Metro-East News

It’s unclear whether Gander Mountain in O’Fallon will close

The signs both inside and outside say the store is closing, but a company spokesman seemed to leave the door open Monday as to whether Gander Mountain’s O’Fallon location would remain open.

Gander Mountain, a chain of hunting and outdoors stores, was acquired by Camping World Holdings Inc., this month after it filed for bankruptcy in March.

Liquidation sales are happening at all 126 Gander Mountain locations nationwide, including O’Fallon, which also had signs out over the weekend announcing the store’s impending closure.

However, company CEO Marcus Lemonis took to social media over the weekend to announce some stores would remain open under the same name. Lemonis said in a live online Periscope video that he plans to keep open at least 70 stores around the country.

Lemonis tweeted that the Peoria, Marion and Springfield locations will stay open in Illinois, as well as a Chesterfield store in Missouri. He did not mention the O’Fallon, Illinois, store or a store in Fenton, Missouri.

On Monday, company spokesman Jess Myers told the BND and O’Fallon Progress that people should continue follow Lemonis on Twitter, as he released another list of 50 stores remaining open that afternoon.

“O’Fallon is one among those undergoing liquidation, but that has no bearing on whether or not it’s closing or not,” Myers said. “The CEO wants 70 to stay open, ideally. So this is all preliminary information and not definitive as of yet.”

Lemonis did say that his company won’t move forward with a Gander Mountain store “unless there is a clear path to profitability” after ensuring a $12 minimum wage for employees.

For the Gander Mountain stores that close, Lemonis said employees will be able to interview for a job at any nearby Camping World stores. The Camping World location closest to the metro-east is in Wentzville, Missouri.

O’Fallon city officials did not return calls for comment.

Reporter Lexi Cortes contributed to this report.

Robyn L. Kirsch: 618-239-2690, @BND_RobynKirsch

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