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Sporting goods chain renames itself, announces which stores with remain open, close

A sign on the exterior of Gander Mountain in Hermantown reads "going out of business" in May 2017. File photo / Forum News Service

HERMANTOWN, Minn. — Gander Mountain will keep several Minnesota stores open, though with plenty of changes to come, as CEO Marcus Lemonis recently tweeted out the newest list of surviving stores in a saga playing out like reality television.

Surviving Minnesota locations include Hermantown, Forest Lake, Lakeville, Baxter and Bemidji; six other locations will close in the state. Fargo's location will close because, as Lemonis tweeted: "Land not affordable. Landlord not amenable."

The retailers will undergo a name change, though, as the chain has been renamed Gander Outdoors with a new logo designed through a social media contest.

A news release that followed Lemonis' tweets Friday, June 30, said the Hermantown location and a few dozen others are "expected to reopen under the new Gander Outdoors and Overton's brand, with a fresh offering of Gander Outdoors, Overton's and Camping World products and services."

Lemonis also owns Camping World, which bought St. Paul-based Gander out of bankruptcy proceedings this spring. Of 160 stores the rival chain picked up, 57 will remain open in some form. Lemonis also tweeted a list of 36 additional stores to "build new," including one in Woodbury.

"Our original goal was to initially open 70 or more stores, and while our initial list is now less than 70, we are not willing to open stores which we do not believe have a clear path to profitability," Lemonis said in the release.

Lemonis, star of the CNBC show "The Profit," has repeatedly taken to Twitter for announcing the latest in Gander's revival, adding as much mystery as clarity to the fate of the outdoor retailer here and elsewhere.

Brooks Johnson

Brooks is an investigative/enterprise reporter and business columnist at the Duluth News Tribune.

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