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Local stores not worried about new Cabela’s

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Posted: Tuesday, October 2, 2012 10:00 pm | Updated: 8:48 am, Tue Apr 22, 2014.

Though national chains and big box stores can take their toll on local businesses, the two major local sporting goods stores are not feeling threatened by the entrance of Cabela’s into the Flathead Valley retail scene.

Sportsman & Ski Haus president Dave Harvey even said his store has been moving so many guns that “we can stand to have business carved off a little. The thought of Cabela’s coming in and taking their fair share of hunting and fishing is not really frightening. It’s an area we can take a temporary hit on.”

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          Welcome to the discussion.


          • mom posted at 7:54 am on Mon, Oct 8, 2012.

            mom Posts: 629

            Since my favorite locally owned store closed almost a year ago I've decided online shopping is the way to go. As for sports stuff, well my family's favorite sport has practically zero support equipment -wise from any of the stores here anyway, we are all forced to buy our needed gear online.

          • cuzican posted at 9:16 am on Fri, Oct 5, 2012.

            cuzican Posts: 231

            It is just one more overpriced store going into the huge Canadian shopping complex being built north of town that I will avoid.
            I like the staff and prices at Snappy's for everything but guns.
            The gun counter clowns really do act like it is going out of their way to help you.
            Frontier Guns n Ammo in Evergreen beats every other shop in town. There and Brass n Bullets is the only place I will shop for guns n ammo locally.

          • Nativebluesky posted at 7:14 pm on Thu, Oct 4, 2012.

            Nativebluesky Posts: 9

            I'm excited about Cabelas coming to town. I already do alot of on-line shopping and it is the one stop I don't miss once a year in Billings. Sportsman has never gotten my business only Snappy's and they will continue to do so even with Cabelas coming to town. All the comments about the gun dept at Snappy's I don't relate too. After looking at a varmit rifle in Sportsman the gentleman helping me had no clue about it nor the shells, went to Snappy's and had all the information I wanted and more. They got my business. But everyone has their own experiences. I prefer Snappy's for all my hunting needs, if I was a skier or snowboarder I would perhaps look at Sportsmans but have never been happy with their customer service. Snappy's is true Montana to me. So they will continue to receive my business and so will Cabelas although maybe I can local now at Cabelas rather than on-line!

          • libra42 posted at 6:13 pm on Wed, Oct 3, 2012.

            libra42 Posts: 461

            I love competition in all markets and I will follow the best deals, but Snappy's gets my vote every time. They go the extra mile and have stood tall through the years. The service they provide with the kids fishing program is worthy of praise! Just sayin'.

          • sh721 posted at 5:34 pm on Wed, Oct 3, 2012.

            sh721 Posts: 1

            I don't understand all the hate on Snappy's gun counter - only visited their gun counter a few times, but every single time I have, I have been helped by polite, knowledgeable employees. I prefer Snappy's over Sportsman, and will probably prefer it over Cabela's. It's never super busy, I can avoid most of the uppity Californians... And their fish pond in the back is a great place to take the kids for some fun.

          • 5thgenMT posted at 2:52 pm on Wed, Oct 3, 2012.

            5thgenMT Posts: 39

            I really do agree with the posters below. I wouldn't give the gun counter at Snappys the time of day let alone buy anything from them. They have been rude EVERY SINGLE time I've tried to spend money with them. The camping stuff in the basement and the clothes/shoes clearance deals are good though.
            The general staff at Sportsmans is good, especially their shoe/fishing/gun/ and bike departments. The checkout folks could use a lesson in courtesy.
            It will be interesting to see what impact Cabelas has on the local guys - but if the price is the same Sportsmans will get my money.

          • BSUjack posted at 1:39 pm on Wed, Oct 3, 2012.

            BSUjack Posts: 57

            Well now,there you Go!! Posters all have commented on the pro's and con's of Cabelas coming to town. It seems to me to be fair and balanced to all, and believe me when I say," competitive shopping" for service and prices keeps everyone in line. That's good don't you think ???

          • mtre23 posted at 1:27 pm on Wed, Oct 3, 2012.

            mtre23 Posts: 80

            I love the idea of Cableas coming here. Like was said below more, competition drives the prices down. I also agree that it is possible that Cabelas will force one of the other 2 sporting goods stores out of business within a couple of years. Cabelas has a huge following and a very good reputation, and people will end up going there, women and kids to.
            I always thought Snappys was to expensive, but at least at sportmans you can get good deals if you find stuff on sale.

