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Cabela's is a large North American retail chain who specializes in outdoor gear. Currently headquartered in Sidney, Nebraska, it was purchased by their rival, Bass Pro Shops, based out of Springfield, Missouri. Even though Cabela's was larger than Bass Pro, it had a lot of debt from investments that Bass Pro had avoided. In the end it was cheaper to buy out the competitor and gain all of the advantages than to start to catch up.

One example is from their IT department. Cabela's specialized in fast deployment and redundant failover from their local stores to a set of centralized locations. Bass Pro had seven people running their main infrastructure while Cabela's had a team of over 200. Any outages that Cabela's had was transparent to the end customer, from online sales to in-store experiences.

Another example was the extensive gun libraries that Cabela's put together. These brought in some of the large spenders who picked up investment firearms and worked with true experts. Bass Pro wants to replicate this into their own retail outlets.

Cabela's was originally founded by Dick and Jim Cabela, brothers who bought a bunch of Chinese-made fishing flies and sold them out of the back of outdoor magazines in the classified ads section. The flies sold so well that they kept expanding untill they were millionaires.

For a long time working at Cabela's was like working at the old version of Hewlett-Packard. You were treated like family and the company supported you. It was tough to get in, but you were set for life if you did your job. As the company expanded, it eventually lost that vibe, causing a lot of the old-timers to retire and lament the decline of the company.

Iron Noder 2017

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