We are a leading specialty retailer, and the world’s largest direct marketer, of hunting, fishing, camping, and related outdoor merchandise. Since our founding in 1961, Cabela’s® has grown to become one of the most well-known outdoor recreation brands in the world. We have long been recognized as the “World’s Foremost Outfitter.” Through our growing number of retail stores, and our well-established direct business, we believe we offer the widest and most distinctive selection of high-quality outdoor products at competitive prices, while providing superior customer service. We also issue the Cabela’s CLUB® Visa credit card, which serves as our primary customer loyalty rewards program. Refer to Note 23 entitled “Segment Reporting” to our consolidated financial statements and our “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” for additional financial information regarding our Retail and Direct businesses, as well as our Financial Services business.
We were initially incorporated as a Nebraska corporation in 1965 and were reincorporated as a Delaware corporation in January 2004. In June 2004, we completed our initial public offering of common stock. Our common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “CAB”.
We currently operate 30 retail stores, 29 in 21 states and one in Canada. We opened a retail store in Billings, Montana, in May 2009, increasing our total retail square footage to over 4.3 million square feet at the end of 2009. Our Retail store business operations generated revenue of $1.4 billion in 2009, representing 56.7% of our total revenue from our Retail and Direct businesses.
Customer Service. We continue to advance our efforts for offering customers integrated opportunities to access and use our retail store, catalog, and Internet channels. Customer service venues include in-store pick-up for Internet website orders, Internet kiosks, and catalog order desks. Our in-store kiosks provide our customers access to our entire inventory assortment. Our in-store pick-up program allows customers to order products through our catalogs and Internet site and have them delivered to the retail store of their choice without incurring shipping costs, increasing foot traffic in our stores. Conversely, our retail stores introduce customers to our Internet and catalog channels. Our multi-channel model employs the same merchandising team, distribution centers, customer database, and infrastructure, which we intend to further leverage by building on the strengths of each channel.
Store Format and Atmosphere. Our retail store concept is designed to appeal to customers from a broad geographic and demographic range. Our next generation store format, with more standardized store sizes, expedites store development time and allows us to pursue the best retail locations, is adaptable to more markets, improves time to market, and allows us to be more efficient in our operations by reducing our capital investment requirements and increasing sales per square foot. Our next generation store format is intended to improve our return on invested capital and to better serve our customers by providing shopper-friendly layouts with regionalized product mixes, concept shops, and new product displays/fixtures featuring an improved look.
Our retail stores range in size from 35,000 to 246,000 square feet and our large-format retail stores are 150,000 square feet or larger. Our large-format retail stores have been recognized in some states as one of the top tourist attractions, often attracting the construction and development of hotels, restaurants, and other retail establishments in areas adjacent to these stores.
Retail Store Expansion Strategy. Enhancing our retail store efficiencies and taking the necessary steps to improve our financial performance is a high priority in our strategic planning. As such, we continually review our previously announced stores to reconfirm our expectations based on what we have learned over the past year. We plan to open a 75,000 square foot retail store in Grand Junction, Colorado, which is expected to open in the second quarter of 2010. We will fund this 2010 retail store from operating cash flows. This store will feature our next generation format while the exterior will reflect our traditional store model. The 2007 acquisition of S.I.R. Warehouse Sports in Winnipeg, Manitoba, serves as our platform for planned expansion into Canada.
Store Locations and Ownership. We currently own 25 of our 30 retail stores. However, in connection with some of the economic development packages received from state or local governments where our stores are located, we have entered into agreements granting ownership of the taxidermy, diorama, or other portions of our stores to these state and local governments.
Products and Merchandising
Hunting equipment. We provide equipment, accessories, and consumable supplies for almost every type of hunting and sport shooting. Our hunting products are supported by services such as gun bore sighting, scope mounting, and bow tuning to serve the complete needs of our customers.
Fishing and marine equipment. We provide products for fresh water fishing, fly-fishing, salt water fishing, and ice-fishing. In addition, our fishing and marine equipment offering features a wide selection of electronics, boats and accessories, canoes, kayaks, and other flotation accessories.
Camping gear and equipment. We provide a diverse selection of camping gear and equipment for various experience levels of outdoor enthusiasts. This product category includes a full range of equipment and accessories supporting all outdoor activities, including food preparation, outdoor cooking, travel, and outdoor living. In this category we also include all-terrain vehicles, as well as accessories for automobiles and all-terrain vehicles.
Clothing and footwear. Our clothing and footwear merchandise includes fieldwear and sportswear apparel and technical gear for the active outdoor enthusiast, as well as apparel and footwear for the casual customer.
Gifts and home furnishings. Our gifts merchandise includes games, food assortments, books, jewelry, and art with outdoor themes. Home furnishings merchandise includes furnishings and accents with outdoor themes for the home and cabin, as well as restoration products. Our home restoration products include unusual and hard-to-find antique furniture and vintage home restoration supplies.
Cabela’s branded products. In addition to national brands, we offer our exclusive Cabela’s branded merchandise. We have a significant penetration of Cabela’s branded merchandise in casual apparel and footwear as well as in selected hard goods categories such as camping, fishing, and optics. Where possible, we seek to protect our Cabela’s branded products by applying for trademark or patent protection for these products. Our Cabela’s branded products typically generate higher gross profit margins compared to our other branded products. In 2009, our Cabela’s branded merchandise accounted for approximately one-third of our merchandise revenue. By having an appropriate mix of Cabela’s branded and other branded merchandise, we strive to meet the expectations and needs of our customers and expand the recognition of the Cabela’s brand.
We seek to increase the amount each customer spends on our merchandise through enhanced customer targeting, continued introduction of new catalog titles, and the development and marketing of new products. We have taken advantage of web-based technologies such as targeted promotional e-mails, on-line shopping engines, and Internet affiliate programs to increase sales. We also are improving our customer relationship management system, which we expect will allow us to better manage our customer relationships and more effectively tailor our marketing programs. We will continue to use our expanding Retail business to capture additional customer purchase history and information.
Our marketing strategy focuses on using our multi-channel model to build the strength and recognition of our brand by communicating our wide and distinctive offering of quality products to our customers, and potential customers, in a cost effective manner. Our largest marketing effort consists of distributing over 130 million catalogs annually in order to attract customers to our Retail and Direct businesses. We have also established our website to market our products to customers and potential customers who shop via the Internet. We use both our catalogs and our website to cross-market at our retail stores. Our marketing strategy is designed to convey our outdoor lifestyle image, enhance our brand, and emphasize our position in our target markets.
In addition to the use of our catalogs and our website, we use a combination of promotional events, traditional advertising, and media programs as marketing tools. We engage in certain promotional activities as well as sponsor sportsmen and women advocacy groups and wildlife conservation organizations, including U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance, National Rifle Association, National Wild Turkey Federation, Women in the Outdoors, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Whitetails Unlimited, Pheasants Forever, Ducks Unlimited, Delta Waterfowl, Trout Unlimited, and Safari Club International, as well as regional and local events and organizations. We also provide sponsorship of fishing tournaments and other related activities.
In addition, we have historically received extensive free publicity from the unique Cabela’s shopping experience when we open a store. As we enter more metropolitan markets, where the opening of a Cabela’s store may not be major news, we will need to supplement this free publicity with additional advertising to increase consumer awareness of new store openings.