Moosejaw CEO Eoin Comerford has left the outdoor specialty retailer that he had led through tumultuous times, including the company’s 2017 acquisition by Walmart and the 2023 sale to Dick’s Sporting Goods.
Comerford announced his departure on LinkedIn last week, which aligns with the previously announced timeline for consolidating the Moosejaw business into Dick’s SG’s Public Lands retail business based in Pittsburgh, PA.
Dick’s confirmed in September 2023 that it would close 11 to 14 Moosejaw stores it acquired, although it later announced a new store opening in Salt Lake City and the closure of the Moosejaw offices slated for February 2024.
“After a careful review of our outdoor specialty business, we have decided to form one team that will support the operations of Public Lands and Moosejaw. The team will be based at Public Lands’ headquarters in Pittsburgh, PA,” Sarah Cassella, a spokesperson for Dick’s said at the time. “This move supports our business optimization efforts and will allow us to operate more efficiently, quickly leverage best practices across our outdoor business and drive our long-term success. We look forward to continuing to provide outdoor enthusiasts great gear and service on moosejaw.com, publiclands.com and at Moosejaw and Public Lands retail locations.”
Comerford’s post on LinkedIn last week reads as follows:
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February 3 was my last day at Moosejaw. After over 15 years, I’ll never forget November 17, 2008: the day that I started as VP of Marketing. I didn’t know it at the time, but other execs were taking bets on whether I’d show up the next morning. The brand-new website barely worked, our biggest brand had just gone direct, the national economy was in a tailspin, and we were planning Wednesday’s promo on Monday. In short, it was a complete shitshow… but I absolutely loved it.
There was a sense of fun, a palpable energy, and a willingness to try anything at least once. Not only was the weird and wacky tolerated — it was expected. I’m very thankful that Robert W. was still working at Moosejaw for my first couple of months. At the urging of Moosejaw’s new investors, I was replacing Robert as the head of marketing. Another founder may have made that transition awkward or difficult, but Robert went out of his way to make me feel welcome and help me to succeed.
Together, Robert and I wrote the Moosejaw values that survive to this day as touchstones to the brand that Robert built. You know when values have become successfully engrained when people quote them back to you to challenge a potential direction… “Is that campaign really ‘Notably Notable?’”… “Is that brand really part of “Only Do What’s Cool?’”. To this day, those values and the brand that they’ve sustained are one of my biggest career achievements.
Moosejaw’s inherent sense of fun is what spawned the myriad moments of madness… whether it be something major like the world’s tallest moose, something groundbreaking like the X-ray catalog, something dumb like bourbon barrel-aged flannel, or something disgusting like doing shots of Malort. Oh yeah, and we sold a bunch of cool outdoor gear and apparel along the way.
As I look back though, it’s the people that really made all of this worthwhile. I’ve had the honor of working with so many folks who are passionate about the brand, work hard together, and don’t take themselves too seriously. The thing that I’m most proud of is all the people at Moosejaw who started as seasonal hires who went on to great things – Nickolas Rau, Paul Johnson, Meg Hintzsche, Brett Paskiewicz, Michael Johnston, Sean Green, Joseph Klok, Joe Isaac, and so many more. As we close the door for the last time on Madison Heights, the people of Moosejaw are our lasting legacy.
Love the madness,
Images courtesy Moosejaw, Eoin Comerford/LinkedIn