With the high overhead of the retail stores the only chance
I see of survival is for shoppers to visit the store
and later make purchases through mail order.
Each megastore has to have 120 employees present.
This situation somewhat reminds me of the old showrooms
used by S&H Greenstamps where they had showrooms of
merchandise available but could not be bought on site. It
would have to be ordered for later delivery.
The Cabelas stores are basically showrooms aren't they?
Cabela's stores are regularly named the top tourist destination in their respective state. They cater to actual outdoorsmen and women who love living the outdoor lifestyle. Their stores' outdoor themes spark past hunting and fishing memories and kendle new dreames and passions for all who walk through their doors. CAB takes the upmost advantage of being a multi channel company by selecting the best, most popular items for placement in their retail stores, while offering several ways for a customer to get an item not carried in the stores. This cuts down on poor performing inventory, and garners a stronger GMROI than other retailers in this segment. Their products are selected and scrutinized at every level by employees who actually use the equipment in the field. With industry leading customer service, CAB customers have come to realize they can expect service they would never imagine/expect at other retailers. This company has a culture amoung its employees, a culture that appreciates honesty, hard work, and integrity. CAB's financials are all there. It's just a matter of time before this small Nebraska built, family based company gets recognized by the NYSE and all you short time day traders. How many people in South Africa do you think have ever heard of Bass Pro? How many people in Northern Canada do you think have ever heard of Gander? Cabela's is a worldly reconized brand, standing for quality and service. For actual users of product there is no other choice and for that reason alone, they will outlast and outperform their competition in the long run.
CAB has a great brand and are good merchants, but their world is changing. in addition to their transformation from mail order to a retail combo, Bass Proshops is on the same expansion binge. It was once a tourist event to visit a Cabela's, or basspro, store. Now they, cab and bass, are near every major market. Very soon their expansion success will be a burden. Throw in the expansion and buying power of Dicks and you have a real margin problem. They need to kill the small guys like Gander to compensate for the upcoming competition. I wish you all well, but I'll wait longer to enter this contest again.
Visited a Dicks this weekend to let my wife try on a new hunting parka to see the difference between thinsulate and 4 oz polyester insulation. Field and stream brand, was on sale $169.99 on sale for $99.99. Matching pants 59.99 on sale $39.99. Tree stands same discounts. I love Cabelas but you won't find these sales there. Walked out with half my Christmas pruchases. Beats mail order buying and then having to return a few items because they fit poorly. Especially footwear. Sorry, but I'm now watching DKS stock for an entry point. They sell alot of UA also. Don't care for Gander at all.
I visted the new East Harford, Connecticut store today at lunch. I work at the Pratt & Whitney plant on the same piece of land. My first impression on walking in was that I am in a nicer Dicks Sporting goods. Based on my hour walk around, I guess I would have to agree that I don't give this store/stock a chance. Lots of people looking but the only thing I saw in baskets were the $9.99 Cabela's hats. Great marketing to charge someone to advertise your store. As for the prices, I thought they were very high. Even the Bargin room was no bargin. Sure there were lots of out of state plates in the parking lot but I just do not see how this store can continue to grow sales or add to CAB's bottom line.
Lots of people looking but few buying. Sure UTC and the state of CT gave them some breaks on the land but I just don't get the business model. Perhaps it is to spure catalog sales but it has to be costly. Sad that where this store is built used to employee thousands in well paying Blue Collar jobs at Pratt & Whitney. Now it's a few actual workers, lots of white collar bloat feeding on Gov't contracts and a huge football stadium buit so some coach can make a million a year on some 18 year old kids.
I live in Reno, haven't been to the new store My brother is the outdoorsman, every year I give him a Cabela's gift cert which he can use online or at the store. The question I see, is the retail store, with all of the upfront investment, going to justify the expense with an actual increase in sales beyond which they could do online. As someone said, there's a difference between curious people walking in and sold inventory walking out.