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Cabela’s, the world’s leading supplier of fishing, camping and outdoor equipment was founded somewhat inadvertently in the 1960s. It so happened that while on a trip to Chicago, Dick Cabela bought some fishing flies. When he returned to Nebraska, he intended to sell this product and make a neat profit. His first effort failed after he placed a simple classified advert in a local newspaper.
Undaunted by this setback, Dick created another ad that exhorted buyers to benefit from an introductory offer. He placed this ad in some leading outdoor magazines and this time, he was flooded with offers to buy his gear and this is how the journey of Cabela’s began.
Dick had quickly learnt the ropes of direct mail so every order was mailed out with a mimeographed catalogue of his outdoor products. Mary, Dick’s wife, contributed to the venture’s success by adding to its product lines.
As the sales climbed, Dick and Mary moved out of their kitchen, which was their company’s headquarters, to the basement of their family furniture shop. The kept on shifting their offices to various locations and finally settled on a 50, 000 square feet vacant John Deere building in downtown Sydney, Nebraska.
Initially, Dick and Mary used to depend upon temporary typists and other workers to fulfill the orders. But with passage of time, the couple realized that it needed more helping hands. In 1963, Dick persuaded his brother Jim, successfully, to join the company. Since then, Dick, Mary and Jim have led their venture successfully through numerous troughs and crests. In the early years, neither Dick nor Jim took any salary from the earnings of the company. Mary did not draw any salary either. These three people re-invested whatever was earned back into the company’s business.
Today, by lots of hard work and sheer persistence, the company is housed in a 2, 50,000 square feet facility along the Interstate 50 in downtown Sydney.
The keystone of Cabela’s business is its world-famous catalog business. Its catalogs are focused on archery, fishing, boating, camping and many other outdoor activities. Cabela’s also brings out its massive Spring and Fall Master catalogs.
Cabela’s is known internationally as a provider of world class, high quality outdoor equipment. Its catalogs are shipped to all the 50 states of the United States and to more than 125 countries around the world.
The company has an online presence too. Its website www.cabelas.com shares a lot of information with its customers, employees and vendors. The company has a significant presence in various online community platforms devoted to outdoor activities like shipping and camping.