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Industry Retail Outdoor Industry
Founded Chattanooga, Tennessee 1987
Headquarters Chattanooga, Tennessee
Key people
Dawson Wheeler and Marvin Webb, co-founders, Jonathan Scott, vice president
Products Clothing and outdoor equipment
Number of employees
Website Rock/Creek

Rock/Creek is a Chattanooga, Tennessee-based sporting goods retailer of clothing and gear for rock climbing, paddling, trail running, hiking, camping and travel.


Founded as Rock/Creek Outfitters and Canoeist Headquarters in 1987 when Dawson Wheeler and Marvin Webb purchased Canoeist Headquarters, the company became known as Rock/Creek Outfitters. The name was shortened to Rock/Creek in 2007.

In November 2007, Rock/Creek was named one of the top 25 specialty outdoor retailers by Outdoor Business magazine.[1] In 2009, SNEWS & Backpacker Magazine chose Rock/Creek as Retailer of the Year for Best Online Business.[2]

Rock/Creek has a total of five brick-and-mortar locations. They have two flagship stores, one in downtown Chattanooga and the other at Hamilton Place Mall, two paddling stores and an e-commerce site. In 2007, Rock/Creek opened a new store in the Two North Shore development in downtown Chattanooga.[3] The project, developed by CS & Associates and Greenlife Grocery, has been designed with U.S. Green Building Council's LEED standards in mind.[4] The latest store to open is located at The Block, the largest adaptive reuse project in Chattanooga.[5]

Rock/Creek selected Art Technology Group to revamp its Web site in Fall 2010.[6] Since that date, the company has been listed on Internet Retailer's "Second 500" list. For the 2012 list they were #644.[7]

In October 2014, a Chattanooga shop employee pursued a shoplifter on foot and the story went viral after being picked up by Trail Runner Magazine.[8]

Charity and environmental initiatives[edit]

Rock/Creek regularly gives money to environmental non-profits and sponsors trail building and cleanup efforts. The retailer created the Rock/Creek StumpJump 50k in 2002 to raise awareness and funds for the Cumberland Trail. This race has expanded and now forms part of a larger Rock/Creek Trail Series, with trail running events throughout the year ranging from 5 miles to 50 miles.[9] Past campaigns have included working with Chaco footwear to send used shoes to orphans in Nepal through the dZi Foundation.[10]

Rock/Creek has been featured in local media for its involvement in local trail races as well as the 3 State 3 Mountain Challenge, a bike century.[11]


Rock/Creek is a member of the Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, a group of independent outdoor shops dedicated to the sustainability of the specialty outdoor channel and the quality of the outdoor enthusiast’s experience.[12] The retailer is also a member of the Outdoor Industry Association.

Rock/Creek employees serve on nonprofit boards as well. Founder Dawson Wheeler serves on the board of SAWS (Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards).[13] Marketing Director Mark McKnight serves on the board of local land trust Lula Lake Land Trust.[14] Wheeler has been involved in lobbying for wilderness protection in the Cherokee National Forest and is cited in press interviews around the topic.[15]


  1. ^ "16 Grassroots Outdoor Alliance members receive honors". Snews. 2007-11-16. Retrieved 2008-01-11. 
  2. ^ "Retailer of the Year - Best Online Business: Rock/Creek puts a personal touch on web sales". Snews. 2009-05-11. Retrieved 2010-05-21. 
  3. ^ "Two North Shore Opens in North Chattanooga with Green Theme". WDEF News12. November 2007. Retrieved 2008-01-11. 
  4. ^ "Idealism, marketing drives companies to go green". Chattanooga Times Free Press. 2007-04-29. Archived from the original on 2007-11-15. Retrieved 2008-01-11. 
  5. ^ "Joining the Block Party". Get Out Chattanooga. 2012-12-31. Retrieved 2014-02-03. 
  6. ^ "Rock/Creek to Revamp Web Presence with ATG Commerce". 2010-05-17. Retrieved 2010-05-20. 
  7. ^ "Internet Retailer Second 500 List". 2012-02-14. Retrieved 2012-02-14. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Rock/Creek Trail Series – SE Tennessee". 2010-02-27. Archived from the original on 2010-03-04. Retrieved 2010-05-20. 
  10. ^ "If the Shoe Fits, Spare It- Rock/Creek, Chaco and dZi". 2006-07-16. Retrieved 2008-01-11. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ "About the Grassroots Outdoor Alliance". Grassroots Outdoor Alliance. 2007-03-13. Archived from the original on 2007-12-17. Retrieved 2008-01-11. 
  13. ^
  14. ^
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External links[edit]