Gander Mountain's first Firearms Super Center in Ohio - and second in the nation - is opening this weekend in its Reynoldsburg store.
Gander Mountain’s first Firearms Super Center in Ohio — and second in the nation — is opening this weekend in its Reynoldsburg store.
A three-day grand opening will feature an appearance Saturday by the stars of the History channel’s TV series Swamp People. The retailer also said it is making an effort to encourage responsible gun ownership, as it always has.
“Our focus has always been on strict compliance with all local, state and federal laws regarding firearms purchasing and ownership,” spokesman Jess Myers said. “The Gander Mountain Firearms Super Center mission is to provide responsible citizens the highest quality solutions for their firearms needs, including safety, security, education and training.”
The super center will feature firearms specialists on staff who are trained in guiding customers through the selection, purchase and registration of those guns, he said.
The new store has an “unmatched selection” of guns, said CEO David Pratt in a statement, and it will take “the experience of shopping for firearms and accessories to an entirely new level of selection and service.”
Gander Mountain has been pushed in recent years by the surging competition from such rivals as Cabela’s, Bass Pro Shops and Dick’s Sporting Goods, and in response has been upgrading its stores and doing such things as expanding its gun department in 17 stores, including one in Huber Heights, a suburb of Dayton.
While firearms and gun control have become a controversial subject since the mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., in December, gun sales have been booming, said retail analyst Chris Boring, principal at Boulevard Strategies. “Taking a whole store and devoting it to guns is fairly radical but, from a business standpoint, it makes sense,” Boring said.
“We have Cabela’s coming into the market on March 7,” Boring said. “Cabela’s is well known for its hunting and fishing equipment. So it’s a response to that — and it’s also a response to the overwhelming demand for more guns everywhere. I think it’s wise for them to take advantage of unique market conditions.”
The new store, which offers thousands of new and used firearms as well as a broad selection of firearms accessories, specialty apparel and ammunition, is a relatively new concept for Gander Mountain. The St. Paul, Minn.-based outdoors retailer, with 119 locations in 24 states, first transformed a store into a specialty retail outlet focused specifically on firearms in 2011, in Germantown, Wis.
The results have been encouraging, Myers said. While Gander Mountain doesn’t share sales figures, “customers that have visited thus far are very excited about the look of the store and the overall concept.”