Sears file

The old Sears location at Frontier Mall in Cheyenne. A new JAX store opened at this location Nov. 23. Wyoming Tribune Eagle/file

CHEYENNE – A Colorado-based outdoor retail store has expanded its business to the Cheyenne market.

Jax Mercantile opened its much-anticipated Cheyenne store Nov. 23 inside Frontier Mall. It is located in the same spot that formerly housed Sears.

The company announced in August that it would open its eighth store in Cheyenne. In the three months since then, it’s been a scramble to prepare for the new location.

“We’re doing a soft open right now, but sometime in the spring, we’ll have a grand-opening event, and the store will be fully stocked,” Jax President Jim Quinlan said. “We can’t open a store and operate at the level we usually do in just three months. It’s usually closer to six months to do that.”

Quinlan said one of the main reasons for such a short turnaround from the announcement to opening the store was to capitalize on the holiday season. He said he thinks the grand-opening event will likely be held in April.

This is the first Jax store to open in Wyoming, and Quinlan said he believes it will likely be the only Wyoming location.

“We like to have stores that are a fairly short drive from our offices in Laporte, (Colorado),” he said. “That way, we can make sure we’re fully involved with them and can listen to our staff. Laramie seems a little too small for us, and we get plenty of traffic from them in our other locations. Cheyenne just seemed like a great fit for us.”

The Cheyenne store, known as Jax Outdoor Gear, is unique due to the fact that it stocks both farm and ranch supplies as well as outdoor gear, such as livestock feed, tools and hardware, clothing and camping supplies.

“In Fort Collins, we have separate stores for farm and ranch supplies and outdoor gear, so we’re pretty excited for Cheyenne to have the best of both worlds,” Quin-lan said. “If things go well, maybe we’ll end up incorporating both the farm and ranch and outdoor gear sides into other stores.”

Quinlan also noted that every Jax store is unique in regards to what products it carries and that listening to customer feedback is one of the major reasons Jax has been successful for nearly 65 years. There are customer service representatives that walk throughout the store, talking with customers and asking them about their experience shopping at Jax and what they would like to see in the store.

Once Jax brings in a full stock of items in the spring, customers will see more products that are unique to the Cheyenne community.

Currently, the Cheyenne location is open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, but the holidays could affect those hours.

Jax has been a Colorado staple since 1955 and sells everything from footwear and clothing to military surplus items, gifts and home essentials. It currently has six stores in Fort Collins, Loveland, Lafayette and Broomfield, along with one in Ames, Iowa.

“I would encourage anyone to come out to the store, because you have to really shop inside of Jax to experience it,” Quinlan said. “Obviously, we have our website, but you just don’t get a real feel for who we are shopping that way.

“Our Cheyenne location has an ice cream and coffee bar in it, with a train set running around it. It’s not just an outdoor gear store. Every Jax is unique, and our dedication to customer service is what makes us successful.”

Ellen Fike is a freelance writer living in Cheyenne. She can be reached at Follow her on Twitter at @EllenLFike.

Ellen Fike is the Wyoming Tribune Eagle’s features editor. She can be reached at or 307-633-3135. Follow her on Twitter @EllenLFike

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