Cabela's is taking a shot at Western New York with its first store in New York State, but company officials say they're already familiar with the WNY market.
The retail store won't open to the public until August 7, but the media got a sneak peek at the 88,000 square foot site. It features massive hunting and fishing departments and more. Cabela's store officials expect customers to travel for hours or hundreds of miles to get to the site, stay in hotels and visit other retailers saying it will have a strong economic impact. Cabela's hired 225 workers at the store. Most are Western New Yorkers.
As for local customers, store officials say they will be impressed since Cabela's already knows the local market thanks to online and catalog sales, along with Cabela's Visa purchases from WNY. "Through those three things, we're able to tell we have an established, loyal customer base that shops with us year round," said Cabela's communications specialist Nathan Borowski. "So then that also helps us stock the store as well because we know what our customers buy and when they buy it."
"I think the first thing somebody is going to say is 'Wow!' when they see the conservation mounts and animal mounts throughout the store," said Don Ashworth, Cabela's marketing manager. "They'll be blown away. There's no store like this in WNY and they won't get the same experience anywhere else."
The store is complete with an archery range. At the official grand opening, on August 7, one of Cabela's outfitters will cut the ribbon by shooting a bow and arrow at a clay target from a tree stand in the parking lot.
Cabela's second New York State store will open in Woodbury next year.