Outdoor retail giant

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Possible Answers:

REI.

Last seen on: NY Times Crossword 27 Jun 19, Thursday

Random information on the term “REI”:

Academy Sports + Outdoors is an American sporting goods discount store chain. It has corporate offices in the Katy Distribution Center in unincorporated western Harris County, Texas, United States, near Katy and west of Houston. For 74 years it was a privately held company owned by the Gochman family, until its May 2011 acquisition by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts investment firm.


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Academy Sports & Outdoors came into existence in 1938, when Arthur Gochman and his business partner purchased Southern Sales, a San Antonio-based army-navy surplus chain comprising six stores that were by that year no longer making any profit. At the time, Gochman was a practicing attorney in San Antonio. He had not been formally educated as a businessman, but he had learned much about the surplus retail business from his father, Max Gochman, who had owned a surplus goods outlet in San Antonio and in 1935 still owned and operated a small chain of stores in Austin.

1970s

Gochman bought out his partner in 1973 and changed the company’s business name from Southern Sales to Academy Corp. The Academy name was borrowed from his father’s stores. It came from a now-defunct San Antonio Catholic school named St. Henry’s Academy. Max Gochman had opened his first store across the street from the school in the 1930s, selling pre-World War II surplus goods. Later, when he moved to Austin, he used the name for his four army-navy surplus stores. Because many University of Texas students and graduates lived in the Houston area and were familiar with the Austin stores, Max Gochman permitted his son to use the name, knowing that it would help his son’s business. In 1978, the younger Gochman gave up his law practice and moved to Houston to assume active control of the company and complete the overhaul of its basic merchandising policies.

REI on Wikipedia