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Fleet Farm Appoints John Schaefer as President and CEO

APPLETON, Wis. (October 16, 2019) – Fleet Farm, a Midwestern retailer providing high-quality, value-priced merchandise and services for active, outdoor, suburban and farm communities, today announced the appointment of John Schaefer as President and Chief Executive Officer.

Schaefer succeeds Derick Prelle, who served at the company for four years, including two of those years in the role of President and CEO.

John Schaefer joins Fleet Farm after serving as CEO of Sportsman’s Warehouse. Under Schaefer’s direction, Sportsman’s Warehouse grew from 25 locations to nearly 90 locations in just nine years.

“I feel privileged to lead this incredibly hard-working Fleet Farm team into our next chapter,” said Schaefer. “And I feel personally connected to the brand. I’m proud to be native Wisconsinite, and Fleet Farm has been my favorite store since I was a young boy. I look forward to ensuring that our stores stay invested in and connected to our loyal customers and communities.”

Schaefer has extensive retail experience beyond Sportsman’s Warehouse.  Schaefer served as the Chief Executive Officer of Team Express, an internet, catalog and retail marketer of sporting goods. From February 1998 to April 2007, Schaefer held various positions, including that of President and Chief Executive Officer with Cornerstone Brands, Inc., a family of catalog companies for the home, as well as leisure and casual apparel, including Ballard Designs, Frontgate, Garnet Hill, Improvements, Smith+Noble, The Territory Ahead and TravelSmith.  Schaefer also served as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer of Eastbay, Inc., a direct marketer of footwear, apparel, equipment and licensed and private-label products.


Fleet Farm has served hardworking Midwestern families since 1955, offering a unique mix of high-quality, value-priced merchandise and services for active, outdoor, suburban and farm communities. Customers can find fishing, hunting and outdoor products, auto parts, farm and pet supplies, home improvement and household goods, clothing and footwear, toys and food, plus services like gas, car wash and auto repair. Fleet Farm has 44 stores located across the Midwest. The company’s headquarters is in Appleton, Wisconsin. For more information, visit