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Cabela's entices outdoor enthusiasts in a habitat wonderland

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Thursday, March 20, 2014

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The signataure

Julie McCombs

The signataure "mountain" habitat in the middle of Cabela's has been moved to the center in the rear in its "Next Generation" prototype to accommodate more space for merchandise. The mural was handpainted.

 



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Outfitter Chris Cox stands among 2,900 rods and reels available for sale on April 3. 
 

Jim Fair

Outfitter Chris Cox stands among 2,900 rods and reels available for sale on April 3. 

 



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The clothing line offers virtually everything outdoors from socks to a camouflage-brush blind for waterfowl hunting.
 

Julie McCombs

The clothing line offers virtually everything outdoors from socks to a camouflage-brush blind for waterfowl hunting.

 



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The Gun Library features museum-quality antique and collectible firearms for sale. The store conducts background checks and issues permits for weapons to be purchased.
 

Julie McCombs

The Gun Library features museum-quality antique and collectible firearms for sale. The store conducts background checks and issues permits for weapons to be purchased.

 



 

David Renfro was giddy as he smiled widely and said, “We sell fun here.”

Here is Cabela’s, a “Next Generation” prototype of the 100,000-square-foot hunting, fishing and outdoor gear store opening in the middle of Magnolia Park on Woodruff Road on April 3.

Renfro, store manager, grins as he talks about a segment of the store’s demographic that routinely travels hundreds of miles and spends 3-4 hours, on average, at the store. “We have RV parking, a kennel for dogs, and a fire place that is always on with comfortable chairs where you can read and have coffee.”

Wall-to-wall and throughout the store’s merchandise corridors are outdoor exhibits featuring wildlife in their habitat that have been hunted, preserved and mounted with Cabela’s inventory of sportsman gear to the store’s taxidermists. “We have put the exhibits above the merchandise to make better use of the floor space,” Renfro said.

Cabela’s features a white-tailed deer habitat, native to the region, at the entry of the store that Renfro said was a little more difficult to exhibit than expected. Wanting to stay with South Carolina deer pelts the taxidermists found them smaller and had to maneuver around that. “That probably cost us more than the deer,” Renfro said with a laugh. “We want to create the right ambience throughout the store for our customers and deliver our legendary customer service.”

The Greenville store is Cabela’s first South Carolina location. The second is planned for Rock Hill in 2015.

The “outfitters”, what store associates are called, offer in-store demonstrations on proper techniques with its merchandise in locations specifically designed for “In your nature,” Renfro said. “Our customers are not only the novice but they hunt all over the world.” The store’s website has a YouTube channel.

Chris Cox, who works around the thousands of rods and reels available, is an avid fisherman. Another outfitter showed the proper technique for fly fishing. Archery has its indoor range and tech room, tents are fully open with gear and equipment displayed and clothing features socks to hats and all the camouflage imaginable and some that aren’t like the ColorPhase Camouflage – dyes in the fabric’s foliage pattern will change colors pending the season and temperature.

The S.C. Department of Natural Resources helped stock the fish in the 8,000-gallon walk through aquarium. The store practices Wildlife Management with its inventory from seed and supplements for the fields.

The pièce de résistance may be the Gun Library featuring museum-quality antique and collectible firearms for sale. “We buy, sell and trade guns,” Renfro said. The store conducts background checks and issues permits for weapons to be purchased. “It makes it a little easier to be able to do it all in one place.” 

Hungry? There are wild game sandwiches – smoked bison, smoked elk and wild boar. Or there are the traditional deli fare of sandwiches, hotdogs, soups and salads.

Short on cash? Cabela’s has its own bank that offers a credit card through Visa and awards points for purchase of store items.

 

 

• Cabela’s grand opening is Thursday, April 3 at 11 a.m. Celebrity appearances, family events and other entertainment will be announced next week. The store is located in Magnolia Park at the junction of I-85 and I-385.

 

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