Walmart-owned Moosejaw prepares to open store in Bentonville 

by Kim Souza ([email protected]) 4,084 views 

Moosejaw is putting the final touches on its new retail location at 111 S. Main St. in Bentonville. The outdoor outfitter will open to the public on Thursday (Oct. 21) with a grand opening planned for Oct. 29-30. Moosejaw is adding 20 jobs at the location just two blocks from the downtown square.

Moosejaw was acquired by Walmart in 2017 and the store caters to outdoor enthusiasts with brands such as Rocky Mountain, Burton, North Face, Prana, Columbia and Keen. The new store will be 6,000 square feet making it the retailer’s second largest in the U.S. Walmart paid $3.37 million for the property in April.

“Bentonville has become one of the top mountain biking destinations in the U.S., so we wanted to be there and bring cool brands like Evil and Rocky Mountain Bikes to the area,” said Eoin Comerford, Moosejaw CEO. “We were particularly attracted to downtown due to the proximity to the trails and ongoing revitalization and investment in pedestrian malls, hotels and more.  Our backpacking and snow sports assortment will also fill 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 just its 12th brick and mortar location. The store will be open seven days a week with Monday-Saturdays hours of 10 a.m to 8 p.m. and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays. The location will also offer services such as bike tuning, tube changes, cable installs and brake adjustments.

The acquisition of Moosejaw represents Walmart’s broader commitment to continue to deliver an expanded assortment of high-quality items to customers shopping online, the retailer said.

Clint Lazenby, an avid biker and business principal at Traverse Group in Rogers, said he thinks Moosejaw’s gamble on a store in Bentoniville is a good test case.

“It seems like all the digital native brands are moving this direction. You see in many of the locations where you have a high percentage of young, high income individuals/families some little communities are developing in the big cities. You have even seen Amazon do this with a 4-Star format. Usually you find these stores bunched together so the shoppers can touch and feel. Parachute home is a good example as is Warby Parker. Since Northwest Arkansas is about outdoor adventures and this is a Walmart brand I think it is a great extension to make it visible and has to also be a great laboratory to experiment and learn more,” Lazenby said.

Carol Spieckerman, CEO of Spieckerman Retail, said the store is a great addition to the downtown scene.

“Moosejaw’s model is digital-forward yet selective store presence keeps the brand alive and enables site-to-store fulfillment capabilities. Locating these stores in town centers rather than in malls gives the retailer access to new customers while reinforcing awareness with fans,” she said.

Spieckerman said Moosejaw’s house of brands structure is also more resilient than single-brand operators.

“The retailer essentially operates as a curated brand marketplace and the number of brands featured on its website is impressive, not to mention Moosejaw’s owned brand offerings. Diversification is the name of the retail game and Moosejaw embodies that from a brand, category, and channel perspective,” she said.