Gander Mountain

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Gander Mountain Company, Inc.
Industry Retail
Founded Wilmot, Wisconsin, USA (1960)
Founder Robert Sturgis
Headquarters Saint Paul, Minnesota
Number of locations
162 (March 2017)
~70 (after liquidation)
Key people
Marcus Lemonis, CEO
Products Apparel, Equipment, & Accessories for:
Hunting·Fishing·Camping·Outdoor Recreation
Revenue Increase $1.06 billion (2008) [1]
Increase −$15.4 million (2008)[1]
Number of employees
5,606 (2,325 full-time) (January 2009)[1]
Parent Good Sam Enterprises

Gander Mountain Company, Inc., headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota, is a retail network of stores for hunting, fishing, camping, and other outdoor recreation products and services. Gander Mountain Incorporated began as a catalog-based retailer in Wilmot, Wisconsin. Wilmot is located near Gander Mountain, the highest point in Lake County, Illinois a short distance across the state line. As of March 2017 the chain had 162 stores in 27 states,[2] making it the largest chain of outdoors specialty stores in the United States.[3]

In the 1990s the company sought bankruptcy protection and began to rebuild its business once it emerged. In 1996 it sold its mail order division and then later acquired the watersports company Overton's in order to relaunch its mail order business.[4] The company declared bankruptcy in March, 2017 with plans to close 32 stores. [2][5] On May 5, 2017 Gander Mountain announced via its website the upcoming closure of all of its locations.[6] The new owner, Marcus Lemonis, has clarified through his account on Twitter, that the bankruptcy court has sold the inventory, and is liquidating that now. Not all stores will close, if a new lease can be worked out with each landlord.[7]


Gander Mountain was formerly traded on NASDAQ but was turned into a private company under the majority ownership of David Pratt and the Erickson family,[8] which own Holiday gas stations.

Chairman of the Board David C. Pratt was elected Chairman of the Board in December 2006. Pratt was elected as a director of Gander Mountain in August 2005 and named Vice Chairman of the Board in December 2005. The Chief Executive Officer is Jay Tibbets.[9]


Gander Mountain offers a wide array of sportswear for men, women, and children, camouflage and field wear, kayaks and canoes.

Gander Mountain sold its mail order business to Cabela's in 1996 with a no-compete clause. In 2007 it won a lawsuit brought by Cabela's to resume online sales. On December 6, 2007, the company announced it purchased boating and watersports catalog company Overton's for $70 million from a private-equity firm. The purchase of Overton's, based in Greenville, North Carolina, helped Gander Mountain's transition back into direct marketing.

In December 2013 Gander Mountain brought suit against Cabela's claiming that the competitor was illegally using domain names related to its business. The lawsuit accuses "Cabela's of violating federal and state statutes as well as common law." Additionally Gander claims that Cabela's is in violation of the federal Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, trademark infringement and trademark dilution.[4]


Gander Mountain store in Appleton, Wisconsin, using 1980's-2004 era logo.
Map of Gander Mountain stores.

As of March 2017 the company has 162 stores operating in 27 states.[2] Gander Mountain's "large-format" stores range in size from 50,000-120,000 square feet and offer customers a unique experience. Physically, and visually, the stores are met with wider shopping aisles, high-joist ceilings, brick and stone accents, log-wrapped columns, and other wilderness related decorations.[citation needed]

Gander Mountain online store officially opened in August 2008.

Gun sales[edit]

Gander Mountain called itself the top seller of new and used firearms in the U.S. Starting in 2010, it had opened six Gander Mountain Academy and Firearms Supercenters, where it estimates that over 250,000 people had received training.[10]


In March of 2017, Gander Mountain voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The retail chain decided to close 32 underperforming stores in 11 states. The company also began looking for a buyer. However, there was initially little to no interest from potential buyers. Store closures began in April with the affected stores holding inventory liquidation sales. There is speculation that Gander Mountain is not able to keep up with it's competitors such as Cabela's, Bass Pro Shops, and, in some areas, Scheels All Sports.

On May 1, 2017, Camping World Holdings Inc acquired Gander Mountain at auction for an estimated $390 million. The sale will be finalized pending approval by federal bankruptcy court. As part of the deal, Camping World is obligated to operate a minimum of 17 Gander Mountain stores. However, Camping World executives have stated that they will most likely retain and operate stores in excess of that number.Liquidation sales will continue in order to revamp Gander Mountain's inventory structure with one that ensures greater profitability. The revamp will include incorporating Camping World merchandise at select Gander Mountain locations.

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