Wednesday, August 21, 2019
Volume 2, Issue No. 15

Camping World Divests Two Outdoor Specialty Chains

Jonesboro, AR-based Gearhead Outfitters, which operates 10 stores, has acquired Chattanooga, TN-based Rock/Creek Outfitters and Chicago-based Uncle Dan’s from publicly traded Camping World Holdings, parent of the Gander Outdoors banner. Terms of the transactions were not disclosed. The deals will add 14 more outdoor specialty locations to Gearhead’s retail portfolio.

Camping World acquired Uncle Dan’s, with its six stores in the Chicagoland market, one in Glendale, WI and an e-commerce business, in Oct. 2017 for $7.5 million cash plus $800,000 in consideration for debt and a line of credit. The acquisition, along with other outdoor specialty acquisitions by Camping World, including Erehwon Mountain Outfitter, were supposed to help the RV giant develop an outdoor merchandising strategy for its broader Gander business. The sell-off could signal a shift in CWH’s retail strategy. In April 2018, the 8-store Rock/Creek Outfitters chain, the Grassroot Alliance’s Retailer of the Year in 2011, 2013 and 2014, were purchased for $5.2 million by Camping World.

Gearhead Outfitters was founded in 1972 by Ted Herget, who wanted to bring the active mountain lifestyle to his hometown. In a statement, Hergert said, “The opportunity to acquire Rock/Creek and Uncle Dan’s has provided a unique opportunity for all three brands to align under those values as a family of outdoor specialty retailers. Our highest priority is to maintain the integrity of these companies, the brands we carry, and to expand the influence of the outdoor industry.”