Cathy Jett is the assistant business editor at The Free Lance-Star, and specializes in covering the area's retail scene.
Gander Mountain kicks off expanded shoe selection today
In the market for shoes?
Then you might want to take a gander at Gander Mountain’s new shoe section, which was unveiled nationwide today.
The Saint Paul, Minn.-based outdoor outfitter has expanded its selection to include nearly 65 brands and approximately 550 styles of performance, hiking, hunting and outdoor shoes, boots and sandals.
Locally, the Gander Mountain on State Route 3 in Spotsylvania County is displaying the shoes on a wall in the back of the store. That’s a change that’s affected the store’s layout.
“More and more people are taking on active, outside lifestyles, and we’re providing them with the performance footwear they need to enjoy any activity,” said Steve Uline, executive vice president, marketing at Gander Mountain, in a press release. “Outdoor activities like trail running and hiking continue to grow, and our customers are looking for footwear selection and expertise they can’t get at traditional shoe stores or big box retailers.”
Gander Mountain stores will offer more than 20 new brands including Adidas, Asics, Baffin, Bates, Blackhawk, BOGS, Brooks, Caddis, Clarks, Durango, Georgia, Keen Utility, Montrail, New Balance, Oakley, Rugged Shark, Salomon, Sanuk, Saucony, Under Armour and Vasque.
To kick off its move into performance footwear, the retailer has launched the Gander Mountain of Shoes sweepstakes. One man, woman and child will be selected as grand prize winners and win a pair of every men’s, women’s and kids’ shoe, respectively, that the retailer offers. Another 354 winners will win gift cards valued up to $100 that can be applied to any shoe purchase.
“We see the Gander Mountain of Shoes as a chance to introduce our customers to our new and huge performance footwear selection,” said Uline. “We’re putting employees through intense ‘Footwear University’ training to go beyond the basics and ensure our customers get the right fit, support and weight they need out of their shoes.”
Footwear University is a three-day curriculum to educate Gander Mountain managers and footwear associates about getting customers the right shoe for any activity they enjoy. Trainees meet with various footwear vendors to discuss key elements of those vendors’ shoes, and develop plans to train other footwear associates at their individual stores. Approximately 400 new employees have been hired nationwide to support the footwear expansion.
Customers can register for the sweepstakes by Sept. 30 at a Gander Mountain store or online at GanderMountain.com.