tore manager JohnSingleton is ready towelcome customers toGander MountainsGrand Opening follow-ing a few hectic
months. We began moving dirt in February,
and the foundation was poured inApril, he said. With the soft open-ing at the end of May and the GrandOpening beginning June 8, its been abusy few months.
Singleton has a lengthy backgroundin retail management with MJ Designsin the Sherman area, and he got toknow some of the Gander managersand employees when shopping there,and joined them two years ago.
The Gander employees in Shermanwere instrumental in his joining theGander team. That was a big factor,he said. The company encourages itspeople to get out there and partici-pate in the outdoors. These guyswere always telling me about their lat-est fishing or hunting trip.
His piqued interest in the outdoorsbenefited his health as well. I gotback in to running and being moreactive. Ive lost 60 pounds in the pastyear-and-a-half. He also has a lovefor camping and backpacking, includ-ing winter survival camping from timespent in upstate New York.
Finding qualified employees for thenew store was not a problem.
We had a vast number of qualifiedapplicants, Singleton said. Theresponse has been incredible. Wewere able to have a first, second, third
and fourth prospect for each posi-tion.
The expertise of the staff is critical,he said. We hire people with a pas-sion for the outdoors, and they allhave a wealth of knowledge andexperience in the areas where theywork. Their lives outside help fosterthe relationship with the customer.
We want our staff to provide morethan a service to the customers. Wewant to develop that relationship withthe customers, to link with themabout what they do in the outdoors.
Gander Mountain is more than justsales and service. It also offers spacefor seminars or meetings. The Lodgeis a large meeting room well use itfor seminars by the stores expert asso-ciates and guests, and hunter safetyeducation courses, Singleton said.Its also available free of charge fororganizations such as local bass clubs,Boy Scout groups, and conservationgroups to have their meetings.
Dave Coupel is the operationsmanager and assistant store manager.My job is to make sure we have theright product whenever the cus-tomers need it, he said. He hasbeen with Gander Mountain since theopening of the first Texas store inCorsicana in 2004. An Army veter-an, he lives to fish for anything.
Coupel is also in charge of mer-chandising and maintenance, and hestresses customer service as thelifeblood of the store. Our servicesets us apart, he said. From the baitshop for the fishermen heading out
to the lake, to the experienced tech-nicians for archery equipment, fishingreels, boats and ATVs, and our gun-smith, we can take care of the cus-tomers needs.
Singleton has a relaxed manage-ment style that has spilled over to theemployees. He is amazed with theattitude of the staff during the storessetup, but knows the great attitudewill be there at the Grand Openingand beyond.
Were selling toys for the out-doorsman and woman, he said. Noone comes in here in a bad mood.
Page 1 June 8, 2007 Advertising Supplement
College Station store ready to serveJOHN
rom shotguns to rifles,muzzleloaders, hand-guns and bows, thetop brands in GanderMountains Hunting
Department are here to view andtouch.
The departments selection alsoincludes optics, shooting andarchery accessories, decoys, dog-training equipment, blinds, clothingand more.
The brands hunters have cometo know and trust will keep thehunter on track, includingBrowning, Remington, Winchester,Bushnell, Federal, Leupold,Simmons, Rocky, Flambeau,LaCrosse, Primos, GSM StealthCam, Zeiss, Biologic, Avery andmore.
Archery hunters and targetshooters will appreciate the indoorarchery range, as well as customarrow cutting.
Well have 3,500 new guns hereby the time of the Grand Opening,said hunting manager Brady Owens,who describes a unique feature inthe firearms area. We can lock anygun to our gun table with the trig-ger guard in place, of course andour customers can personally handle
and feel any of the guns in a totallysafe manner.
The department offers an exten-sive selection of hunting gear foreach season, whether the hunter is
after big game or deer, waterfowl,upland birds, wild turkey, smallgame, or just prefers target shoot-ing.
The hunting staff is there to help.
We go out of our way to hireknowledgeable people, Owenssaid. We prefer passion over spe-cific retail skills. We can teach retail,but you cant teach passion.
The staff includes two membersof the Texas A&M competitivearchery team and the chairman ofthe A&M Chapter of DucksUnlimited. We have an expert oneverything, Owens said.
