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.
I 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.