BEMIDJI -- After enduring a transfer in corporate ownership and a name change nearly two years ago, the Gander Outdoors store will close its doors in Bemidji soon.
According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, locations in both Eden Prairie and Bemidji will cease operations in the near future, with closing sale signs up at the Bemidji location. However, the Star Tribune reports closing dates haven't been disclosed.
The news comes after Camping World Holdings, which operates Gander Outdoors, announced a change in strategy with a focus on RVs via press release. The company stated it operates 165 locations that sell RVs while 37 don't.
Moving forward, Camping World announced it is exploring a transition for some of those 37 to start selling RVs. However, the company also stated its expectation of selling, re-purposing, relocating or closing some of the other locations not selling RVs.
"We believe the sale and/or servicing of recreational vehicles is our core and most important offering," said Marcus Lemonis, chairman and CEO in the release. "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."
Locations in Minnesota to remain open to sell RVs under Camping World's ownership, according to the release, include Forest Lake, Hermantown and Lakeville.
In Bemidji, the store at 1313 Paul Bunyan Drive NW re-opened in May 2018, after initially operating as Gander Mountain. In spring 2017, the St. Paul-based Gander Mountain Co. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
In May 2017, Camping World bought the company and re-opened some of the Gander Mountains as Gander Outdoors. Bemidji was initially included on a list of stores to close in 2017, but was later added to the list of Gander Outdoors locations.