In 2017 Camping World surprised the RV industry by purchasing the Gander Mountain retailer in a bankruptcy auction, reports Gear Junkie. Many assumed CW wanted to add more general camping and outdoors products to the CW line, but according to a press release, Camping World said that since the Gander acquisition, it has negotiated leases “for a number of the old Gander Mountain locations” where it believes it can grow its RV operation.
“We have always viewed Gander Outdoors as the most cost-effective method to increase our RV sales presence and grow our Good Sam Club, particularly in key RV markets where we are under-penetrated,” said Marcus Lemonis, chairman and CEO of Camping World.
The first Gander RV store opened last month in Kenosha, Wisc., inside a Gander Outdoors store. Further such stores were expected to open in the state as well as in Minnesota, Texas, Virginia, New York, Florida, Kentucky, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Indiana. Camping World said it will launch Gander RV in 40 locations by spring 2019.
Not all former Gander Outdoors stores will reopen as RV stores, though, as some may not be a good market for RVs.