Sportsman’s Warehouse exists with one mission in mind: “provide outstanding gear and exceptional service to inspire outdoor memories.” The sports equipment store has been in business since 1986, offering not only hunting, fishing, camping, and boating essentials but also classes, seminars, and expert presentations.
It’s a mecca for the outdoor enthusiast, but that passion starts much earlier, emanating from the facilities themselves. The employees consider themselves to be customers as well. “Our stores are staffed by locals who have knowledge about the products we sell because they use them on their own outdoor adventures,” Sportsman’s website explains. “We don’t just sell this stuff, we live it.”
Director of Facilities Paul Neill is at the heart of this—managing the maintenance, repairs, services, negotiation, construction, loss prevention, and new store opening. “I manage all aspects of the facilities for the corporation except the IT department,” he shares in his LinkedIn profile.
Having been involved with the company since 2003, Neill is also largely responsible for navigating the inevitable changes that come with growing and maintaining the company’s physical presence. It’s an ever-changing world, he notes. As many companies are forced to close their doors, Sportsman’s Warehouse continues to grow and face the change.
The company currently has more than 100 stores nationwide, including a small handful in Alaska, and continues to expand today.
In June 2020, Sportsman’s Warehouse opened a new location in Kalamazoo, Michigan, teeming with 60,000 region-specific items, family events, workshops, and career opportunities. The grand opening was a celebration of the company’s unstoppable growth. A press release reported that the day would feature a mobile shooting range for customers can experience new products and get acquainted with the new store. Because it took place during the coronavirus pandemic, the company ensured social distancing and strict sanitation guidelines were met for the safety of both staff and guests.
“It’s a great time to get outdoors,” CEO Jon Barker affirmed in a statement. “We are excited to be a part of the Kalamazoo community, providing high-quality outdoor gear, clothing and accessories in a safe environment, and ultimately inspiring outdoor memories.”
Beyond its product offerings, Sportsman’s Warehouse remains committed to environmental stewardship. The company regularly donates to local causes and partners with wildlife conservation groups, such as the Mule Deer Foundation, National Wild Turkey Federation, Rocky Mountain Elk Group, and Ducks Unlimited.
Neill supports this mindset as well, noting that the company “partners with purpose,” something he doesn’t say lightly. He looks to smaller, up-and-coming businesses for third-party work. These companies tend to have something to prove and give a lot of support. The director himself is a dedicated Christian who strives to treat people with respect, doing everything in a manner that would be beneficial to them.
When it comes to allowing his team members to make decisions, he welcomes the possibility of mistakes, noting that it can be the best learning tool. The camaraderie of Neill’s team is evident, as is the employee base as a whole.
“We’re more than just a store,” reads Sportsman’s website. “We’re your outdoor adventure partner, so be sure to take advantage of our friendly experts, quality gear, and down-home attitude. You’ll be glad you did.”