There's a huge amount of confusion about the future of Gander Mountain stores across the country.
Signs recently appeared at some locations saying they were going out of business – only for this to be refuted by the company's new owner on Twitter.
The stores in Hermantown and Fargo are among the locations that have signs signaling closing-down sales (which started Thursday). But in an unlikely turn of events, Gander Mountain's new owner Marcus Lemonis said on Twitter they'll actually be staying open.
Lemonis is the CEO of Camping World and has a reality show on CNBC. He responded to a story by the Duluth News Tribune that showed "Going out of business" and "Store closing" signs at the Hermantown outlet.
He tweeted the signs are the work of liquidators selling some of the product, but that the store should remain open.
He also tweeted the Fargo store "will remain open."
GoMN sent him a tweet asking about the future of the nine remaining stores in Minnesota, and this was his response:
Someone replied that because Gander Mountain has filed for bankruptcy, it can extricate itself from lease agreements, and it looks like the future of many stores could depend on landlords reducing rents so they can stay open (Lemonis retweeted this).
After Camping World acquired Gander Mountain in a bankruptcy auction last week, Lemonis said as many as half the company's 160 stores could close, with the new owners reviewing which locations are struggling to be profitable.
What about the St. Paul HQ?
Gander Mountain has headquarters in St. Paul, and Twitter user Nancy Dreaux asked whether he intends to keep the HQ.
Lemonis said he hopes to retain an administrative presence in the Minnesota capital. However, in a worrying statement for employees Lemonis says that "costs have to come down."
But this could just be in reference to the rental costs, with the Business Journal's Nick Halter reporting the company pays $2.3 million a year in rent for its East 5th Street building.
He then tweeted the following: