The Gander Mountain stores in Franklin, Waukesha and Kenosha will remain open and continue to operate under the Gander Mountain name following the purchase of the troubled outdoor gear retailer in a bankruptcy auction.
Also surviving are four of Gander Mountain’s other Wisconsin locations, in DeForest, Eau Claire, Onalaska and Rothschild.
But six Gander Mountain stores in the state, including the one in Germantown, do not appear on the latest list of locations that will remain open.
Confusion has arisen over the fate of the 160-store chain since last week, when the brand and the rights to its real estate leases were purchased out of bankruptcy by Camping World Holdings Inc.
Camping World, however, did not buy the inventory in the Gander Mountain stores and distribution center. The inventory was purchased by a group of liquidation companies.
Late last week, the liquidators began store-by-store sales of the merchandise, prompting reports that all the stores were closing. Adding to the confusion, the home page of the Gander Mountain website declares in huge type, “All 126 Locations Nationwide Going Out of Business!”
It wasn’t immediately clear why the website refers to 126 locations when Gander Mountain has 160. A Camping World spokesman did not respond to a request for clarification.
On Sunday, Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World and the star of CNBC's "The Profit," took to Twitter to detail his plans for Gander Mountain.
In a video, Lemonis, an alumnus of Marquette University, estimated that 70 to 75 stores will survive, and possibly more if lease terms can be eased. The stores will operate as Gander Mountain, but probably will be significantly leaner.
“At the end of the day this company failed because it made some giant inventory mistakes and just bought too much,” Lemonis said. “Not the wrong stuff, but just too much. And it didn’t understand how to operate in a low-cost environment.”
Monday on Twitter, Lemonis listed 61 stores that will continue. Another 10 or so presumably will remain open but have not yet been identified.
Besides the Germantown store, Wisconsin locations not on the list of 61 survivors are those in Appleton, Green Bay, Sheboygan, Janesville and Baraboo. It's possible some of those will stay open, however, as Lemonis updates his selections.
Camping World runs a chain of stores catering to recreational vehicle owners. It also operates the Good Sam Club, which provides RV owners with breakdown insurance, roadside assistance and other services.
Contact Rick Romell at email@example.com.