Eastern Mountain Sports

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Eastern Mountain Sports, Inc.
Industry Retail
Founded 1967 (1967)
Founder Alan McDonough & Roger Furst
Headquarters Meriden, Connecticut
Number of locations
Area served
United States
Products Outdoor gear and clothing
Parent Sports Direct
Website www.ems.com
Mountain Shop Ad 1967.jpg

Eastern Mountain Sports (or EMS) is an outdoor clothing and equipment retailer in the U.S. Northeast headquartered in Meriden, Connecticut.

EMS sells outdoor equipment and clothing from both name brands and its own EMS line. The company also has a set of EMS Schools that offer classes in rock and ice climbing, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, trekking, and skiing. The EMS Schools headquarters is located in the White Mountains in North Conway, NH; and has other locations near the Adirondacks in NY, etc.


EMS was founded in 1967 in Wellesley, Massachusetts by two climbers – Alan McDonough, who was running the family hotel chain, and Roger Furst, a lawyer whose office was in the McDonough complex. They targeted the outdoor equipment market in Boston. The first store on Linden St. in Wellesley carried the Gerry outdoor equipment line as well as downhill skis.

In 1968, the two enterprises merged and built the 1041 Commonwealth Avenue store – at 10,000 sq. ft. the largest outdoor equipment/mountaineering store in New England. (citation needed)

McDonough and Furst sold the company in 1979 to The Franklin Mint, which was acquired by Warner Communications in 1981. Four years later Warner sold the Mint but retained EMS, subsequently selling it to the American Retail Group, owned by the Brenninkmeijer family.[1]

In July 2003 Will Manzer became President and CEO and shifted the company focus back towards specialty outdoors gear. A new logo, store reorganization, and a shift from stores in shopping malls to freestanding community-based stores followed.[2]

American Retail Group sold Eastern Mountain Sports to investors led by J.H. Whitney & Company in 2004.[3]

Bob Mayerson was announced as new president in March 2010, as Will Manzer continued leading the company.[4]

In 2012, Versa Capital Management bought EMS from J.H. Whitney and Mark Walsh became CEO.[5] In April 2016, Vestis Retail Group, the Versa Capital-owned unit which owned the Sport Chalet and Bob's Stores sporting goods chains as well as Eastern Mountain, announced it had filed for bankruptcy protection and reorganization under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. Vestis said it would reorganize and focus on the operations of Eastern Mountain and Bob's, while all Sport Chalet stores would close.[6]

Sports Direct International plc (Sports Direct) announces that, on 19 April 2017, it received the approval of the Delaware Bankruptcy Court to acquire certain assets of Eastern Outfitters LLC, comprising the businesses of Bob's Stores and Eastern Mountain Sports pursuant to a s.363 sale process, following the filing by Eastern Outfitters LLC (the parent company of Bob's Stores and Eastern Mountain Stores) under Chapter 11 in the US. The businesses to be acquired include (following closures) approximately 50 retail stores in the US under the Bob's Stores and Eastern Mountain Stores fascias selling predominantly sports and casual wear, and outdoor and camping equipment and clothing.[7]


  1. ^ Dinger, Ed (1998). "The Franklin Mint". International Directory of Company Histories. 69. Retrieved 2008-05-23. 
  2. ^ Conley, Lucas (April 2005). "Climbing Back Up the Mountain". Fast Company. pp. 84–86. Retrieved 2008-04-30. Archived on 2008-04-30.
  3. ^ Eastern Mountain Sports bought out
  4. ^ "EMS announces executive promotions". The Boston Globe. 2010-03-03. 
  5. ^ Versa Capital buys Eastern Mountain Sports
  6. ^ Dawn McCarty & Steven Church, "Eastern Mountain in Bankruptcy as Shopping Habits Change", Bloomberg News, April 17, 2016.
  7. ^ "Acquisition". otp.investis.com. Retrieved 2017-08-27. 

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