Academy Sports + Outdoors was founded in 1938 when Arthur Gochman purchased Southern Sales, an army surplus chain of six stores.
Gochman had learned about the retail business from his father, Max Gochman, who owned a surplus retail outlet and a small chain of stores.
In 1973 Gochman changed the name of the company to Academy Corp.
In the 1980s Gochman rebranded the stores as sporting goods megastores.
In 1995 David Gochman, the founder’s son, joined the company. At this time Academy was a $350 million retail chain.
Today Academy Sports + Outdoor has 160 stores in 12 states. The stores carry clothing, shoes, and equipment for sports and outdoor activities such as camping, hunting, and fishing. The company is owned by private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.
Academy Sports + Outdoor is #119 on the list of Forbes Largest Private Companies, has 21,000 employees, and had $3.7 billion in revenue in 2012.