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Bull Moose's founder is selling the chain to its employees

Brett Wickard, Bull Moose
Pat Wellenbach
AP file
In this Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2010 photo, store owner Brett Wickard poses for a photo in the book section of Bull Moose in South Portland.

Bull Moose Founder Brett Wickard is selling the chain of music stores to its employees. Wickard says the move reflects the spirit of the company, which now runs eleven stores.

"Each of our stores reflects the community we're in and our staff and our customers are all super passionate and into everything. And employee ownership is kind of that next step," he says. "The only thing that makes a business closer to the community is the people working in the store, who are part of the community, are now the owners of the business."

Wickard says business at the stores has recovered from the pandemic, making this a good time for the transition.

"A lot of our locations are beating their pre-pandemic performance and we're firing on all cylinders," he says. "In our 32 years in business, we've only had one year that we didn't turn a profit and that was the 2020 pandemic year, which was a tough year."

Wickard says he'll stay on as interim chief executive to help teach members of the committee that will run the business, with input from the more than 140 employee-owners.

Wickard began Bull Moose in 1989 while a student at Bowdoin College. He did not disclose the selling price of the company.