Former Janesville Gander Mountain could reopen as Gander Outdoors

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Neil Johnson
Monday, November 20, 2017

JANESVILLE—It appears the former Gander Mountain store in Janesville could re-open in 2018 under new corporate ownership and a new name: Gander Outdoors.

A local hiring flier posted Monday on the Rock County Job Center’s Facebook page advertises a “hiring event” Nov. 27 through Dec. 1 for a new Gander Outdoors store at the Pine Tree Plaza shopping center, 2900 Deerfield Drive.

The flier says the store will open soon but does not mention a date. A new website for Gander Outdoors invites people to check back for information on store locations.

The Janesville hiring comes a few weeks after Gander Outdoors’ parent company, Camping World, filed a notice with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission that it is preparing to relaunch about 55 former Gander Mountain stores in 2018 as Gander Outdoors.

Janesville’s Gander Mountain closed earlier this year after Camping World bought out all of Gander Mountain’s 160 U.S. locations. Camping World bought Gander Mountain out of a bankruptcy auction for $36.4 million in May 2017, according to the SEC filing.

Shortly after the buyout, Gander Mountain announced it was going out of business and held a companywide inventory liquidation. Gander Mountain’s Janesville location shuttered midyear.

Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis said in a series of Twitter posts earlier this year that he wanted to relaunch as many former Gander Mountain stores as possible, initially as many as 75. Camping World began releasing lists of possible locations that could re-open under a new name.

In June 2017, Camping World released a list of 57 former Gander Mountain locations that could re-open as Gander Outdoors stores. Janesville was one of the locations included on the company’s list.

It’s not clear how Gander Outdoor stores will compare to Gander Mountain in the products and services it would offer. Gander Outdoors is running a survey on its website to learn what products customers would like to see in its future stores.

Camping World wrote in its October SEC filing that it expects to open about 15 or 20 Gander Outdoor stores in the first quarter of 2018 and plans to open 40 to 45 more of the stores later in 2018. The filing said the openings would be contingent on lease arrangements being set or rolled over at some former Gander Mountain locations.

The Gazette on Monday was unable to reach a Camping World spokesperson for comment on the prospect and timing of a Janesville Gander Outdoors store re-opening or the apparent hiring that event coming to Janesville.

IRC Retail Centers, the company that owns and manages Pine Tree Plaza in Janesville, on Monday did not respond to Gazette inquiries.

Last updated: 3:53 pm Monday, November 20, 2017

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