(Editor’s note: We sent Stittsville neighbour Coreen Tyers to a media preview on Tuesday of the new Cabela’s store, across the street from Tanger Outlets in Kanata. The store opens to the public on September 22. All photos by Coreen Tyers.)
The store is gorgeous, well lit, and carries a varied selection without being overwhelming. With 70,000 square feet of floor space, the store is very well laid out and signed and each interest has a section, whether it be camping, fishing (fly fishing has its own corner), hunting with bows or guns, technical clothing, preparing ands preserving what you’ve caught, to home decor and camo lingerie too.
And let’s not forget the fudge. They make fudge on site, every day and candied nuts too.
Given that the official opening is over a week away I was very impressed by the stock already available and the number of staff on-site for training.
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I was shown around the store by Nathan Borowski, communications specialist from the Nebraska head office. He stressed that their aim is to ensure that customers are long-term customers, that they learn how to properly use their equipment, that they select the right equipment and that they enjoy their sport.
They tailor the selection in the store both to the season as well as to the interests of the area they are in, and have used the online customer purchases to have a better understanding of what customers in our area will be looking for. If you are looking for something they don’t have in store you can order it for store pickup. You can do online shopping with store pickup as well, which will not only save on shipping, but it could come in handy if you’re trying to surprise someone with a gift. The same applies if they are out of an item (size, style etc) they can order it in for you.
It’s worth taking some time just to look at the decor in the store. They work with historical societies to use some local pictures, the murals on the walls are hand painted, and the taxidermy is impressive. It’s not every day you can walk in to a store with a tree in the middle and a mountain at the back. The mountain is decorated with examples of various North American wildlife and it has an interactive display on North American moose. The moose on display is a world record trophy moose too!
Local experts and enthusiasts are working in the store, and all the staff members I spoke with were very friendly and knowledgeable. I had a great discussion about hunting with a dog and the pros of getting them their own blind as well as the special goose hunting season that’s open right now. I can’t wait to see what sorts of training andseminars they will be holding in the store. The opportunity to handle, use and be trained on the equipment will help me make informed gear decisions I’m sure.
The indoor archery range is a can’t miss. Or rather, I missed rather badly, but had lots of fun trying. After signing a waiver I could select the type of bow to shoot and hope for the best… I eventually hit a target.
There’s a reel bar, and any reel they sell is available to see how it feels and operates. They strive to do this with as many products as they can. Depth finders are available to touch and work through the menus as well. When I first entered the store I was greeted by a gaggle of geese (calls) which started up a couple of times while I was touring and occasionally gave way to duck calls.
They have developed both their own camouflage patterns and have also listened to women hunters and designed and offer a line tailored to women called OutfitHer. They carry several Canadian lines of casual wear too which is always nice to see.
It appears that a lot of thought and care has gone in to the selection in the store and the whole store experience.