Camping World has acquired Rock/Creek Outfitters, based in Chattanooga, TN, according to multiple reports.
Rock/Creek will become part of Uncle Dan’s Outfitters, a subsidiary of Camping World Holdings Inc. that was acquired in 2017. Uncle Dan’s is based in Chicago. The Uncle Dan’s segment also includes Erehwon Mountain Outfitter, a Midwest retailer acquired earlier this year. Rock/Creek operates six stores in Chattanooga; Franklin and Cleveland, TN and a seasonal outpost near Benton, TN.
Co-Owners Chad Wykle and Jonathan Scott will remain with the company. The two long-time employees acquired Rock/Creek from its founders, Dawson Wheeler and Marvin Webb, in 2017.
“We believe in the Rock/Creek brand. It’s been a good thing for Chattanooga for more than 30 years, and it will continue to be a community-based, hyper-focused retailer in the outdoor specialty market,” said Wykle in a statement. “While our industry has been challenged in the past five years, 2017 was another growth year for Rock/Creek. Partnering with Uncle Dan’s will give us the horsepower to build upon our continuing success and to expand our regional and online presence, while delivering the same level of quality— from the same passionate team — to every customer we serve.”
“Rock/Creek’s strong legacy and team were central to this decision,” said Wheeler, who still has an active role with the retailer. “We’ve always been an opportunistic company, and this transaction provides Rock/Creek with unprecedented growth opportunities at every level. It also allows the current owners to focus on what they love: interacting with staff, customers and the community in a very hands-on way. In short, it benefits everyone and checks all the boxes.”
Uncle Dan’s, Erehwon and Rock/Creek will continue to operate as individual brands and will maintain their own identities.
“Uncle Dan’s, Erehwon and Rock/Creek are wholly aligned both in terms of culture and strategic objectives,” said Colin Moynihan, the general manager of Uncle Dan’s and Erehwon. “By bringing our like-minded businesses together, we’ll find efficiencies in merchandising and back-end infrastructure, so we can focus more fully on serving our existing customers and reaching new markets. Ultimately, this transaction will help us successfully compete with corporate America’s major industry players, while maintaining our small business values and family feel.”
FourBridges Capital advised Rock/Creek throughout the transaction process and ultimately negotiated and structured the deal.
Camping World also owns the Camping World chain, Gander Outdoors, Overton’s, The House and Windward/W82.