This is big news for an Arkansas-based business. It’s great to see a business with so many local ties grow beyond the boundaries of the state/region. I actually have a bike that I bought from a previous Gearhead store manager and I’ve ridden with Ted and watched him race at Leadville before. My youngest daughter worked for Gearhead while in high school. I should also mention that they were one of the early supporters of ArkansasOutside.com. This is kind of personal for us. Congratulations to Ted and the Gearhead team.
The move returns Rock/Creek and Uncle Dan’s to privately held, grassroots retailer
JONESBORO, ARK., August 15, 2019 — Gearhead Outfitters, an Arkansas-based outdoor specialty retailer, announced today the acquisition of Rock/Creek Outfitters in Tennessee and Uncle Dan’s Outdoor Store based in Illinois. Gearhead Outfitters currently operates 10 brick and mortar retail locations across the Midsouth.
“We are passionate about brick and mortar retail, the outdoor industry, our communities, and our mission,” said Ted Herget, owner and founder of Gearhead Outfitters. “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.”
The acquisition by Gearhead Outfitters will include Rock/Creek’s seven retail locations in Tennessee, along with six Uncle Dan’s locations—five in the Chicagoland area; Lincoln Square, Bannockburn, Evanston, Highland Park, and Lakeview, and one Wisconsin location, Glendale. Also included is the e-commerce presence of both companies.
“We are very excited to transition to the Gearhead family,” said Olivia Beaty, E-commerce Director for Uncle Dan’s. “This move will enable us to better serve our customers to get outside and do what they love. We’re looking forward to where this partnership will take us, and be able to build something on the web as special as we have in brick and mortar.”
With more than a century of specialty retail experience among them, the three outfitters share remarkably similar core values and are committed to being a resource for customers seeking quality equipment, authentic advice, and a dedicated community partner. To that end, Gearhead, Rock/Creek and Uncle Dan’s have each spent decades using brick and mortar and online retail as a platform to support local nonprofits, improve outdoor access and positively impact their communities.
“Rock/Creek has served the Southeast for over 30 years,” said current Rock/Creek President, Chad Wykle. “We’re incredibly proud of the impact we’ve made in our community with our local partners to improve outdoor access and protect our beautiful green spaces. Gearhead has been doing the same good work for the Midsouth for many years. Together, we will continue to strengthen and develop outdoor specialty retail. We know our heritage will continue with this acquisition and are confident our customers will welcome the return to a privately-owned brand.”
About Gearhead Outfitters
Gearhead Outfitters was founded in 1997 by Ted Herget, who desired to bring the active mountain lifestyle to his hometown of Jonesboro, Ark. From its humble beginnings in a friend’s living room, the company has now grown into a regional brand with 10 stores across the Midsouth. Gearhead Outfitters exists to help customers live active, fulfilling lives by creating an exceptional shopping experience for guests. Through a relaxed environment, specialized inventory and personalized customer service, Gearhead strives to build relationships with customers and serve the local communities.
About Rock/Creek Outfitters
Rock/Creek’s first store was opened in 1987 by two outdoor instructors who dreamt of using specialty retail to bolster Chattanooga’s outdoor community and provide support for local nonprofit partners. Today there are seven Rock/Creek locations in East Tennessee as well as two rental outposts offering kayaks, SUPs, and bikes.
About Uncle Dan’s Outdoor Store
Uncle Dan’s first opened its doors in Chicago in 1972 and quickly became one of the Midwest’s premier specialty outfitters. The mission was simple: to outfit customers for any outdoor activity, whether a backcountry trekking adventure or a freezing winter day in the city. In 2018, Uncle Dan’s absorbed Erehwon Mountain Outfitter and now operates five storefronts in the Chicagoland area and one Glendale, Wis., location.