Owens praises the wealth ofknowledge of his staff, and theservices of the department to helpthe customer during and after thesale, including a full-time gunsmith.
We can do everything frombuilding a custom rifle to shorteninga stock, said gunsmith MarkHalsey. We also list our services and our prices on the GanderMountain Web site.
Owens is a native of CollegeStation and transferred from theTyler Gander store. He favorsupland bird hunting, especially doveand quail, and waterfowl hunting hashooked him.
I have a new ChesapeakeRetriever puppy and plan to train itonce things here settle down a littlebit.
Owens considers himself fortu-nate to merge his passion and hiswork.
This is the ultimate job for anoutdoorsman, he said.
Department has hunters in sights
Well have 3,500 new guns here by the time of the Grand Opening
Page 2 June 8, 2007 Advertising Supplement
oe Williams, manager ofthe fishing department,touts his staff and thestores inventory as thehighlights of his depart-ment.
Were more than justfishing gear and supplies, hesaid. The department isdesigned to provide completeservice and convenience for thecustomers.
The selection covers every skilllevel from beginner to expert totournament pro. More than 200reels baitcasting, spinning or fly more than 500 rods, and6000-plus lure types will enticethe angler.
Knowing that every customerhas a favorite brand, GanderMountain carries all the topnames in fishing equipment: AbuGarcia, Berkley, Daiwa, Eagle,Frabill, Garmin, Mepps, MinnKota, Plano, Rapala,Shakespeare, Shimano, St. Croix,Zebco and many more.
In addition to the name brands,Gander Mountain carries its ownGuide Series brand. The GuideSeries brand is high-quality andaffordable. I would put our rodsup against anything out there,
he said.The fishing department also
includes a vast array of acces-sories such as tackle boxes, land-ing nets, bait buckets, anchors,life jackets, mooring rope andfish finders.
Williams said the departmentcan meet the needs of the week-end angler to the everyday fish-erman in a one-stop shoppingexperience. Williams said its notjust about the variety and equip-ment. We do have the most
variety in the area, he said. Butwe want to build a relationshipwith our customers and help givethem the best outdoor experi-ence they can have.
The department has an in-store bait shop offering live and
frozen bait, full rod and reel serv-ice, a line-winding station and arod and reel repair service. Wecan load the rod and reel whilethe customer is at the store,Williams said. They can gostraight from the store to thelake.
Williams is especially excitedabout his staff. With TrevorKnight, a member of the TexasA&M bass club, Brian Forest, aprofessional tournament fisher-man, and an associate transfer-ring from Houston with extensivesaltwater and fly-fishing knowl-edge and experience, the cus-tomer can get his or her ques-tions answered.
They all have a passion forfishing and an understanding ofwhat works out there and whatdoesnt, he said.
Williams, an East Texas native,comes to Gander Mountain fromthe grocery industry, where hespent the last 24 years, but heshares the passion for fishing. Hisfavorites are the double Cs, hesaid. Crappie and catfish.
He also likes saltwater troutfishing, and his saltwater favorite,flounder gigging. Now thats ablast.
An anglers haven for variety, service
Were more than just fishing gear and supplies. The department is designed to provide complete service ...
Page 3 June 8, 2007 Advertising Supplement
anderMountainsclothing andcamping lineupprovides com-fort, function
and style for both men and womenof all ages, shapes and sizes. Thetop brands in the business are onhand, including ColumbiaSportswear, Woolrich, Mossy Oak,Wall, Carhartt, LaCrosse, Rockyand Wrangler.
Ganders Guide Series clothingline was developed with the out-door enthusiast in mind, and thenew GSX line (Guide SeriesExtreme) is extremely popular. Itis designed for active wear, saidJennifer Swift, the camping andapparel manager. The line uses allof the new breathable fabrics andmoisture-control systems.
The clothing and footwear arentjust for the woods. We havegreat styles and fabrics that workgreat every day, indoors and out,she said.
Gander Mountain offers a widevariety of camping equipment.
We have the best variety ofcamping gear, she said. Fromthe moderate to the high-endequipment. And our selection oftents is unmatched.
We have Guide Series tentsand tents from Coleman, Wenzel,and Eureka.
From 2-person models to thelarger 5- to 6-person tents, an