Cabela’s – The Next Generation Stores
Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates’ professional relationship with Cabela’s began in 2002, and continues today. Through this span of time, CRA’s experience bridged all phases of Cabela’s retail program, from their Destination Legacy Stores, through all three phases of their Next Generation Program.
In November, 2016, Cabela’s challenged CRA Architects to develop Next Gen 3.0, a small format retail prototype store in both 50K and 70K models. The challenge they posed required that the iconic Cabela’s feel, and the “customer experience” Cabela’s loyal customer base has come to expect, be maintained but at a significantly lower cost. The 50K model was to be built for 1/3 the budget, and the 70K model was to be built for 1/2 the budget of their 100K Next Gen 2.0 Prototype. CRA delivered both designs, meeting all of Cabela’s challenging requirements by simplifying the building’s form, focusing budget dollars where they really mattered, and through an aggressive campaign of value engineering. Next Gen 3.0’s 70K model maintained Cabela’s grand entrance, its iconic green roof and flanking canopies, its stone and wood detailing, and a focus on Cabela’s “wow factor” upon entering the store.
The 50K model maintained these same elements but without the flanking canopies. With large windows at the entrance and a prominent wildlife display visible through the glass, the Cabela’s customer experience starts much earlier, upon approaching the store rather than upon entering. The layout of the retail floor was designed to focus on Cabela’s core markets “Hunt”, “Fish”, “Camp” and “Shoot”, each with a dedicated retail pad and prominent tower signage. These core markets, through a new branding effort, are stated above the store’s main entrance, and are also depicted on the front façade of the building through subtle graphical images. Through CRA Architect’s careful planning efforts, while maintaining a focus on Cabela’s longstanding traditions, Cabela’s remains the “World’s Foremost Outfitter”®.