Dick’s Sporting Goods announced today it has agreed to acquire outdoor retailer Moosejaw from Walmart.

The move would expand Dick’s Sporting Goods’ portfolio of outdoor retail locations, which is led by its specialty retailer Public Lands, and, according to the company, “reaffirm its commitment to the long-term business opportunity in the growing multibillion-dollar outdoor category.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The deal is expected to close in March 2023, according to a news 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,” said Todd Spaletto, president of Public Lands and senior vice president at Dick’s, in a release.

Moosejaw, founded in Michigan in 1992, runs about a dozen brick-and-mortar locations in Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan and Missouri, but it operates primarily as an e-commerce company. The acquisition could help expand the Public Lands e-commerce business.

Dick’s launched Public Lands in 2021. The brand has seven retail locations in:

  • Framingham, Massachusetts.
  • Melville, New York.
  • Kennesaw, Georgia.
  • Medford, Oregon.
  • Polaris, Ohio.
  • Charlottesville, Virginia
  • Cranberry Twp., Pennsylvania.

Walmart acquired Moosejaw in 2017 for $51 million. The main critique from the outdoor industry at the time was that partnering with Walmart would undercut specialty retailers, steal their customers, and cheapen high-quality brands.

“The brands just did not want to be associated in any way with Walmart,” said Matt Powell, an outdoor industry consultant based in Scarborough, Maine.  “They saw that as very much down market and didn’t want to be included in it.”

But Dick’s could be more palatable to the outdoor industry, according to Powell.

“They have a good working relationship with many of the brands that would be sold on Moosejaw,” he added. “It’s a win for both sides of the industry. The industry gets a company that’s much more familiar with outdoor retail, and a retailer that is a trusted partner.”

Moosejaw CEO Eoin Comerford will report to Spaletto if the deal closes, and Moosejaw will continue to operate independently.

“Like Moosejaw, Dick’s sees a huge opportunity to bring more people to the outdoors,” Comerford said in a statement to CNBC. “Together we will serve outdoor enthusiasts from beginners to experts across multiple channels and locations.”

Bart Schaneman can be reached at bart@ordaily.outdoorretailer.com.

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