Germantown Habitat ReStore thrift shop to move to former Gander Mountain building

The former Gander Mountain Firearm Supercenter store in Germantown.

Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 04:49 pm

Habitat for Humanity of Washington/Dodge County plans to move its Germantown ReStore thrift shop to a nearby former Gander Mountain Firearms Supercenter building.

The former Gander Mountain Firearm Supercenter store in Germantown.

Russ Wanta, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Washington/Dodge County, said the move to the 30,800-square-foot free standing building at W190 N10768 Commerce Circle will more than triple the store’s inventory capacity.

The Habitat ReStore shop has been at its current location, W188 N10707 Maple Road, for four years.

“It’s been hugely successful but the store is way too small,” Wanta said. “At 7,500 square feet, we’re busting at the seams. We’re at the point where we have over 6,000 square feet of product that we have in storage that we can’t have on display. So it’s really just an expansion opportunity that we saw and wanted to take advantage of it.”

The West Bend-based Habitat for Humanity chapter purchased the building for $1.8 million, according to state records. The building was sold by Grafton-based 505 Bridge LLC, which is registered to William Lloyd. The Germantown store was among several Milwaukee-area Gander Mountain locations that closed after the company filed bankruptcy in 2017.

Wanta said the store will move inventory over the next month with plans for a soft opening in January.

The new location will allow the organization to create a more donor-friendly space, with plans to create a drive-up drop-off for donations, similar to Goodwill stores, Wanta said.

“The ReStore model pivots on having great donor satisfaction,” Wanta said. “If we get good donations, that correlates to great sales.”

The three Habitat for Humanity of Washington/Dodge County-affiliated stores – Germantown, West Bend and Beaver Dam – do just under $1 million in sales annually, Wanta said.

The stores operate on about a 40 percent margin, with proceeds benefiting Habitat for Humanity’s home building and repair work.

Wanta said he also hopes to see the building’s parking lot, which is oversized for ReStore’s needs, be used for community uses, such as the Germantwon Farmer’s Market.

“We really desire to be much more active in the Germantown community with this building,” he said.

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