Cabela’s recently opened a new store in Greenville, SC, but it is a total clusterfuck.
I recently stopped by and checked out the new Cabela’s that opened up just down the road here in Greenville, SC. The brand new store is located over on Woodruff Road in the new Magnolia Park area.
Location, location, location
If you live in this area or happen to be familiar with the Woodruff Road area, you’ll know how much of a nightmare that area is. Traffic is absolutely horrible, no matter what time of day you try to venture into that area. Clearly, neither Cabela’s nor any of the developers of this entire section of commercial property seemed to take that into account when planning and developing this new store.
I first tried to visit the new Cabela’s about 3 days after the initial grand opening. After sitting in traffic for more than an hour and actually getting to the parking lot, only to find people parking 1/2 a mile away, I turned around and booked it back home. I tried again a few days later, on a Sunday and it was just as bad.
I finally managed to get in the store a few days later and actually check it out. It took me about 20 minutes to get into the parking lot and find a spot, which is actually longer than I think I was in the store.
The location of the store is horrible, period. I’ve already heard several people say they won’t go back because of the traffic nightmare. I figure that will subside somewhat once the newness wears off and everyone has had a chance to actually go check it out.
The Cabela’s experience
As for the store itself, Cabela’s is a pretty cool experience. This is my first experience inside one of their stores, but I frequent Bass Pro Shops quite often in both Atlanta and Concord, and it’s an identical experience if you ask me.
As with most stores of this type, it’s way overpriced and the staff are way less than knowledgable about particular things. It is what it is and I’m sure they’ll do just fine with plenty of customers to keep the doors open. They have a ton of gear for every type of hunting, fishing and outdoorsman known to man. The store is laid out pretty well and just walking through and browsing is a pretty cool time.
Their fly fishing section is pretty decent but they don’t stock nearly the amount of gear that I thought they would. Their fly tying materials section is actually really nice, but already pretty bare, with most hangers empty. Prices are pretty much full retail on materials and quite a bit of it is Cabela’s own private-labeled stuff.
All in all, I doubt I’ll ever go back to the store again. It’s just not worth the traffic nightmare and hassle of actually getting into the store and the prices and selection are not worth the effort. I did enjoy seeing their awesome displays of taxidermy and their live tanks are pretty cool, but it’s one of those see it once and you’re done experiences.
It’s worth noting too that the horrible experience is not anything to do with the actual store, just where it’s located and the clusterfuck that surrounds it. I think that alone is going to cost Cabela’s quite a few customers in the long run.
In a related note, Bass Pro Shops just announced that they will be opening a store just down the road in Spartanburg soon. It will be in a much easier location to access and will most likely rival the Cabela’s in every way.
I wish them both good luck, but I’ll stick to supporting my other fly fishing outlets, which are more dedicated and far less of a hassle to do business with. I try to support my local shop and other online small fly shops as much as possible and will continue to do that over the big box stores.