Al’s Sporting Goods, with three stores in Utah and Idaho, acquired all five Bob Ward & Sons, an outdoor retailer with five locations in Montana.

Al’s Sporting Goods will assume operations of Bob Ward & Sons stores in Missoula, Bozeman, Butte, Helena and Hamilton.

Founded in 1917, Bob Ward & Sons is led by Chad Ward, president and great-grandson of the founder.

Al’s Sporting Goods, which also focuses on outdoor offerings, operates stores in Logan, UT; Orem, UT; And Idaho Falls, ID.

“We have approached this deal more like a merger than an acquisition,” said Jason Larsen, president, Al’s Sporting Goods. “We are thrilled to welcome the current staff to the Al’s family and will work to preserve the Bob Ward & Sons name, reputation and legacy throughout the state of Montana.

There are no plans to change the company name; however, Al’s Sporting Goods will integrate certain operations and processes that have proven successful in its Utah and Idaho stores, and “likely, many of the product lines currently offered at the Bob Ward stores will be expanded upon.”

“We have known the Ward family for years and are honored that they have entrusted us to continue their legacy,” said Larsen. “Similar to Al’s Sporting Goods, Bob Ward & Sons has been a family-owned and operated business that began over 100 years ago. Bringing these two retailers together, we now have over 200 years of combined retailing experience.”

Photo courtesy Bob Ward’s & Sons