          • JT posted at 1:02 pm on Wed, Oct 3, 2012.

            JT Posts: 203

            I would have to agree with the comments about how rude the Snappy's gun department is. There have been a couple times I have been in there where the guy behind the counter acted like I was greatly inconveniencing him to have him help with simple matters like scope mounts or rifle ammo. Any useful information I got out of him felt like it was an effort to extract and the guy never once made the least effort to be friendly. As a result I have for a couple years avoided shopping at Snappy's. I don't want to see the local guys go under, but if they can't staff their stores with courteous, friendly people who are willing to help, honestly we are all better off buying from Cabela's online...at least that way you can read user reviews and actually learn something about the product you are purchasing.

            I would also second the comment about the girls working at the Sportsman check-outs. The staff in the gun department and throughout the store seems helpful and friendly, but the girls that work up front behave like high schoolers who are annoyed you disrupted their little cliquish conversation. It has been that way for a long time at Sportsman, but overall they are a good enough store you can overlook it.

            The biggest problem I have with both Sportsman and Snappy's is their prices are so high. Hopefully the addition of Cabela's will correct that. When I can buy the identical air mattress Sportsman is selling at $39.99 over at target or walmart for $25, something is wrong.

          • anonymous1 posted at 12:10 pm on Wed, Oct 3, 2012.

            anonymous1 Posts: 4

            Customer Service at Sportsman is horrible! That is one are that they can definitely stand to invest in some training of their employees if they want to be able to compete with any retailer. This past Christmas I was checking out at Sportsman and the person at the counter didn't once make eye contact with me, greet me, or say anything to me for that matter. She and another employee were goofing off when I approached the counter. She then took the piece of merchandise I was purchasing, rang it up, looked at the screen while I punched in my PIN and then looked the other way. I had to ask if the transaction was complete before I had to reach across the counter to then take my unbagged item. No "thank you for shopping with us", no smile, nothing. I got to my car and called the manager who didn't seem too concerned with the issue. I haven't been to Sportsman since. It may have been in isolated event, a single employee, but the unconcerned response by management is what led me to believe that customer service at Sportsman isn't a priority and that is what will keep me from buying from there again, if possible.

          • Garyt posted at 9:23 am on Wed, Oct 3, 2012.

            Garyt Posts: 25

            I agree with MTCowboy on Snappy's. When i first moved over here I went into Snappy's a couple of times to the firearms dept. The guy there made me feel he was doing me a favor to wait on me. I've lived here 13 yaers now and will never go back there again. Sportman's prices are too high but the service isn't that great. I think Cabela's wil probably force at least one of them out of business within a couple of years after they get up and running. I'vr been doing most of my business with Brass and Bullets. The staff is courteous and friendly.

          • MTCowboy posted at 8:20 am on Wed, Oct 3, 2012.

            MTCowboy Posts: 28

            The guys who work in the firearms dept must have learned their people skills in a cave! I wanted a particular rifle cartridge, nothing special, and they didn't have it in stock.......the salesman said "we don't have it, and you can order it, but it will be a special charge" I went to sportsman, they had what I wanted, had a shelf full, and they were very polite. Thats the 3rd time I have felt "put off" by the idiots at the gun counter at Snappy's, I will never go back.

          • MTCowboy posted at 8:15 am on Wed, Oct 3, 2012.

            MTCowboy Posts: 28

            Well, I for one, am glad to welcome Cabelas, good competition creates better prices! As for customer service, well, I was always a Snappy's customer, but the last few times I was in there, I left without bying anything. The fishing dept is ok, but the firearms dept SUCKS!

          • whatthe posted at 7:03 am on Wed, Oct 3, 2012.

            whatthe Posts: 131

            Let you in on a little known fact Mr. Harvey. Cabela's line of their name brand product is made by Columbia and others that you carry so you will be directly competing with Cabela's name brand. Cabela's isn't always the cheapest, but they are known for their in store service. Snappy's service is pretty good, but Sportsman needs help in the service area. Prices, both Snappys and Sportsman are high priced but that is what you get for "locally" owned. Another reason to buy at Snappy's and Sportsman is you support local manufacturing. Snappy's prides itself on locally tied flies, and both stores support local fishing lure manufactures which a lot of times are better lures than the mass produced ones. I think both stores will pull through this, but I think Sportsman will have a harder go of it.


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