Cabela's is a hunter's and fisherman's Disneyland. The seller of outdoor sporting goods operates more than 40 stores in about 25 US states plus several stores in Canada. Located mainly in the Midwest, the stores are as big as 246,000 sq. ft. and include such features as waterfalls, mountain replicas, aquariums, in-store shooting galleries, and banquet and meeting facilities. Cabela's sells footwear, clothing, and gear for fishing, hunting, camping, and other outdoor activities. Cabela's also mails more than 132 million catalogs each year, sells magazines and merchandise online, and has an outdoors show on television. Cabela's was founded in 1961 by chairman Dick Cabela and his younger brother, Jim.
Fast-growing Cabela's has stores in more than 25 US states. Major markets include Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Texas, and Washington. The retailer operates three stores in Canada in Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan.
Cabela's retail store business accounts for about 60% of the company's total sales. The direct business, which includes catalog and online sales, contributes about 30%. Cabela's financial services arm consists of its CLUB VISA credit card business and is managed by World's Foremost Bank, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the company. The company's strategy is to use the CLUB VISA program to generate higher profits and deepen customer loyalty.
Sales and Marketing
To spur sales of its outdoor producsts, Cabela's is expanding the use of digital marketing channels in mobile marketing and social networking. It's also launching new catalog titles, and bringing to market new products. The retailer also sponsors sportsmen and women advocacy groups and wildlife conservation organizations, including the US Sportsmen's Alliance, National Rifle Association, Women in the Outdoors, and Ducks Unlimited. The retailer also sponsors fishing tournaments and similar events.
Cabela's sales topped $3.1 billion in 2012, a record for the company and a 11% increase versus 2011. Net income rose 22% over the same period. Driving the double-digit sales gain in 2012 was a 19% rise in sales at Cabela's retail stores, and a 10% gain in revenue from its financial services business. (Direct sales fell nearly 3% year to year.) Cabela's opened six new stores in 2012, including its first in Arkansas and Saskatchewan. A 7% increase in comparable store sales (sales at stores open more than one year), led by an increase in sales in the hunting equipment category, also fueled growth in 2012. (Cabela's expects demand for firearms and ammunition to remain strong in 2013 due to potential gun control legislation in the aftermath of several mass shootings in 2012.) Decreased sales of clothing and footwear led to the decline in direct sales.
In 2012 Cabela's branded merchandise accounted for about 30% of its merchandise sales.
Cabela's retail stores generate millions of visitors per store a year, and its Kansas City, Kansas, and Owatonna, Minnesota, stores are near the top of the list in tourist attractions for those states. Most of the company's stores were built within the last decade and are located along major Interstates in small towns not far from large metropolitan areas. Cabela's is accelerating its retail store growth rate, with plans to open seven locations in 2013, after adding six news stores in 2012 and five in 2011. All the new stores conform to the retailer's adaptable next-generation format, which ranges in size from about 80,000 to 125,000 square feet and allows the company to expedite new store opening in prime locations. The retailer's new "Outpost" store format is smaller (~40,000 square feet) and boasts a "core-flex" merchandise strategy (stocking selected core merchandise with a flexible seasonal mix).
The Cabela family owns about 36% of the company's common stock.