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Cabela’s


Cabela's

Full Description


Few, if any, businesses today survive the kitchen-table dreams of their founders, especially in the outdoor industry where businesses come and go with the changing seasons. Yet, the leader in the outdoor equipment business has done just that – survived, grown and prospered from simple beginnings to become the largest mail-order, retail and Internet outdoor outfitter in the world.

Cabela’s, the World’s Foremost Outfitter of hunting, fishing and outdoor gear, was born somewhat inadvertently in 1961 when Dick Cabela came up with a plan to sell fishing flies he purchased while at a furniture show in Chicago. Upon returning home to Chappell, Nebraska, Dick ran a classified ad in the Casper, Wyoming, newspaper reading: “12 hand-tied flies for $1.” It generated one response.

Undaunted, Dick formulated a new plan, rewriting the ad to read “FREE Introductory offer! 5 hand tied Flies….25c Postage….Handling” and placing it in national outdoor magazines. It didn’t take long for the orders to begin arriving from sportsmen and women around the country.

In typical direct-mail style, each order was mailed out with a mimeographed catalog of outdoor items Dick and his wife, Mary, added to their product line. In the beginning, Dick and Mary ran the business from the kitchen table of their home in Chappell.

Few, if any, businesses today survive the kitchen-table dreams of their founders, especially in the outdoor industry where businesses come and go with the changing seasons. Yet, the leader in the outdoor equipment business has done just that – survived, grown and prospered from simple beginnings to become the largest mail-order, retail and Internet outdoor outfitter in the world.

Cabela’s, the World’s Foremost Outfitter of hunting, fishing and outdoor gear, was born somewhat inadvertently in 1961 when Dick Cabela came up with a plan to sell fishing flies he purchased while at a furniture show in Chicago. Upon returning home to Chappell, Nebraska, Dick ran a classified ad in the Casper, Wyoming, newspaper reading: “12 hand-tied flies for $1.” It generated one response.

Undaunted, Dick formulated a new plan, rewriting the ad to read “FREE Introductory offer! 5 hand tied Flies….25c Postage….Handling” and placing it in national outdoor magazines. It didn’t take long for the orders to begin arriving from sportsmen and women around the country.

In typical direct-mail style, each order was mailed out with a mimeographed catalog of outdoor items Dick and his wife, Mary, added to their product line. In the beginning, Dick and Mary ran the business from the kitchen table of their home in Chappell.

By 1964, continued success and growth demanded a bigger and better location. The operation was moved from their kitchen table to the basement of Dick and Jim’s father’s furniture store and then on to various buildings in Chappell. In 1969, Cabela’s was operating in a 50,000 square-foot vacant John Deere building in neighboring downtown Sidney, Nebraska.

Initially, Dick and Mary were able to handle the growing business with the help of temporary typists hired for mail, label and catalog preparation. However, by the fall of 1962, they realized the demands of their new venture needed full-time attention. Dick urged his younger brother Jim to join the new company, which he did in 1963. Neither Dick, Mary nor Jim took any salary from the company in those early years. Instead, they invested in more mailings, new equipment and bigger facilities.

Today, Cabela’s main world headquarters building along Interstate 80 in Sidney encompasses more than 250,000 square feet.

The foundation of the company is its world-famous catalog business. The company produces nearly 100 different catalogs per year, including specialty books focusing on such outdoor pursuits as archery, fly-fishing and boating, as well as massive Spring and Fall Master catalogs. Internationally known as a source of affordable, high-quality outdoor equipment, Cabela’s catalogs are shipped to all 50 states and 125 countries.

With its Internet department growing by leaps and bounds, Cabela’s has seen tremendous online growth. Besides the thriving e-commerce side of www.cabelas.com, which went live in 1998, the web site features a continuously updated content site, community pages, company information and much more.

Cabela’s retail division operates overwhelmingly popular stores throughout the U.S. As much wildlife museums and education centers as retail stores, Cabela’s showrooms provide a truly unique shopping experience. True destination stores, Cabela’s showrooms offer outdoor enthusiasts and their family an educational and entertaining shopping experience.

To provide support for their co-branded credit card, which was started in 1995, Cabela’s chartered the World’s Foremost Bank, N.A., in 2001. The bank provides customer service, risk management and payment processing exclusively for Cabela’s Visa cardholders. The Cabela’s Visa card allows consumers to earn points back from all their purchases, which they can apply toward their next purchase at Cabela’s.

 



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