It’s the latest example of Walmart selling off online-focused brands it acquired as it bulked up its ecommerce business several years ago. Moosejaw will be part of the Public Lands outdoor business unit that Dick’s launched in 2021.

Walmart Inc. announced today it is selling outdoor gear retailer Moosejaw Mountaineering to Dick’s Sporting Goods, the latest instance of Walmart unwinding ecommerce-focused acquisitions it made from 2016 to 2018.

Moosejaw, which operates 13 physical stores largely in the Midwest as well as, will become part of the Public Lands outdoor gear business unit Dick’s launched in 2021. Long-time Moosejaw CEO Eoin Comerford will remain at the helm of Moosejaw and report to Public Lands president Todd Spoletto.

Walmart is No. 2 in the Digital Commerce 360 Top 1000 database, which ranks online retailers by web sales. The mass merchant acquired Moosejaw in 2017 for $51 million. At the time, Moosejaw was No. 261 in the Top 1000. Dick’s is No. 36 in the Top 1000.

Walmart is behind only Inc. in the Top 1000. Amazon also is No. 3 in the Digital Commerce 360 Online Marketplaces database, which ranks the 100 largest global marketplaces.

Walmart digital acquisitions and sales

Moosejaw was one of several acquisitions of midsized retailers and brands with strong ecommerce operations that Walmart acquired from 2016 to 2018 as it sought to strengthen its online presence to better compete with Amazon.


Walmart subsequently wound down most of those acquisitions. Most notably, it folded, for which it paid a reported $3.3 billion in 2016, into in 2020. It also sold off such online-focused brands as ModCloth, Bare Necessities and

It’s no surprise Walmart would sell off Moosejaw, says Eric Roth, managing director, consumer, on the private equity team at asset-management firm MidOcean Partners. At $51 million, Moosejaw was a relatively small acquisition for Walmart and gave it exposure to outdoor enthusiasts who may not have been Walmart customers as well as the opportunity to learn from a Moosejaw team that built strong customer loyalty, in part through irreverent marketing campaigns, Roth says.

“But once you’ve gotten exposure to the customers and gotten the learnings, the question for a big brand always is, ‘Do I want to be multibrand or unibrand,’” Roth says. Jet hadn’t built strong brand loyalty in its few years in existence and so could easily be folded into Walmart, but Moosejaw’s customers are loyal to the brand and may have gone elsewhere if Moosejaw simply became part of Walmart, he says.


In that sense, Moosejaw is a better fit for Dick’s, which operates such subsidiary brands as Public Lands and Golf Galaxy, and now Moosejaw.

“We admire what Moosejaw has accomplished over the past 30 years as leaders in the outdoor industry and look forward to the opportunity to share insights and learn from one another,” said Todd Spaletto, president of Public Lands and senior vice president of Dick’s Sporting Goods, in a press release announcing the deal. “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.”

Moosejaw and Public Lands will continue to operate as independent entities. They will maintain their respective ecommerce sites, and, a Dick’s spokeswoman tells

Moosejaw, which has been in business since 1992, attracts many more online shoppers than the much newer Public Lands, with averaging nearly 3 million visits per month from November through January compared to 493,000 for, according to SimilarWeb, which monitors website traffic. However, both are dwarfed by, which averaged 47.1 million visits monthly during that span.


Sign up

Stay on top of the latest developments in the ecommerce industry. Sign up for a complimentary subscription to Digital Commerce 360 Retail News.

Follow us on LinkedInTwitter and Facebook. Be the first to know when Digital Commerce 360 publishes news content.