Is Cabela’s played out?

menhaden_man

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Jul 18, 2019
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I’ve been to many throughout the country, but spend more time stopping in Post Falls Idaho store these days. Was there with my wife and three kids yesterday.

There’s more fudge shop than bargain cave, far more apparel than tackle, and more licorice than scope rings.

They do well bringing solid products to market at competitive prices (like their base layers or space rain), but wading through the nonsense and getting deli tickets at the gun counter has put me in the no-go zone.
 

Wapiti1

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Sep 18, 2017
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Indiana
They lost their way when they started to be a brick and mortar retailer instead of the best mail order store they could be. Having a few showcase stores made them attractions, and they still do have a good warranty and return policy. Back to basics would be good for them.

I don't think they are dead, but do think they need to focus their offerings. Bass Pro has an opportunity to differentiate the brands, but I don't see that happening since now Redhead goods are in Cabelas stores.

Jeremy
 

Kevin Dill

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Aug 26, 2014
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The Cabela's of today isn't the Cabela's of yesterday. But then again, the Walmart-Lowe's-Best Buy-Big Box models are the ones succeeding in today's marketplace. Cabela's learned early on that attracting non-hunting wives and kids to their stores would vastly increase traffic and sales. For me (and maybe you) that cost the brand the feeling of 'serious gear for hardcore sportsmen'. But profits happened and investors demand profitability.

I don't necessarily see Cabela's disappearing anytime soon. The brand still has a lot of value and identity world wide. So many stores out there. It will come down to what BPS decides to do with the name and physical properties. Maybe all the stores will get renamed and the Cabela's label is gone eventually. I don't have a serious clue.

Maybe it's not such a bad thing to have fudge, baby jumpers and costume jewelry across the store from the Swaro scopes and gun library. Just weird for me.
 

Firehole Hunter

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Jun 1, 2017
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Atlanta area
It really started when they went public and Dick and Jim wanted the cash and who can blame them. They started it out in the back yard and wanted to realize some money for the family. I rememberer getting lures from them in the 60's. They were the precursor to Amazon but strictly for hunting and fishing only. Maybe Amazon will get a really good outdoors only section.
 

Desk Jockey

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Apr 5, 2015
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2,680
Can’t say the bass pro deal has made me love Cabela’s any more but I still like to go and browse around when I pass one and my wife doesn’t yell too much. I always come out with something. I did walk into a Bass Pro in Nashville last week and it is starting to looking more like a Cabela’s in the hunting department so that is good. Fishing and boating stuff is still pretty good. Of the Bigger hunting retail options I have, I would prefer to give them my money vs field and stream/dicks.

I honestly buy most of my stuff from a combo of direct from hunting brands, high quality online stores like one shot, black ovis, camera land and amazon.
 

GLB

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Nov 3, 2013
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343
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Alaska
It is sad to see this happen. The decline was very noticeable when BPS took over. I still go there and shop some but I usually just look at the full size mounts and the old pictures of Fred Bear, Glenn St Charles and Jack O’Conner that we have in ours.
 

Bigjay73

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Jan 23, 2019
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Maybe if half of the shelves weren't bare, and it didnt take 30 mins to check out, Csbelas would be a pleasant place to shop. I try to stick to Sportsman's, Cabelas is a last ditch effort.
 

Terrapin

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Jan 14, 2014
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181
I went to a sportsman’s warehouse yesterday and kinda felt they were following suit. I suppose we have all become more sophisticated in our purchasing and buy direct from niche manufacturers and venders. The big box stores are relegated to selling commodities to the meat of the market...


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Wrench

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Aug 23, 2018
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WA
When they went public and got into the credit game they started circling the drain.

I still have a made in the USA cabelas wool coat that I use annually, I bought it in 1995 for $200. Those were the days of top quality gear.
 

granite7

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Aug 18, 2017
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Colorado Front Range
Maybe if half of the shelves weren't bare, and it didnt take 30 mins to check out, Csbelas would be a pleasant place to shop. I try to stick to Sportsman's, Cabelas is a last ditch effort.
This ^^^

I have Cabela’s and Dick’s 5 minutes from the house and I will drive the 20 minutes to Sportsman’s every time. If I have money to spend, I’d rather support Sportsman’s.

My last trip to Cabela’s, I had two gift cards and couldn’t find anything to spend. The ammo shelves were empty. The Cabela’s t-shirt section was gone. Replaced by BassPro stuff. None of their clothing or camping gear is what I want. The only thing I can say is a positive change is being able to find She Outdoors clothing for my daughter without the 45-minute drive to BassPro.


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Ratbeetle

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Jul 20, 2018
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Colorado
This ^^^

I have Cabela’s and Dick’s 5 minutes from the house and I will drive the 20 minutes to Sportsman’s every time. If I have money to spend, I’d rather support Sportsman’s.

My last trip to Cabela’s, I had two gift cards and couldn’t find anything to spend. The ammo shelves were empty. The Cabela’s t-shirt section was gone. Replaced by BassPro stuff. None of their clothing or camping gear is what I want. The only thing I can say is a positive change is being able to find She Outdoors clothing for my daughter without the 45-minute drive to BassPro.


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Sounds like my experience yesterday. Had a gift card and left without spending a dollar. I couldn't find anything worth buying or anything that I couldn't get substantially cheaper elsewhere.
 

gfreidy

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Joined
Mar 30, 2016
Messages
404
Definitely not the Cabelas of yesterday. Really miss the great service.
 
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