Cabela's Expanding Across Canada


Winnipeg-based outdoor equipment retailer Cabela's Canada plans to open several new locations in Canada with the goal of establishing a presence across the country. The company carries a wide range of boating accessories, including canoes and kayaks, towables, electronics, clothing, PFDs and lifejackets.

The retailer says that the first store opening as part of its expansion will be located in Western Canada, with an official announcement including additional store locations expected by late June. Previous published reports have suggested that two stores are planned for Western Canada.

“The land purchase details are almost done,” confirms Carl McKay, President of Canadian Operations for Cabela's. “We are starting in Western Canada because we only have the one facility for training employees, and that is the store here in Winnipeg. The first store we want located so we can get people home a little easier. But after that we're looking coast-to-coast and we have found some great sites across Canada for new stores.”

Cabela's already has a significant online retail presence and catalogue order customer base in Canada. With the addition of new bricks-and-mortar retail locations across Canada it will soon have an even greater presence in the boating accessory market. On it's website, the company claims to serve 250,000 Canadian customers through its catalogue, Winnipeg retail location and online store. The company states on its website that it “maintains distinct relationships with many vendors world-wide.  This allows us to obtain products and negotiate agreements and pricing that are often particularly beneficial for our Canadian customers.”

Bass Pro Shops, which has locations in Rocky View, AB and Toronto, ON, grew from a similar online retail and catalogue order base. The company has utilized its retail store space to accommodate showrooms for its Tracker boat center.

Obtaining more retail floor space is an important step in Cabela's expansion. According to McKay, Cabela's Canadian headquarters recently moved out of its 41,000 square-foot retail location in Winnipeg to a larger distribution centre and call centre in the city, greatly increasing the size of its facilities in anticipation of its expansion plans.

Actively expanding in the US as well, Cabela's has 30 retail big-box locations that are currently open or will be opening shortly.