TRAVERSE CITY — Gander RV & Outdoors in Traverse City is closing, according to multiple sources.
An email announced Gander Outdoors stated “Store is Closing. Everything Must Go! 40% Off.” Below the add the email reads, “Offer Valid at Traverse City, MI. Expires 11/10/19.”
An employee who answered the phone at parent company Camping World Holdings, Inc. confirmed the Traverse City store at 3500 Marketplace Circle B was closing, but did not have a date.
Camping World Holdings, Inc. announced in September it was closing or converting 37 locations that don’t sell recreational vehicles.
“We believe the sale and/or servicing of recreational vehicles is our core and most important offering and, with the RV and outdoor consumer crossover, we believe there is an opportunity to continue growing our market share and improve our financial performance through the operation of locations with RV sales and/or service and, when feasible, our hunting, fishing and camping products,” Marcus A. Lemonis, Camping World Holdings chairman and CEO, said in a release.
“We will continue to operate our RV sales and/or service locations under three banners, Camping World, Gander RV and Outdoors and Gander RV,” he said.
The Gander Outdoors store in Traverse City doesn’t sell RVs. The employee at Camping World Holdings, Inc. said he could not confirm whether the TC store was converting to a store that sells RVs.
Management in the Traverse City store referred a call to a Gander RV & Outdoors email address. There was no response.
In the email from Gander RV & Outdoors, there are two coupons with a Nov. 10 expiration date. The first lists 40 percent off the entire store with the exclusion of firearms, ammunition, generators, optics and electronics. The second coupon advertises 20 percent off all excluded items.
Gander Mountain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March 2017. A month later, a subsidiary of Camping World bought the brand and leases on the chain’s 162 stores, including the Traverse City location. A separate company bought the store’s inventory, sold it off, and closed the store.
Camping World reopened the Traverse City store as Gander Outdoors in March 2018. The store then had 45 full- and part-time employees.
A year and half later, the company has shifted direction.
Camping World Holdings on Sept. 3 announced that it is strategically shifting away from locations where it’s not feasible to sell and/or service recreational vehicles. The company operates 165 locations that service and/or sell RVs. It has opened or acquired 30 such dealership locations in the last two years.
GanderOutdoors.com lists eight locations in Michigan. Only one of them, in Coldwater, sells RVs.
The company said it is in the process of “attempting to acquire and/or obtain the developmental consents, approvals and permits necessary for the sale and/or service of RV’s” in some of the 37 locations that don’t currently deal in RVs.
Camping World may sell, repurpose, relocate or close between 27 and 37 location across the country, the release stated. It expects all changes to be complete by the end of the year.