(This story was updated on 10/19/2023 and 10/27/2023.)
Dick’s Sporting Goods is closing 11 of 14 of its Moosejaw stores just six months after acquiring the outdoor retailer from Walmart.
The stores are scheduled to close in February 2024, including Moosejaw’s headquarters in Madison Heights, Michigan, the Detroit Free Press reported. The move is part of Dick’s strategy to focus its outdoor business around its Public Lands stores.
Dick’s will keep selling outdoor gear through Moosejaw.com.
“After careful review of our outdoor specialty business, we have decided to form one team that will support the operations of Public Lands and Moosejaw,” Sarah Cassella, a spokesperson for Dick’s, wrote in a statement to The Daily. The team will be based at Public Lands’ headquarters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
“This move supports our business optimization efforts and will allow us to operate more efficiently, quickly leverage best practices across our outdoor business and drive our long-term success,” Dick’s added. “We look forward to continuing to provide outdoor enthusiasts great gear and service on Moosejaw.com, PublicLands.com and at Moosejaw and Public Lands retail locations.”
The three stores that will stay open are in Salt Lake City, Utah, Birmingham, Michigan, and Bentonville, Arkansas. Seven Michigan stores — in Ann Arbor, Belmont, downtown Birmingham, Detroit, East Lansing, Grand Rapids, and Gross Pointe — will close, along with others in Boulder, Colorado, Chicago, Illinois, Kansas City, Missouri, and Olathe, Kansas.
Crain’s Detroit reported that 35 employees were terminated on Friday, but more are likely to be affected as the stores are closed. When the Dick’s acquisition was announced, Moosejaw had about 240 workers.
Moosejaw E-commerce Focus
Moosejaw, founded in Michigan in 1992, operates primarily as an e-commerce company along with its retail stores.
In June, Moosejaw CEO Eoin Comerford told The Daily the sale to Dick’s came about because Dick’s is great at brick-and-mortar retail and Moosejaw has the e-commerce model dialed in. Moosejaw’s stores typically range from 4,000 – 5,000 square feet. By comparison, Dick’s Public Lands stores are huge – about 40,000 to 60,000 square feet.
Comerford also saw Moosejaw’s role as helping to provide Dick’s with scale in the e-commerce space. Right now, the majority of Dick’s online sales are fulfilled at their stores.
“Moosejaw is more successful as an online play,” industry analyst Matt Powell told The Daily. “Physical stores are a challenge for off-price outdoor stores.”
Despite the acquisition, Moosejaw isn’t immune to the same downward trends the overall industry has faced.
In June, Comerford said business had been a little slower this year, adding that a lot of retailers were reporting sales were down in the low single-digits to low double-digits compared to last year.
Bart Schaneman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editor’s note: While Dick’s is closing most Moosejaw stores, it celebrated the grand opening of a new Moosejaw store in Salt Lake City in October.