1. Gander Outdoors is planning an aggressive rollout, with 69 locations slated to be open by the midway point of 2018, the company announced Thursday.
2. Included on that list is the Lakeville store, which debuted in December, and four other Minnesota locations set to open: Baxter, Bemidji, Forest Lake and Hermantown/Duluth. There are 11 stores slated for Wisconsin.
3. Gander Outdoors is the revamped version of Gander Mountain, the St. Paul-based outdoors chain that filed for bankruptcy then was purchased by Camping World owner and reality TV star Marcus Lemonis. It's now headquartered in Bloomington, Minnesota.
What Else You Should Know
This is quite a fast rollout for the revamped Gander business, with Lemonis in the announcement even acknowledging it's a "rapid opening process."
He expects all of these locations to be open by May or June of 2018. And there are a few other spots the company is currently negotiating with (though none in Minnesota), so the list could grow.
Lemonis is also promising "something different" in the stores, laying out the vision toward the end of a Facebook video.
Rather than one big box space, it'll be split up into "distinct" spaces – the Legend area will be for hunting and firearms, Overton's covers boating and water activities, and the just-acquired Erehwon name includes active sports such as camping or biking, he said.
Lemonis had previously said Gander Mountain made a "bad bet" on firearms, overspending on inventory and expanding "beyond all common sense" into markets, St. Louis Today reported.
But it appears they've come up with a solution Lemonis is OK with. The company's website also says Gander Outdoors will sell new and used firearms and offer gunsmith services.