Gander Outdoors, formerly known as Gander Mountain, on Tuesday launched its redesigned online store, GanderOutdoors.com, with a new, comprehensive order and product support section, along with store locator and a career section. The site is optimized for mobile.
The site focuses on feature-enhanced content, along with the redesigned format, providing a better overall user experience, according to a press release. The "outdoor busters and special offers" that were part of the grand opening celebration appear to be mostly gone now, but shoppers enjoy a $50 free shipping threshold.
The outdoor retailer earlier this month announced the initial list of 69 retail stores scheduled to open by May, just one off from the 70 stores that Marcus Lemonis, chairman of new owner Camping World Holdings, anticipated would open this year. Camping World, an Illinois-based network of RV-centric retail locations, in April last year won the bankruptcy auction of Gander Mountain Company and Overton's.
With fewer stores and a new banner, Camping World's first step in recreating Gander's sales approach was to focus on brick and mortar — shrinking the retailer's footprint in many areas, or opening stores with already smaller capacity (30,000-, 40,000- or 50,000-square feet, as opposed to 60,000-, 70,000- or 80,000-square feet). But the revamp includes a major retool of its online site, which is now nimble on desktop and mobile. That's mandatory, Lemonis suggested this week.
"Online shopping is increasingly important to the outdoor enthusiast," he said in a statement, noting that the site would offer a "better brand environment" for customers.
From the get-go, Lemonis has insisted that stores be profitable and well-managed in order to re-open, and has expressed confidence in the staff opening the new Gander Outdoors locations. But his cautious approach in steering the acquisition of Gander isn't a reflection of limited ambitions. The company deepened its position in outdoor retail with the purchase this month of regional gear seller Erehwon Mountain Outfitter.
About that deal, whose terms weren't disclosed, Lemonis said it's part of a strategy of "diligently creating segments within the outdoor space that allows for clear focus and growth," along with expansion in e-commerce.
The acquisitions help Camping World's core business, too, with more products to sell to RV customers in need of gear, along with adding new camping customers who either now or in the future may become interested in buying an RV.