A Moosejaw Mountaineering store in Detroit (company photo)
Moosejaw Mountaineering, the outdoor lifestyle retailer acquired by Walmart as it was building up its stable of digital native brands in the last decade, has now been purchased by Dick’s Sporting Goods, a more natural home for its products and audience as Dick’s looks to expand its vendor base.
The deal is expected to close in March, and financial terms were not shared.
Walmart acquired Moosejaw in February 2017 for $51 million, the first item in a shopping spree of digital brands built on the direct-to-consumer model, all of which continued to operate independently. Between 2016 and 2018 that group would grow to also include Eloquii, Hayneedle and Shoes.com (both through the failed Jet.com), Modcloth, Bonobos and Bare Necessities. Walmart sold off Modcloth to Go Global Retail in 2020, which in turn sold it to Nogin in 2021.
All of those acquisitions came when Jet.com founder Marc Lore was head of ecommerce for Walmart. He departed the company in 2021.
Moosejaw was launched in Michigan in 1992 by the trio of Bill Schulman, a teacher and summer camp director, and longtime friends Robert Wolfe and David Jaffe. It’s known for its quirky marketing and loyal customer base of camping, hiking and outdoor enthusiasts.
Like other retailers in the recreation space, Moosejaw benefited from the massive movement toward outdoor activities as a result of the pandemic lockdowns. To that point, Dick’s said in its announcement that the deal will “expand Dick’s outdoor portfolio – currently led by specialty retailer Public Lands – and reaffirm its commitment to the long-term business opportunity in the growing multibillion-dollar outdoor category.”
Eoin Comerford, who has been CEO of Moosejaw since 2012, and a VP of Walmart since the acquisition, will report to Todd Spaletto, President of Public Lands and SVP of Dick’s Sporting Goods. Public Lands is an outdoor-themed retailer which Dick’s launched in 2021 that now includes seven stores in New York, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Massachusetts, Ohio and Virginia. It gives back 1% of its proceeds toward national conservation efforts and local outdoors groups.
Moosejaw operates 12 stores in the Midwest and Great Lakes region, but is primarily an ecommerce business.
“We admire what Moosejaw has accomplished over the past 30 years as leaders in the outdoor industry and look forward to the opportunity to share insights and learn from one another,” said Spaletto in the release. “We believe there’s potential to grow the Moosejaw business and provide compelling experiences and an expanded product assortment to its millions of loyal customers.”