Entrepreneur Marcus Lemonis, a partial owner of Precise, recently acquired Gander Outdoors and has thus marked an ambitious new stage of growth for the company. Now these two businesses – recognized separately for their intrinsic value by the same man – have joined forces to tackle the needs of the outdoorsman in all of us.
Read on for a peek at Gander Outdoors through the eyes of Manager John Keefe. Then, meet Junior Designer Stephanie Sam for some personal insight on our work in his store.
Presenting (Drum Roll Please) John Keefe
Gander Outdoors, as you might easily infer, is an outdoor retailer. Their locations are spread generously across the eastern half of the U.S.. We’re zeroing in on Greenfield, IN, and a new store that opened in March to an eager community of fellow Hoosiers. That brings us to John Keefe, who stepped into the world of Gander Outdoors retail management in September of 2017.
Despite joining the company after Marcus Lemonis added it to his illustrious collection of investments, John is savvy to the changes the Lemonis style of leadership brought with it. John notes that a refreshing dose of transparency trickles down from the top of the company. This creates an open and upfront atmosphere. It’s easy to imagine the trust and loyalty such practices inspire in an age of faceless, corporate machines.
Welcome to Greenfield, Indiana
Far from the trappings of intense corporate landscapes, Gander’s Greenfield location finds itself nestled in a rural community, a detail John attributes to the unique experience their store has to offer. Their customers “were raised outdoors,” lending a more “down-home feel” to all interactions. As a member of the community, this manager knows his customers and staff personally. John claims this fuels his sense of pride in the store.
Greenfield’s Gander truly promotes an outdoor-friendly space filled with knowledgeable enthusiasts. John tells Precise, “If we sell it, my family and I are involved in it”. He drives that point home in the online introduction to his store:
“As Hoosiers we share common bonds: deer camps in November, miles and miles of mountain bike trails, and of course all the great bass and crappie fishing throughout the state. Some of my favorite memories are of spending time with friends and family doing these very things across our great state.”
Stephanie & The Precise Mission
Precise sought to capture this personable yet passionate atmosphere in our design and installation. According to John, we hit the nail on the head, beating the projected time frame to provide customers with the complete Gander experience by the grand opening. John claims these efforts paved the way for smoother customer traffic, as our team worked seamlessly around staff and customers from the soft opening on. (I’m just about done patting everyone on the back, I promise.)
This smoother traffic ties into the goals of one of our Junior Designers. Stephanie Sam explains that her job is to place the Precise-customized stencils, murals, and signs into the greater layout of individual stores. She does so with a direct and immediate purpose: to provide a way-finding guide for Gander’s customers.
Beyond a highly organized set-up, John notes that the stores look brighter, more open, and inviting to all. The graphics at Gander Outdoors steer away from the taxidermy of other outdoor franchises, but tell a better story. “It’s about several businesses here, not just one,” John explains. Stephanie agrees, going further to add that, “We try to capture what all those different brands and activities are about”. Her job, after all, is to arrange the graphics into coherent scenes.
While Stephanie doesn’t have John’s personal connection to Greenfield, she has become very familiar with Gander Outdoors. Individual stores may be unique, but they remain a cohesive piece of a greater company. She’s become well-practiced in finding that balance, claiming that she’s comfortable meeting the company’s expectations.
As Precise continues working with Gander Outdoors, we aim to leave every store as happy and satisfied as Greenfield, IN.