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updated: 9/4/2019 2:41 PM

Camping World to expand RV sales into Gander

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  • Recreational vehicles sit on the lot at Camping World in Wauconda. The Lincolnshire-based company said it will refocus its retail strategy on its core business of recreational vehicle sales and service, with plans to incorporate the RV business into other brands the company owns.

    Recreational vehicles sit on the lot at Camping World in Wauconda. The Lincolnshire-based company said it will refocus its retail strategy on its core business of recreational vehicle sales and service, with plans to incorporate the RV business into other brands the company owns.
    Daily Herald file photo 2016

  • COURTESY OF SANDROMarcus Lemonis is CEO of Lincolnshire-based Camping World and the host of CNBC's reality TV show, "The Profit."

    COURTESY OF SANDROMarcus Lemonis is CEO of Lincolnshire-based Camping World and the host of CNBC's reality TV show, "The Profit."

 
 

Camping World Holdings announced Wednesday it will refocus its retail strategy on its core business of recreational vehicle sales and service, with plans to incorporate the RV business into its Gander Outdoors brand.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Marcus A. Lemonis said the Lincolnshire-based company will rebrand its Gander outdoor gear stores into Gander RV and Outdoor and Gander RV, which will operate alongside its flagship Camping World business.

"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," Lemonis said.

Camping World acquired the Gander Mountain brand in a bankruptcy sale in 2017 and reopened the business as Gander Outdoors a year later. The company had 69 Gander Outdoors stores in 22 states in 2018,

The company said it is currently re-evaluating all of its non-RV sales stores and may close some that are not able to be adapted to the new business model. About 27 to 37 stores are being looked at, but the company did not specify locations.

Camping World has 165 locations across the country that sell or service RVs, with more than 30 RV dealership locations opened or acquired since 2018.

The revamped businesses are expected to be in place by the end of the year, the company said.

Despite the shift in its business strategy, Lemonis said the company is continuing to expand its dealer network and plans to open new stores under the Camping World or Gander RV brands in 10 states, including two in Springfield and downstate Marion, Ill.

In addition to Camping Word and Gander, the company also operates e-commerce business TheHouse.com. It recently sold 13 Uncle Dans and Rock Creek specialty retail stores.