http://www.cabelas.com/retail-stores-wheeling.shtml ** VS ** http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CFPageC?storeId=10151&appID=94&storeID=40
Today I decided to go out and visit the super store of outdoor, Cabela's in Wheeling West Virgina. This is only the second "mega" store I have visited in my lifetime, dedicated to the great out doors. Hunting, fishing, survival, hiking and much more can be found there.
So the major question is, how does it compare to the only other super outdoor store I've been in ?
I decided to break it down into different categories, comparing each area from both stores. We will be looking at floor space, design, selection, the stuffed animals, in store activities, in store "arcade" games, aquariums, and food.
1: Floor space. I have to give this one to Bass Pro Shop. The size of their store feel about 2.5 times bigger than Cabela's. Cabela's has 1.25 floors of space, Bass Pro Shop has over 2.5 floors. You could easily fit the entire floor space of Cabela's on the first floor of Bass Pro Shop.
2: Design. The point would have to go to Bass Pro Shop.
The huge entrance, to the in store stream, to the mountain, to the very high ceilings, and the themed areas, makes Bass Pro Shop feel like a genuine outdoor store. Cabela's, on the other hand, with the low ceilings, and generic depart store theme, feels like just another shop at the mall.
3: Selection. There is no question, Bass Pro Shop has more to choose from. In Cabela's, the camping section is crammed back into a corner of the second floor, and contains a few shelves dedicated to camping / survival. It's pitiful. In Bass Pro Shop, literally over 20% of their floor space is dedicated to camping / survival. Their tent and sleeping bag area is larger than Cabela's whole camping section.
The footwear section in Cabela's was a joke. They had quite a few brands, but the selection was only limited to a handful of each. Tractor Supply has better selection, than Cabela's .
Cabela's had more used firearms, and ammo, but Bass Pro Shop has more new firearms, and accessories for them.
Bass Pro Shop's Archery area is huge, sporting an indoor archery range to "try before you buy", while Cabela's stuffed what few bows they had into a small area
4: Stuffed Animals. Cabela's has more of them. A lot more, featuring a dedicated area showing off different exotics.
However, Bass Pro Shop incorporated their stuffed animals into the store layout much better than Cabela's.
5: Store activities. Bass Pro Shop has an indoor driving range (golf), an indoor archery range, a small movie theater, and workshops through out the year.
Cabela's has nothing.
6: Arcade Games. Both stores feature gallery shooting games. Cabela's is hidden away on their second floor, while Bass Pro Shop is prominently featured on the first floor.
Cabela's is very small. Bass Pro Shop's is a large walk around area, with many different shooting games to choose from.
7: Aquariums. Cabela's has a fairly large fish collection housed in it's store. The main problem is the tanks look very generic. It feels more like looking at some one's stamp collection.
Bass Pro Shop's fish tank is relatively small, but looks more natural. They even use it to demonstrate different underwater cameras
8: Food. Cabela's has a small in store food court. Bass Pro Shop has a full sized restaurant, and a Starbucks . The restraint isn't open very often.
Over all, I had a lot better experience visiting Bass Pro Shop, than Cabela's.
After visiting the Cabela's store today, I feel like it is over hyped, and not worth the trip.