The moment when Bass Pro Shops buys Cabela’s.

In the last week or two, it was released to the world that Bass Pro Shops is buying Cabela’s.

As soon as I heard this news I was like, “UH OH. This can’t be good.” Was I the only one that thought that way?

The second thing that popped in my mind was, “There goes someone’s mom&pop start up dream.” But then again, both of these stores are now corporate–once they become that–it’s a whole other game. You no longer are that one store in one location and it’s fair game from there on.

I’m reading around several articles that nothing will change–at least at the beginning and both stores will remain both stores–but we all know that once all of this kicks in there will be changes. There will always be changes at that point.

Should we, as an industry, start comparing the non-dealership retail stores to clothing retail stores? When you add the other places like Dick’s Sporting Goods, Field & Stream, Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s — Could you see them fighting like JC Penny’s or Sears or even Macy’s? If you follow retail news, you saw what has happened so far and is currently happening with those shops right now. Majority of them are taking a huge hit and are closing. Their traditional methods of getting people in the door are too stale, and aren’t changing much, and when they do change, the people aren’t responsive. I already see that the future in the retail world is going to be in trouble as we already have so many different corporate stores that are exactly the same and there are so many within small distances of each other (grocery stores, drug stores, clothing stores). By looking around, each state has a certain number of sporting goods stores, including West Marine.

I really think it goes back to… the way a store targets their market to keep their customer’s attention, who the competition is, and how they are serving their customers differently than the other companies. When new–it is easy to get someone’s attention to try your product if there’s something in it for them. You can entice them to keep trying your brand. However, it’s extremely hard to get them to switch over to yours if they have had a trusted brand they’ve relied on for years.

know that the set up is differently for both Bass Pro Shops & Cabela’s, but if you don’t know the shops individually, you would probably think both of the stores are the same anyway. So maybe this was eventually going to happen, especially if their target market is basically the same and their mission statements go hand in hand? I’ve read some people prefer Bass Pro over Cabela’s, so that’ll be interesting to see what happens in the future. With those customers and with the shop sales overall.

Day One of IBEX – BoatShowGirl shows up incognito!


Two years ago in 2014, I went to my first IBEX Show. I was at a different point in my life and career, so I was just taking in everything (just like I would an ordinary boat show). This year, I had an agenda, and I fulfilled it to a certain point.

Some pointers as to what happened….

  • Met the Boating Industry folks!
  • Talked to several different professionals who are with companies that might be able to help me in the future, and each one of them gave me great advice, great ideas, etc…
  • Randomly ran into two old friends and ended up walking around with them for a while.
  • Got to see a 3D printer live in action.
  • Met up with my Canadian friend later on and walked with him/his dad.


Once again, this experience was much different than 2 years ago. I will confess as I walked in the door, I was intimidated by the professionals I was surrounded by. If I’m defined by my work, I’m just an administrative assistant (with her hands in every single department) so I really didn’t belong there next to those who run departments, businesses and the like, however, everyone knows how much I want to be something in this industry so I am making my presence known.


Every single show I go to, I have to get a photo of quads. BOW DOWN TO THE POWER.


I was on a boat. *_*


The goods I brought back from IBEX 2016.

Favorite freebee item / gift: 3D prototype that was given to me (I’ll love that thing forever. It opens up & holds something small.) 

Second Favorite freebee: a flashlight pen by Starweather & Shepley.

Favorite product: 3D Printer

Favorite moment: walking up to ABBRA & seeing their booth where people who visited filled out a little tag with their name / company / something about the industry

Favorite “Fan Girl” moment: meeting the people behind the Boating Industry magazine. (Yes, I’m a serious industry nerd.) 

And, so far, that’s it. In the next few days, I’m going to write up some articles regarding today and I’ll post as soon as I am done!

– Karen Maeby