Cabela’s to add competition to outdoor retailing

Two outdoor retailers south of Indianapolis say they won’t operate differently after the Cabela’s mega store opens near Interstate 65 this year.

The Outdoorsman Sport Shop is banking on continued service and customer loyalty to weather the new round of competition, according to the Daily Journal of Franklin. Cabela’s workers won’t be as knowledgeable as their Outdoorsman counterparts, co-owner Winnie McPherson told the newspaper.

Minnesota-based Gander Mountain, which has a location near the Cabela’s site, will thrive, a spokesman said. The chains fare well while operating near each other in Minnesota, although the competition in Greenwood will be closer – directly across the interstate.

Sometimes small competitors actually see improved results when big box stores move in.

When Cabela’s and a similar retailer, Bass Pro Shops, opened in the Hammond area, a long-time store several miles away, Blythe’s Sports Shop, saw its sales rise by nearly a third.

Blythe eliminated soft goods in apparel and footwear because it couldn’t compete on price with the big boxes, but increased its gun selection to 5,000.

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