Gander Mountain to open firearms super center in Monroe

Feb. 14, 2013 @ 06:46 PM

Gander Mountain will open its third firearms super center in the nation and seventh store in North Carolina in Monroe in late April.

The Gander Mtn. Firearms Super Center is a new concept expected to give Monroe a specialty retail outlet focused on fulfilling the needs of firearms enthusiasts, according to a Gander Mountain statement.

The new store is planned to open in the former Best Buy location in Monroe on Roosevelt Boulevard.

The super center will feature thousands of new and used firearms of all kinds and the industry's best selection of firearms, accessories, specialty apparel ammunition and security. In addition to buying and selling firearms, the store will be staffed by firearms specialists, according to the statement.

The company has a super center in Germantown, Wis., and plans to open another one this weekend in Reynoldsburg, Ohio. In North Carolina, Gander Mountain also has stores in Fayetteville, Greensboro, Mooresville, Raleigh and Winston Salem and plans to soon open a Gastonia location, Jess Myers, a Gander Mountain spokesperson, said.

"We have literally tens of thousands of different firearms, that we sell," Myers said.

The concept of the company's firearms super center has been around since the opening of the Germantown, Wis., super center in November of 2011. This was prior to the recently reported incidents of gun violence in the country and since its opening, the company has not had any problems with the store, he said.

"Gander Mountain is already recognized as the firearms experts, but with our latest Gander Mtn. Firearms Super Center, we are taking the experience of shopping for firearms and accessories to an entirely new level of selection and service. We are excited to bring this new retail experience and opportunity to the people of North Carolina and we're confident that our unmatched selection and the expertise of our specialists will make this a premiere destination for those with an interest in firearms, David Pratt, CEO of Gander Mountain, said in the company's statement.

The mission of the Gander Mtn. Firearms Super Center is to provide responsible citizens the highest quality solutions for their firearms needs, including safety, security, education and training. It will provide the largest assortment and selection of firearms solutions for hunting, self-defense, recreation, competition and training, while at the same time upholding the highest level of compliance in accordance with all local, state and federal laws. The store offers different levels of products available that are suitable for beginners as well as true firearms enthusiasts as well as hunting clothing and gear designed with outdoor enthusiasts in mind, according to the statement.

"We couldn't be happier to have Gander Mountain become part of the city of Monroe landscape. Our residents and the surrounding area's residents will be able to have their outdoor needs met right here in Monroe. Gander Mountain is a fantastic company that will not only provide a great shopping destination, but also jobs, a financial investment in our community and a new retail destination we can be proud of," Mayor Bobby Kilgore of Monroe, said in the Gander Mountain statement.

A new Gander Mountain store generally creates upwards of 70 jobs that can include 20 to 30 full-time employees and 40 to 50 part-time employees, Myers said.

For Anne Marie Rushing, who runs Long's Sporting Goods in Monroe with her husband, Stony Rushing, the addition of Gander Mountain to Monroe could have a negative effect on their business.

"People will go to a big chain than a small home town dealer every time," Anne Marie Rushing said in reference to why she's not looking forward to Gander Mountain opening.

In response to the upcoming opening of Gander Mountain, she and others at Long's Sporting Goods plan to continue on with doing what they have been doing and hope people will chose to shop at hers and other local small businesses, she said.

Long's Sporting Goods offers a large selection of firearms and other products and recently has seen increases in gun sales, she said.

Jimmy Langston, who owns Langston's Gun & Pawn in Wingate, said he's not that worried about the new super center opening in Monroe.

"It won't bother me much. I've got customers I've had for years," Langston, said.

Jim Shuler, who owns Kingdom Arms in Marshville, said he also is not worried about the new Gander Mountain store.

A lot of the items he sells come at much lower prices than what you can find at Gander Mountain, Shuler said.

Additional details on special events, activities and promotions that will be part of the super center opening in Monroe will be available at www.GanderMountain.com. Anyone interested in careers with Gander Mountain can find current opportunities and submit an application on-line at www.GanderMountain.com/careers, according to the Gander Mountain statement.