which has shops in Raleigh and Greenville. The company plans to open 10 to 15 more Overton’s stores nationwide.
In an online video, Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis said both Gander Mountain and Overton’s will continue operating out of Greenville. He said that the decision on which stores to close will be based on revenue. Camping World acquired the brand names, intellectual property and lease rights of Gander Mountain and Overton’s, but did not buy the inventory now being liquidated at Gander Mountain stores.
“My goal is to keep open at least 70 and keep them operating as Gander Mountain,” Lemonis said in the video. “I will not be picking stores that do not have a clear path to profitability.”
Lemonis, an entrepreneur and television personality, is chairman and CEO of Camping World and Good Sam Enterprises. Camping World is the nation’s largest RV and outdoor retailer, and Good Sam is the world’s largest RV owner’s organization, according to the companies.
Lemonis is host of CNBC’s reality series, “The Profit,” in which he assesses and invests in struggling small businesses. He said Gander Mountain spiraled into bankruptcy because of bad business decisions.
“This company failed because it made some giant inventory mistakes and just bought too much,” he said in the video. “Not the wrong stuff, but just too much.”
Lemonis provided additional details to Wall Street analysts in a May 4 conference call.
“I spent a day talking to a number of store managers and customers who have said that the current most recent management at Gander got really away from its core customer and really bet a $100 million on guns and was wrong,” he told analysts, according to a transcript.
Lemonis said the inventory system stocked all stores in the same way, regardless of customer preferences, and added that he had “never seen something so stupid.”
“So in addition to re-negotiating leases, you can expect a cataclysmic shift in the way inventory is managed,” he said.
Lemonis also said it could take several months before the current inventory is liquidated and Camping World can take over the properties.