Cabela’s, one of the country’s largest outfitters of hunting, fishing and outdoor gear, will open the doors to its first Delaware store May 1.
On April 17, the company allowed members of the media to tour the 110,000-square-foot store, which sits adjacent to Christiana Mall. Previously, the closest Cabela’s was the one in Hamburg, Pa., nearly a two-hour drive from Newark.
Cabela’s is organized according to activity, and club outfitter Amy Koum said every department has a “person of expertise” who is highly knowledgeable and skilled in their field.
In the camping section, customers will find tents, sleeping bags, lawn chairs, cooking appliances and even freeze-dried food ranging from oatmeals to lasagnas to ice cream sandwiches.
“You name it, we have it,” Koum said.
“We basically have all you need to survive an apocalypse,” she added, laughing.
The store sells outdoor footwear for men, women and children, and in the fishing section, customers can check out poles, spools, baits and hooks. For those who enjoy boating and watersports, Cabela’s offers a variety of marine appliances and accessories.
Cabela’s actively buys, sells and trades guns in the firearms department. There, customers can speak with experts, test out optics, purchase cleaning tools, ammunition and other firearm accessories.
Vintage guns and replicas dating back to the 1800’s are on display in the gun library, as are other unique guns of all grades, calibers and gauges. The most expensive gun for sale is a Browning Superposed shotgun made in 1967. Made of hand-rubbed walnut and engraved by hand, the gun has a trigger made of gold and a price tag of $14,000.
Trained and budding archers can test out demo bows at the indoor archery range.
Also for sale around the store are pet toys, home goods, video games, tech accessories, watches, sunglasses, clothing and, of course, camo.
Koum said one of Cabela’s most unique camo options is ColorPhase camo, which adjusts its color to the seasons with temperature change.
“You can find your niche,” she said. “There’s something here for you no matter what you do.”
A walk-through aquarium sits at the back underneath a mountain and waterfall and boasts live fish local to the area, like catfish and striper. Hundreds of stuffed brown bears, moose, wild turkeys, wolves and other animals indigenous to the area are displayed around the store as well.
“We want people to see their habitat,” Koum said.
Hungry shoppers don’t have to leave the store and can grab a bite to eat at Brandywine Grill, which sells local goods, breakfast foods, snacks, bison, elk and boar sandwiches and about 35 flavors of homemade fudge.
When Cabela’s opens May 1, Koum said, only Delaware residents will be able to obtain hunting and fishing licenses at the store. Licensing services for Maryland and Pennsylvania residents will be available at some point shortly after, she said.
Demo classes for adults and children like mini archery classes, how to pitch a tent and basic outdoor survival are also planned.
Koum said the Christiana Mall site was chosen because of the tax-free shopping, close proximity to I-95 and central location.
“We’re an hour from the mountains. We’re an hour from the beach. It’s the prime spot for a Cabela’s,” she said.
Cabela’s will open for business at 11 a.m. May 1, kicking off a weekend of giveaways, family events and other promotions.