Cabela's is a hunter's and fisherman's Disneyland. The seller of outdoor sporting goods operates some 45 stores in about 25 US states plus a handful of 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.
Cabela's retail store business accounts for more than 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. In 2013 the company opened nine stores in the US and another in Canada, bringing its store portfolio to 46 (US) and four (Canada).
Fast-growing Cabela's has stores in more than 25 US states. Major markets include Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Texas, and Washington. The retailer operates stores in Canada in Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. Cabela's operates distribution centers in Nebraska, West Virginia, and Wisconsin in the US; and another in Manitoba, Canada. To support the company's ongoing expansion, it plans to open a fifth distribution center in Utah.
Sales and Marketing
To spur sales of its outdoor products, 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 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. It also sponsors fishing tournaments and similar events.
Since 2009, Cabela's sales have been growing steadily. In 2013 revenue topped $3.6 billion, a record for the company and a 16% increase versus 2012. Driving the double-digit sales gain were higher merchandise sales as a result of added locations -- the company added 10 new stores in 2013 -- as well as an increase in comparable store sales, led primarily by hunting equipment sales. (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.) Financial services revenue such as interest and interchange income also rose. Net income rose 29% over the same period to $224.4 million, versus $173.5 million in 2012. Contributing factors included higher revenues and a 70% decrease in impairment and restructuring charges. For the same reasons, cash flow from operations also increased in fiscal 2013, rising 47% to $345 million.
In 2013 Cabela's branded merchandise accounted for about 25% 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, after adding 10 stores in 2013 and six in 2012. The company now aims to open 13 to 15 stores annually. Most of the new stores conform to the retailer's adaptable next-generation format, which ranges in size from about 80,000 to 125,000 sq. ft. and allows the company to expedite new store opening in prime locations. The retailer's new "Outpost" store format is smaller (~40,000 sq. ft.) and boasts a "core-flex" merchandise strategy (stocking selected core merchandise with a flexible seasonal mix).
During 2013 the company opened 10 new retail stores (in Colorado, Kentucky, Michigan, Montana, Ohio, in the US, and in Saskatchewan in Canada). The new locations have already contributed to the company's profits; encouraged, Cabela's plans to stick to its strategy of selecting already-established retail centers for its new store locations.