August 27, 2008, 12:00 AM

To make a splash in e-commerce, Gander Mountain goes interactive

Reviving its direct-to-consumer division, Gander Mountain is launching GanderMtn.com with online community features to address the growing interest of outdoor sports enthusiasts in sharing their exploits online.

With 115 stores in 23 states, Gander Mountain Co. bills itself as the largest network of stores in the U.S. specializing in hunting, fishing, camping, boating, and outdoor lifestyle products and services. Now, 12 years after it discontinued its direct-to-consumer division, which it sold to rival Cabela’s Inc., the company has launched GanderMtn.com to build on its roots as a direct merchant.

Gander is injecting the new site with online community features to address the growing interest of outdoor sports enthusiasts in sharing their exploits online. GanderMtn.com features, for example, a bragging board where customers can upload photos of their latest hunting or fishing adventure. Customers also can post and share product reviews.

“We enjoy sharing in the outdoor experience with our customers, and we didn’t want to lose that sense of community and personal service when we launched GanderMtn.com,” says CEO Mark Baker. “These interactive features and customer service contact options complement what we are doing in our 115 retail stores.”

The launch of GanderMtn.com coincides with the debut of a new print catalog and follows the company’s purchase late last year of Overton’s, a web and catalog retailer of marine sports supplies, for about $70 million.

paul@verticalwebmedia.com

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