A former South Coast standard in travel gear is returning to its Santa Barbara roots and operating under a new name. CircaTerra Travel Outfitters is planning an Oct. 24-26 grand opening with former Magellan’s Travel Supplies CEO Mark Gallo and his wife Kathy at the helm. The pair bought the former Magellan’s retail store in Loreto Plaza in June after exiting a two-partnership with Colorado Bag’n Baggage owned by Denver-based Gart Capital.
That deal, inked in 2012, eventually saw Gart move to shutter the South Coast operation and ship 74 jobs to Denver just nine months after the partnership was formed.
“The merger was a mismatch,” Mark Gallo said in a release. “It was a classic case of two brands with different business models that did not mesh well.”
The merger between Magellan’s and Bag’n Baggage was touted by Gart as a strategic move that played off of both companies being well-established travel retailers for more than 30 years. Combining them was a move to expand both brands. Magellan’s was known as a practical store where travelers could buy items such as clothing that doesn’t wrinkle, travel pillows and blankets and electrical adapters. Bag’n Baggage mainly sells high-end luggage out of its 28 stores around the country. With the merger both companies were expected to expand their offerings and open additional Magellan’s storefronts, and use the Santa Barbara retailer’s Internet and catalog cache to boost that part of Bag’n Baggage’s business. “We want to open more retail stores, and we’d like to grow Magellan’s and Bag’n Baggage and then hopefully some concept that involves both of them,” Gart Capital partner Ken Gart previously told the Business Times.
With the partnership no longer in place, Gallo and his wife are aiming to reestablish the legacy of Magellan’s with CircaTerra. The store will specialize in travel gear, luggage, clothing and handbags designed to ease the challenges of travel. In addition to offering brands like Eagle Creek, Baggallini, PacSafe, Ex Officio, Royal Robbins, and Clark’s shoes, the new owners are working with local manufacturer Surf To Summit to develop new private-label products. Magellan’s was originally founded by John and Gloria McManus in Santa Barbara in 1989 and grew it to an international level during their 16 years of ownership.