Hattiesburg Gander Mountain to reopen

Hattiesburg Gander Mountain to reopen
The television personality confirmed that Gander Mountain Hattiesburg will stay open. Source: Twitter.
Source: WDAM
Source: WDAM
Source: WDAM
Source: WDAM

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Good news for shoppers in Hattiesburg who frequent Gander Mountain on Hardy Street.

After store closing signs went up at the store Thursday, the manager confirmed the store will reopen in the coming months.

Friday Marcus Lemonis, owner of Camping World and host of CNBC's "The Profit," tweeted that the store was staying open.

In a direct tweet, Lemonis confirmed with WDAM the location would remain a Gander Mountain.

Store Manager Gabe George spoke with WDAM 7 Friday to clear up the confusion.

"They've been confused, as we tell them we will close at some point to remodel and then have a grand reopening," George said.

George said he found out Friday morning the store would remain on Hardy Street, as a Gander Mountain, on Twitter Friday morning.

George said 11 companies put in bids to take over the Gander Mountain brand and locations last week.

Lemonis' Camping World and four other liquidators won the bid as a group.

"The liquidators own all the merchandise and are doing all the liquidation procedures," George said. "Camping world is going to retain up to 80 Gander locations to carry forward as Gander Mountain stores. We were listed this morning as one of the stores that will remain."

According to George, Camping World now owns the name and brand of Gander Mountain, while the four liquidators own the merchandise at the stores.  The liquidations and sales will continue at the Hardy Street location for the next couple weeks and then the store will be closed to remodel.

"We'll do additional markdowns every Thursday," George said. "Their plan is to sell as much of the old stuff as we can."

George said many customers have visited the store looking for markdowns on guns and ammo. He said the store has to follow the liquidation procedures from the new owners, but that department is expected to see some sales next week.

The Hattiesburg Gander Mountain will receive concrete plans on moving forward with a close date in the next two months. George said after the store receives that plan and sets a closing date, the store will be remodeled and turned around in 14-45 days.

"We expect there to be additional brands," George said. "We know there will be a bunch of additional boating and RV stuff added to our merchandise and the water sports will be a lot larger."

The parking lot was full Friday, as many customers did not know about the plans to reopen.

"A lot of stores do it, so its good it will be here," said shopper Cathy Kane.

Stephanie Demarco works at a local hospital and said that was all many people were talking about Thursday as news spread of the closing signs.

"I think a lot of people in this area like to hunt and fish and a lot of people depend on it," Demarco said. "You don't have to go to Jackson or somewhere to find the things you want."

According to Lemonis' Wikipedia page, in 2013, he became the star of the CNBC reality show, "The Profit," which features Lemonis on the hunt for promising yet faltering small businesses.

As of the summer of 2016, with the show in its fourth season, he puts his own money on the line to save the business and make himself a profit. After the third season, Lemonis had invested $35 million in businesses featured in the program, according to the summary on Wikipedia.

There is no word at this time if the Hattiesburg location will be featured on his show.

According to The Minneapolis/ St. Paul business journal, Lemonis is purchasing several Gander Mountain stores that are hanging closure signs, which is causing widespread confusion.

Lemonis is active on his Twitter account, confirming what stores he has bought, including the Hattiesburg location.

Lemonis did confirm that he bought the Hattiesburg location, and that it will remain a Gander Mountain.

As far as why stores around the nation are hanging closing store signs, Lemonis says it is part of a liqudation.

We reached out to Lemonis for a written statement, but have not received it at this time.