Gander Mountain’s bankruptcy came as no surprise to firearm owners. I saw this meme circulating on social media last week, and based on the comments under S.H. Blannelberry’s recent article, I’m not the only one who’s been disappointed by the company’s prices.
But that’s all about the change, according to Gander Mountain’s new owner Marcus Lemonis.
Lemonis’s company, Camping World Holdings, purchased Gander Mountain’s assets in a bankruptcy auction earlier this month. Lemonis has been posting updates on his Twitter account, and he says he plans to rebrand Gander Mountain under the name “Gander Outdoors” and price firearms more competitively.
Lemonis wants 70 store locations to remain open, according to a separate announcement he made on Periscope. Employees will have to re-apply to Gander Outdoors, and the new owner says he won’t allow a store to remain open unless he sees a “path to profitability.” But employees will have an opportunity to continue working at the same location, and Lemonis has been responsive to questions on Twitter.
Lemonis also mentioned that his company bought Gander Mountain’s assets and leases, but not the inventory, which was purchased by a separate group of liquidators. Lemonis plans to purchase new inventory, and hopefully this move will allow him to better control revenue and prices, especially firearms prices.
In response to a question about firearms being sold at Gander Outdoors, Lemonis tweeted that firearms have historically represented the company’s “biggest category” and that they “won’t go away.” Even more promising, Lemonis mentioned that his new company’s prices would be better than his predecessor’s.
Firearm owners are no doubt hoping Lemonis sticks to his resolution. The firearms and ammunition prices at Gander Mountain alienated a huge section of its target audience, but if Lemonis can regain the trust of the 2A community, he’ll give firearms enthusiasts yet another solid option for purchasing new and used products.
Be sure to check out Lemonis’ Twitter account for breaking updates. The new Gander Outdoors owner does a nice job responding to former Gander Mountain employees who are wondering whether their store will remain open. Last week he posted an incomplete, updated list of those stores, though he clarified that it has not been finalized.