After earlier this year acquiring Gander Mountain and Overton’s out of bankruptcy proceedings, Camping World is moving even deeper into the active lifestyle space. The nation’s largest RV-retailer reached an agreement to acquire TheHouse.com, also known as The House Outdoor Gear or The House Boardshop in St. Paul, MN.
Terms were not disclosed.
Founded in 1982, an online retailer specializing in bikes, sailboards, skateboards, wakeboards, snowboards and outdoor gear and claims to rank as one of the largest online sellers of outdoor gear in the world. The company also operates three stores in St. Paul, including a main showroom at 200 S. Owasso Blvd E.; The House Bike Shop at 300 S. Owasso Blvd E.; and Outlet Store 300 S. Owasso Blvd E.
TheHouse.com writes on its blog, “Our goal is to become the single-source experts on everything active sports. Thanks to the active lifestyles of our loyal members, The House stocks over 65,000 products in St. Paul, MN and is one of the world’s largest outdoor gear retailers. With all this gear, feel free to take up new adventures.”
The TheHouse.com’s parent is Minnesota’s Active Sports Inc., which also owns altrec.com and proboardshop.com. Active Sports also formerly operated trusnow.com, wakeside.com but both sites have been closed and merged into TheHouse.com.
At press time, it wasn’t known whether the acquisition will also include altrec.com and proboardshop.com but no mention was made of those sites in the statement.
Camping World said the acquisition “will build on and complement the significant foundation already in place to serve customers across the Camping World RV SuperCenter network and positions the company for even faster e-commerce growth in the future by expanding customer reach and adding new product offerings.”
Camping World also said it will complement the acquisition of Gander Mountain, which focuses on hunting, fishing, camping and outdoor gear market; and Overton’s, a specialist in boating and marine accessories.
“We believe this acquisition of the online retailer, TheHouse.com, continues our focus of an omni channel approach”, said Marcus Lemonis, chairman of Camping World, in a statement. “The management team not only possess a strong knowledge of the active sports market but also has a keen eye for the development and invention of products. This vertical strategy not only provides for a nice bolt on to the company but enhances the renewed strategy behind the new Gander Outdoors model.”
Camping World and TheHouse.com will maintain distinct brands, with Camping World focusing on the outdoor camping and RV industry, while TheHouse.com will continue to focus on active outdoor lifestyles.
Lemonis continued, “This new acquisition, coupled with Overtons.com and GanderOutdoors.com, continues our effort to grow our understanding of the outdoor enthusiast and furthers our strategy of continuing to diversify both in activity and demographic of our Good Sam Club member.”
After acquiring the designation rights to all 160 Gander Mountain leases, Camping World plans to retain 57 Gander Outdoors and Overton’s locations. Pending lease negotiations, 20 of the stores are scheduled to reopen by November under the new Gander Outdoors name with more opening in the following months.
In interviews, Lemonis has said Camping World’s main focus remains the RV business.
Elaborating on the decision to move Camping World into the hunt & fish space at the Stephens 2017 Spring Investment Conference in early June, Lemonis said the “only reason” Gander Mountain and its sister company, Overton’s, were acquired was to further increase its “dominance of the outdoor enthusiast” in its database and support its Good Sam services business. The Good Sam side includes club memberships, credit card services, warranty insurance, repair and other aftermarket services.
Overall, Lemonis said Camping World doesn’t view itself as an RV retailer but “as a data mining company” and one that “focuses on how to control the consumer inside the RV and outdoor leisure space.”
Photo courtesy TheHouse.com