Work World — a Gart Capital Portfolio Company — announces Tim Spangler as its new CEO

Spangler to lead Work World after 28 years at REI, including last 10 as Senior VP of Retail

SEATTLE, June 08, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Work World is pleased to announce that Tim Spangler has been hired as Chief Executive Officer, overseeing the operations of Work World, Whistle Workwear, and Willy’s Discount Workwear brands. Collectively, these brands represent a portfolio of 35 retail locations across Washington, California, and Nevada in addition to a significant B2B business.

Spangler joins Work World from outdoor retailer Recreational Equipment Inc. (“REI”), where he spent 28 years, including the past 10 in the role of Senior Vice President of Retail. At REI Spangler was responsible for the retailer's store operations, visual merchandising, and real estate and construction organizations. Under his leadership, REI expanded from a regional presence to a true national retailer, growing to 172 stores across 41 states. Spangler established award-winning flagship stores in both New York and Washington, DC. He also led development of REI Outdoor School, the nation’s largest outdoor education program. REI was selected by its employees as one of the country’s 100 best companies to work for multiple years during his tenure.

“Tim is a great match for Work World. He strongly believes that to succeed, retailers must be committed to delivering exceptional customer experiences, again and again – something that is part of the Work World and Whistle DNA,” said Alex Gart, Partner at Gart Capital. “We are confident that Tim is the right leader to help Work World continue to build on an already strong foundation and to further distinguish the company as the best workwear specialty retailer in the Western U.S.”

“I have spent most of my career working in and around retail stores. I’m passionate about stores as they are the place we engage most directly with our customers. Stores are where we have the chance to build relationships with customers and to meet and exceed their expectations.” Spangler said. “Work World and Whistle Workwear have a history of delivering exceptional customer experiences and I’m excited to join the team to help build on this great foundation.”

Later this week, Work World will launch a revamped website and eCommerce platform at The improved customer experience is a critical milestone to expanding the company’s omnichannel capabilities while providing access to an expanded selection of boots, apparel, scrubs, and safety gear from top vendors in the industry including Carhartt, Wolverine, Timberland Pro, and more.

About Work World: Founded in 1990, Work World is a specialty retailer of apparel, footwear, accessories, and other safety equipment for a variety of workers. Work World is focused on outfitting the working person with the best safety footwear, work apparel brands and personal protective equipment in America. Work World sells and distributes its products via 35 retail locations under the Work World, Whistle Workwear and Willy’s Discount Workwear brands across California, Nevada and Washington, an online retail site, and through B2B relationships with local small and medium sized businesses. In December 2019, Work World was acquired by Gart Capital Partners. For More information on Work World, please visit

About Gart Capital Partners: Gart Capital Partners is a private equity investment partnership located in Denver, Colorado. GCP is focused on lower middle market consumer and service-oriented investment opportunities. The firm is a division of The Gart Companies, a family investment office with diversified holdings. Since inception, The Gart Companies have executed over 100 site-level acquisitions and have opened over 200 new store locations across 8 platforms including Gart Brothers Sporting Goods Company, Specialty Sports Ventures, Running Specialty Group, Bag N Baggage, GolfTEC, and Work World. For more information, please visit




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