Presented by

Fueling the Madness: The Story of Moosejaw

Fueling the Madness: The Story of Moosejaw

How Moosejaw became the “most fun” outdoor retailer in the industry

Whether you’re going heli-skiing in Alaska, backpacking in the Himalayas or just heading out on a camping trip, there’s a lot of gear that must go with you. The trouble is, there are so many products out there that it’s hard to decipher what’s necessary, what’s of the highest quality and what works best for your specific needs. To help with this process and to provide knowledgeable service to outdoor junkies and novices, alike, Robert Wolfe and David Jaffe decided to ditch the their plans to be wilderness guides and opened an outdoor retail store called Moosejaw in Keego Harbor, Michigan in 1992.

Starting as a single store in the Midwest, Moosejaw is now an 11-storefront chain with locations across the United States and is also one of the leaders in the digital marketplace. Devoting itself to the outdoors and the mountain lifestyle, its customers and their individual needs and the enthusiasm that runs through everyone seeking experiences in nature, Moosejaw has catapulted to success over the past 17 years.

Cruising through Moosejaw’s website, it’s easy to see how the brand operates through a customer-first approach. From the easy, two-click purchasing experience; to the Knowledge Center where consumers can find answers to questions, step-by-step guides and recommendations made by gear experts; to its Official Athlete Team that features everyday folks like you and me, Moosejaw holds its customers—people who thrive in the outdoors—in the highest regard.

For starters, the brand offers 10 percent cash back on every purchase in the form of Moosejaw Reward Dollars. When you shop through Moosejaw, you’ll be able to accumulate these points and use them to purchase more items online and in-store, with a lifetime return and exchange policy. But beyond just selling quality products, Moosejaw also provides its customers the chance to be educated through its Knowledge Center. This extensive list of product guides as well as handy blog posts focused on outdoor knowledge—like which leaves NOT to use as toilet paper—offers a nicely organized and informative education hub.

Further differentiating it from all of the other online and brick-and-mortar retailers out there, Moosejaw invites its customers to watch short videos of experiments performed in its unique Test Lab. Here, highly scientific assessments are performed under the most professional scrutiny, including a backpack weight test that uses thousands of jelly beans to test the pack’s capacity, and a boot sole traction test which is really just two guys running on an ice rink as fast as they can. Keeping the atmosphere lighthearted, Moosejaw’s gear experts are able to simultaneously entertain and inform with these short videos.

Selling every piece of gear you need to get outdoors, Moosejaw is your one-stop shop for good times.

Finally, bringing our community of like-minded nature nuts closer together, Moosejaw has developed an Official Athlete Team that’s refreshingly non-exclusive. Anyone can apply to be part of the Moosejaw Team, which means you’ll receive a free t-shirt and boundless support from fellow athletes. Exemplified by the inclusiveness of its consumer-based athlete team, Moosejaw’s strategically quirky marketing practices are what make it a gear marketplace worth revisiting time and time again.

Branding itself as “the most fun” outdoor retailer, Moosejaw doesn’t take itself too seriously when it comes to product descriptions, reviews and its very own marketing efforts. Most importantly, the brand has created what it calls “Moosejaw Madness”–a hashtag-based social media community that invites everyone in the outdoors to share their experiences with one another.

Overall, the real proof in Moosejaw’s pudding is the success the brand has seen since its inception. Its focus on personalized customer experience, whether online or in-store, was a big factor in the 2017 purchase of Moosejaw by Walmart for 51 million dollars, and the deal has allowed Moosejaw the chance to grow its consumer-base exponentially. Today, Moosejaw continues to focus on providing high-quality outdoor products, an increasingly unique and individualized experience for its valued customer base and adding evermore fuel to the fire that is The Madness.


Upgrade Your Inbox

Don't waste time seeking out the best skiing content; we'll send it all right to you.