Iconic outdoor retailer Adventure 16 sells distribution business

Iconic outdoor retailer Adventure 16 has sold its wholesale distribution business to New York-based Summit Distribution.

Iconic outdoor retailer Adventure 16 (A16) has sold its wholesale distribution business to New York-based Summit Distribution.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“This is an exciting opportunity for A16,” said John D. Mead, president of Adventure 16, in statement. “The transaction will allow A16 to focus exclusively on improving our retail business and better serving our customers as Southern California’s leading local outdoor specialty outfitter. Among other things, the proceeds of the sale will be used to upgrade stores and to relaunch our online store. We have every reason to believe that Summit Distribution will do an exceptional job operating A16’s outdoor accessory and climbing business and serving our dealers.”

The 50-year-old retailer has four locations in Southern California and has an extensive history in the industry with everything from innovate product design to launching the outdoor careers of Outdoor Retailer Show Director Kenji Haroutunian and former SNEWS President Michael Hodgson. It's distribution business has been around since 1981, originally called Granite Stairway Mountaineering, and is one of the largest wholesale distributors specializing in accessories for backpacking, camping, climbing and adventure travel in the United States. A16 Wholesale carries thousands of different products from over 120 brands in their catalog, some of which include Nalgene, Humangear, Outdoor Products, GSI, Buff, Adventure Medical Kits, Fox River, Suunto, Katadyn, Aquapac, Gerber, Primus and Black Diamond.

Summit Distribution is a relatively younger player, but quietly has made inroads as a sales organization and distribution company specializing in the outdoor and recreation tech markets, distributing brands such as Goal Zero, LifeProof, Otterbox and Mophie.

“This is a tremendously exciting day for Summit. We are delighted to officially welcome A16 Wholesale to be a key part of Summit’s future expansion into the sports and recreation markets,” said Larry Locks, Summit Distribution’s CEO. He added “This transaction strengthens and diversifies Summit’s position within the outdoor industry. By acquiring one of the forefathers of the industry, a company with an authentic connection to the outdoor market and staffed by outdoor enthusiasts, we will gain significant momentum and be able to capitalize on many new growth opportunities. Summit is committed to helping the A16 Wholesale brands reach their national potential, while maintaining each division’s unique essence.”

“This acquisition will provide a turnkey West Coast distribution center in San Diego for Summit, and an East Coast distribution center in New York for A16 Wholesale, Locks added. "Having distribution centers on both coasts enables us to reach our customers within 1-2 days via ground service."

Check back with this story for updates.

--David Clucas