Marcus Lemonis, owner of the former Gander Mountain chain, said the outdoor sporting goods seller—now rebranded as Gander Outdoors—is set to open 11 Wisconsin stores by late May, including one in Janesville.
In a web video posted Wednesday, Lemonis confirmed that Janesville’s former Gander Mountain location at 2900 Deerfield Drive will reopen as a Gander Outdoors, according to a list of stores he displayed in front of a camera.
“Our goal is to get them all opened by the end of May. They’re not concrete. They could move around a little bit based on contractors and inventory moving around,” Lemonis said in the video.
The stores are now owned by Camping World. Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, has posted social media blurbs in recent months saying he wanted to reopen dozens of former Gander Mountain locations, including Wisconsin stores such as Janesville’s.
Lemonis said Gander Outdoors will have “three distinct” areas inside each store: a hunting and shooting products area under the former Gander Mountain “Legend” brand; a boating supply area; and a camping, hiking, biking and sporting-goods section that will also sell products as diverse as paddleboarding equipment and skateboards.
In the video, Lemonis rattled off a list of 68 locations for Gander Outdoors, along with a handful of other stores that still had negotiations pending with landlords. In mid-December, one Gander Outdoors opened in Minnesota.
Lemonis said other store openings aren’t far behind, saying most of them likely will be open by the end of May.
“This is a list we feel that is very solid, ready to go. They’ll start opening at a very rapid pace,” he said.
Janesville’s Gander Mountain closed in mid-2017 after Camping World bought all of Gander Mountain’s U.S. locations. Camping World bought Gander Mountain out of a bankruptcy auction last May, according to a filing with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission.
Camping World said in the SEC filing that it intended to relaunch about 55 former Gander Mountain stores in 2018 as Gander Outdoors stores.
After that, Gander Outdoors began posting local hiring fliers on social media and public job boards in Janesville, announcing hiring for a store at the 2900 Deerfield Drive location. At the time, it issued no details about the store or when it would open.