Gearhead Outfitters Expands South to Shreveport

Gearhead Outfitters, a family-owned and operated outdoor lifestyle retailer with stores in Jonesboro and Little Rock, has recently expanded to the south, opening its first location out of Arkansas at the Mall St. Vincent in Shreveport.

Owners Ted Herget and his wife, Amanda, of Jonesboro were encouraged to open in the Shreveport market by representatives from several of the brands they carry such as the North Face, Patagonia and Merrell, who all said they needed a retailer in the area.

“We built really good relationships with all of our brands, and they are really excited to grow with us,” Ted Herget said.

At Mall St. Vincent, which is about to begin a $35 million renovation, the Hergets leased a 2,500-SF space just a little larger than what they were looking for.

“We just couldn’t say no,” Herget said. “To be honest, they just made the deal so sweet.”

Herget said he likes to keep his stores smaller, so his staff can provide exceptional service on a one-on-one basis.

“Keeping it small is keeping it intimate, and that’s the idea for me,” he said. “I don’t want to do a big box store … a lot of times that’s where the service suffers.”

Having the ability to walk through a smaller store with a customer and educate him on the specialized products Gearhead carries, Herget said, helps ensure the customer gets the right product for his or her needs.

Opening the new location in Shreveport cost about $100,000 in leasehold improvements and between $200,000 and $500,000 in inventory, Herget said.

But he’s not finished expanding just yet. His plans include opening a store next fall in Springfield, Mo., and he is also considering a location in Nashville, Tenn., for 2014.

Beyond that, he said, he is not pushing to grow for the sake of growing. He’ll look at the markets and grow where there’s a need.

“I didn’t start this thing to get big,” Herget said. “I started this thing to be good.”

Gearhead Outfitters is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call (870) 910-5569 or visit GearheadOutfitters.com.