Customers of bankrupt outdoor goods retailer Gander Mountain are understandably confused. The the company’s website says all locations are closing, but the CEO who just bought the retailer says that’s not quite true. So are they closing or not?
If you pay a visit to the Gander Mountain web page to find out what’s going on, you’ll learn that the chain is shutting down. “All 126 locations nationwide GOING OUT OF BUSINESS!” the site proclaims. “TOTAL LIQUIDATION SAVINGS!”
It also says that gift cards will be accepted until May 18, which is useful information.
However, this is not true for all locations. RV retailer Camping World recently joined together with several liquidators to purchase what was left of Gander Mountain, and Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis went on Twitter over the weekend to advise customers that not all locations are closing. Why the confusion? For one thing, Lemonis says the liquidators have exclusive control of the Gander Mountain website until May 18.
Lemonis also posted a preliminary list of stores that are staying open after the liquidators are done with them.
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That’s a total of 51 stores, when Lemonis previously stated that Camping World planned to keep and reopen between 17 and 70 stores. In a statement released this morning, he explained that the company’s plan is to let liquidators sell off stores’ current inventory and start over.
“The current liquidation of the existing Gander Mountain inventory will allow us to start with a clean slate of what we consider the appropriate mix and level of inventory, including the addition of Camping World and Overton’s offerings where appropriate,” the CEO said.
That makes this a “store closing” sale in the same sense as the liquidation sales that teen clothing retailer Aeropostale held at the end of last year, briefly shuttering stores after the remaining inventory was gone and re-opening under new ownership, with entirely new merchandise.
If you’re in the market for hunting or fishing gear, outdoor equipment, or guns, remember that you should resist the brightly-colored liquidation sale signs early on.
There may be some good deals as the sales continue, but the presence of outside liquidators means that all prices in the store are marked back up to the manufacturer’s suggested retail price, then gradually marked down from there. They also come with return policies that are bad or nonexistent.