Gander Mountain to open in North Charleston

Gander Mountain, an outdoor recreation retailer, has 138 stores in 25 states.

Gander Mountain, an outdoor retailer akin to Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's, is on its way to North Charleston.

The St. Paul, Minn.-based chain will open its first South Carolina store this fall in a 40,000-square-foot space between Once Upon A Child and Anna's Linens in the Promenade at Northwoods shopping center at 7800 Rivers Ave. The parcel most recently was occupied by Marshalls, which moved this year to the Corner at Wescott Shopping Center on Dorchester Road.

Gander Mountain's announcement of the store opening comes five months after rival Bass Pro Shops confirmed it was opening one of its expansive outdoor recreation stores next year in North Charleston's new Ingleside development.

Gander Mountain spokesman Jess Myers said the retailer looks forward to competing for business.

"We always welcome healthy competition, and we've found that when people compare our selection, prices and level of expertise, they continue to shop Gander Mountain stores," he said.

The North Charleston store is one of 36 locations the company has opened or begun construction on in the past 18 months. Of those stores, 23 are located in the Southeast. The nearest store to Charleston is in Monroe N.C., and others are in the works for Augusta and Charlotte,

"This region of the country is a place where folks clearly have a passion for the outdoors, and family traditions like hunting, fishing, hiking, camping and boating are passed down from generation to generation," Myers said.

North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey agreed.

"I think South Carolina as a whole is a great place for hunters, fishermen, all the outdoor sports," he said."There are so many more people moving into the area, and I think we're just being discovered as more than just a tourism draw but for our sporting draw as well."

Summey added that the outdoor retailer, unlike Bass Pro Shops, wouldn't qualify for any state tax incentives because it doesn't meet the investment requirements.

Gander said in statement its North Charleston store will employ about 70 workers.

The chain specializes in equipment and apparel for fishing, hunting, camping, boating and archery. It said its Rivers Avenue store will have "one of the largest selections of new and used firearms in South Carolina."

Reach Abigail Darlington at 937-5906 and follow her on Twitter @A_Big_Gail