Moosejaw is putting the finishing touches to its new store at 111 S. Main St. in Bentonville. The outdoor outfitter will open its doors to the public on Thursday (October 21) with a grand opening scheduled for October 29 to 30. Moosejaw adds 30 jobs to the location just two blocks from the downtown plaza.
Moosejaw was acquired by Walmart in 2017 and the store caters to outdoor enthusiasts with brands including Rocky Mountain, Burton, North Face, Prana, Columbia, and Keen. The new store will measure 6,000 square feet, making it the retailer’s second largest store in the United States. Walmart paid $ 3.37 million for the property in April.
“Bentonville has become one of the best mountain biking destinations in the US, so we wanted to be there and bring cool brands like Evil and Rocky Mountain Bikes to the area,” said Eoin Comerford, CEO of Moosejaw. “We were particularly drawn to the downtown area because of the proximity to the trails and the ongoing revitalization and investment in pedestrian malls, hotels and more. Our assortment of hiking and snow sports will also fill the gaps in the local market. The Ozarks are right in our backyard and world class skiing is a two hour flight away.
Moosejaw is primarily an online retailer and the new Bentonville store marks only its 12th brick and mortar location. The store will be open seven days a week, Monday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. The location will also offer services such as bike tuning, tube changes, cable installation and brake tuning.
The acquisition of Moosejaw represents Walmart’s broader commitment to continue to provide an expanded assortment of high-quality items to customers shopping online, the retailer said.
Clint Lazenby, an avid biker and business director at Traverse Group in Rogers, said he thinks Moosejaw’s bet on a store in Bentoniville is a good test.
“It seems that all digital native brands are moving in this direction. You see in many places where you have a high percentage of young, high income individuals / families, some small communities are thriving in the big cities. You’ve even seen Amazon do it with a 4-star format. Usually you find these stores grouped together so that shoppers can touch and feel. The Parachute House is a good example, as is Warby Parker. Considering that Northwest Arkansas is all about outdoor adventures and being a Walmart brand, I think this is a great extension to make it visible and also has to be a great lab for experimenting and learning more. Lazenby said.
Carol Spieckerman, CEO of Spieckerman Retail, said the store is a great addition to the downtown scene.
“Moosejaw’s model is digitally driven, but the selective in-store presence keeps the brand alive and enables site-to-store fulfillment capabilities. Locating these stores in city centers rather than shopping malls allows the retailer to access new customers while also building awareness among fans, ”she said.
Spieckerman said Moosejaw’s brand house structure is also stronger than single-brand operators.
“The retailer essentially operates as an organized brand market and the number of brands featured on its website is impressive, not to mention the offerings of brands owned by Moosejaw. Diversification is the name of the retail game and Moosejaw embodies that from a brand, category and channel perspective, ”she said.