The rebranded Gander Outdoors will refresh the bankrupt Gander Mountain stores and online presence with direction from new owner Camping World Inc.
So long Gander Mountain, hello Gander Outdoors. The modest name change of the St. Paul-based outfitter signals a new direction of its owner, businessman, and TV personality Marcus Lemonis.
In May, Camping World Inc. won a bankruptcy auction of Gander Mountain Inc. for a reported $390 million. Its first rebranded Gander Outdoors store is set to open Wednesday in Minnesota.
“We are hard at work creating your new shopping experience,” proclaims Gander Outdoors’ revamped website.
Gander Outdoors Coming Soon
Gander Mountain had 162 locations across the country when it filed for bankruptcy in March. It has since closed many store locations.
But several former Gander Mountain stores will soon reopen. Gander Mountain stores in Minnesota towns including Baxter, Bemidji, Forest Lake, and Hermantown will open under the Gander Outdoors name in the coming months, GoMN.com reported.
Can Marcus Lemonis Turn Around Failed Brand?
Lemonis has a reputation for saving failed companies. As the star of the NBC reality show The Profit, Lemonis hunts for and revives promising but struggling businesses.
By the end of the third season, he’d invested $35 million of his own money into small businesses featured on the show.
He is also the CEO of Camping World, Good Sam Enterprises, and TheHouse.com.
Now, he faces the challenge of rebranding an outdoors company that has a mix of loyal fans and previously unsatisfied customers.
Social media is rife with comments about unused gift cards and items looking to be returned; it’s unclear how the new store will work with former customers.
From the look of the rebuild in Gander Outdoors’ Facebook video (below), the new stores are rebuilt from the ground up.
The rebranded social media presence portrays fishing and hunting as core categories for Gander Outdoors. But the new brand also markets disparate products like kids’ bikes, baseball equipment, snowboard apparel, and boats.
We’re excited to hit the new Gander Outdoors stores and see how they measure up. It looks to be more REI and less Cabela’s than the former model. Lemonis noted there will be less emphasis on hunting and gun sales, for one.
The Lemonis portfolio contains some strong brands. It should be interesting to see how this new player enters the outdoors marketplace.