The event many local hunters, campers and other outdoor-merchandise enthusiasts have been waiting for -- the opening of Cabela's new flagship Winnipeg store -- is set for May 9.
The new, 70,000-square-foot store will be nearly twice the size of Cabela's existing 44,000-square-foot store on Ellice Avenue, and about 10,000 square feet bigger than its outlet in Grand Forks, N.D.
It will boast many of the interior and exterior features found in a typical U.S. Cabela's store, including the iconic gable roof, dormer windows, wood trusses and stone veneer on the outside, and a huge indoor mountain and wildlife display on the inside.
"You'll see everything, including black bears, elk, deer and birds," Cabela's spokesman Wesley Remmer said in a telephone interview from Michigan, where the Nebraska-based chain was opening its 43rd store on Tuesday.
"This store will allow us to more efficiently serve our thousands of loyal customers across the region and further solidifies our long-term commitment to Winnipeg," Tommy Millner, Cabela's chief executive officer, said in a statement.
Cabela's Canada's corporate headquarters, national distribution centre and call-centre operation are all located in Winnipeg. This is where the chain first entered the Canadian market in 2007 with the purchase of the former S.I.R. Mail Order and Warehouse Sports Store at 1300 Ellice Ave.
Because the Ellice Avenue outlet was much smaller than a typical Cabela's store, the company said early on it would build a new Canadian flagship store here. And last year, it announced it would be built in the Seasons of Tuxedo retail power centre.
The new store will employ about 75 more people than the Ellice Avenue store, which has a staff of about 100.
It will be the second big-box tenant to open in the massive development, which is currently under construction at the corner of Kenaston Boulevard and Sterling Lyon Parkway. The first was the 395,671-square-foot IKEA store that opened amid much fanfare on Nov. 28.
An 8,000-square-foot Bouclair Home store also opened in the centre earlier this week. And four smaller retail outlets are in various stages of development, including a Pita Pit, a Subway, a Taco Del Mar and a Fatburger.
Will Yakielashek, general manager of the new Cabela's store, said the new store will also boast many other features usually found in a Cabela's outlet, including an archery pro shop, a single-lane testing range, a bargain cave, a gun library, a fudge shop and a conference room.
Yakielashek said Cabela's is bringing in all new merchandise for the Seasons of Tuxedo store. He said the Ellice Avenue outlet, which will close shortly before the new store opens, is already offering clearance prices on a wide variety of its merchandise.