Gander Mountain liquidating inventory, but not closing every store

Big-box outdoor retailer Gander Mountain is liquidating all merchandise in its 126 stores nationwide, but that doesn’t mean it’s going out of business—despite the “going out business” sales that were announced over the weekend.

The CEO of the retail chain’s new parent company said Sunday that he plans to keep 70 to 75 Gander Mountain stores open, including two or possibly three stores in the Indianapolis area.

Lincolnshire, Illinois-based Camping World Holdings Inc. last week acquired the intellectual property and the rights to the leases for Gander Mountain at a bankruptcy auction. It did not, however, acquire the inventory of the stores and distribution centers.

That merchandise is being sold by liquidation companies, said Marcus Lemonis, chairman and CEO of Camping World, who also hosts “The Profit,” a TV show on CNBC.

Those liquidators began advertising the “going out of business” sales this week, prompting Lemonis to launch a Twitter campaign to let the public know that many of the stores will be restocked and stay open—as long as they are profitable or "have a clear path" to profitability.

Lemonis said two stores in Greenwood and Avon would be among those that remain open. However, the store in Castleton would stay open only if he could work out a better lease.

“We will need big movement from landlord,” he said in a tweet.

St. Paul, Minnesota-based Gander Mountain announced in March that a store in Greenfield would be closing as part of the Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. Lemonis did not mention that store.

 Gander Mountain got its start in 1960 as a catalog-based retailer of hunting and camping supplies. The retailer has gone through several acquisitions, gone public twice and filed for reorganization in the 1980s and the 1990s.

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