By Ashley Barker
Published May 19, 2014
Gander Mountain is planning to open its first S.C. store in North Charleston in the fall.
The outdoor gear and apparel retail shop will be located in a redeveloped 40,000-square-foot space in the Promenade at Northwoods, across Rivers Avenue from Northwoods Mall, according to a news release from the company.
The North Charleston Gander Mountain store will be located in a redeveloped 40,000-square-foot space across Rivers Avenue from Northwoods Mall. (Photo provided/Gander Mountain)
The store is expected to create up to 70 new jobs, the company said.
“As South Carolina’s retail sales leader for 21 consecutive years, we are happy to welcome Gander Mountain to North Charleston’s flourishing market,” North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey said. “Gander Mountain will be an amenity to our residents and visitors, and we anxiously await its opening.”
Another outdoor retailer in the works
A Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World store — specializing in hunting, fishing, camping and other outdoor gear — is expected to open in 2015 at the intersection of Interstate 26 and Northside Drive in North Charleston.
After it received approval for tax incentives from the city of North Charleston, the company announced in December that it would begin construction on a 130,000- to 150,000-square-foot store.
Republican Rep. Mark Sanford and officials from Lowcountry Local First have called the incentive for Bass Pro Shops unfair.
Sanford said in March that the Bass Pro Shops deal in North Charleston would be worth somewhere between $15 million and $25 million of taxpayer money. He said he supports tax incentives for manufacturing companies that come to the state, but he said retail incentives “pay for what you’re already going to get.”
“In the cases of manufacturing, we’re going to offer incentives as we’re in this big competition both regionally, nationally and, in some cases, internationally,” he said. “Retailers follow purchasing power. If you have a company that has come, like a Boeing, that then creates a lot more buying and spending in the district. The retailers are going to come.”
The Gander Mountain store will not receive any tax incentives, according to Summey.
“They are not doing that large of a facility. They are going into an already established shopping center,” he said. “We’re very pleased to have them come.”
The city has been working with the company’s real estate agent for approximately three months, according to Summey. He said Bass Pro Shops doesn’t see Gander Mountain as competition.
“They see it only as competition that is good for business,” Summey said. “About 1,400 people a month are moving into Charleston County. They (Bass Pro Shops) think the market is growing and don’t see slowdown in the near future so they’ll have larger clientele.”
In the past 18 months, new Gander Mountain stores have opened in Albany and Valdosta, Ga.; Gastonia, Monroe, Morrisville and Winston-Salem, N.C.; and Tampa, Fla., among other locations. Stores are under construction in Augusta and McDonough, Ga., as well as Raleigh and Charlotte.
Minnesota-based Gander Mountain operates 138 stores in 25 states and is the parent company of Overton’s, a catalog and online retailer for boating and water sports products.
Reach staff writer Ashley Barker at 843-849-3144 or @AshleyNBarker on Twitter.