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  • Bass Pro Shops

    This is another one of my favorite businesses. I just love how this is an anti-bigbox store. When you look at the architecture, you just want to move in!

    I think this is a store that 'gets it.' They understand their customer base. They know their customers want to walk into a log cabin wonderland full of wonderful toys!

    They have everything you could ever dream of in these stores. Hunting/fishing equipment, atvs, boats! It's amazing. When you go in there, you can just create your entire wish list right in one store.
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  • #2
    This is a big business and it is privately held! Bass Pro Shops rings up an estimated $1.9 Billion in sales annually!

    A little bit of history on how this business got started.

    Bass Pro Shops - The owner, John L. Morris, began his career in sporting goods with a fishing section in the back of a Brown Derby liquor store owned by his dad, located in Springfield, MO on the road to Table Rock Lake and Branson, Missouri. That small fishing department sold homemade bait and worms, proving popular enough that Bass Pro Shops incorporated in 1972. These homemade baits were so popular that many people wanted the opportunity to buy these when they had returned home. Thus began the Bass Pro Shops catalog first mailed in 1974. Soon, it became the world's largest mail order sporting goods store. In 1975, to meet the burgeoning demand for Bass Pro Shops exclusive products, American Rod and Gun [[1]] was established. Acting as a separate wholesaling entity ARG serves more than 7000 independently owned retail stores world wide. In 1977, Bass Pro Shops introduced the first fish-ready complete boat motor and trailer package with the Bass Tracker. In 1984, construction began on the Outdoor World Catalog Showroom in Springfield, MO. Big Cedar Lodge opened in 1988 on Table Rock Lake. In 1995 Bass Pro Shops Sportsman's Warehouse opened in Atlanta, GA, this is the first store outside the state of Missouri. In November of 2001, the State of Missouri made use of Outdoor World's popularity as a tourist destination, and opened the Wonders of Wildlife museum next door to the store in Springfield.

    Pictured: Johnny Morris, President/Founder - Bass Pro Shops, with son John Paul.
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    • #3
      One of the important lessons one can glean from this story is start small and work with what you got.

      John started his bait shop in the back of his dad's store. He was able to marry the interest he had in fishing with the resources available to him at the time.

      Don't be afraid to start small. Then scale up as needed. I doubt John had to go into debt to start this business.

      Maybe this will inspire you to sit there and think about what do you love to do? What resources do you have available to you at this time? How can you combine them together to make a functioning business?
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      • #4
        Bass Pro Shops - All of the stores have an indoor water feature that showcase fish species that are indigenous to the area. In some of these aquariums professional anglers and store pro-staff hold demonstrations showing the use of an artificial bait. Bass Pro Shops is also known for its Outdoor Skills Workshops. These classes are free and open to the public on a first come first served basis. They teach skills as varied as fly-casting, Dutch oven cooking, archery hunting, and GPS navigation. The stores offer people any kind of outdoor equipment they could ever want in one store.

        Ok now this should get you to think. Demonstrations! Educating your client base.

        Bass Pro Shops offers these in store training seminars. How can you educate your customers? This can help build your bond stronger with your customers and ultimately you can sell them more because of it!

        Can you educate your neighbors and community groups on the different problems that afflict lawns? Can you teach them what to look out for and how to correct the problem? Since most won't want to do it themselves, will they now become more educated consumers and know when their lawn has a problem they need to contact you to repair?

        Here is a picture of the amazing displays they create at the Bass Pro Shops. These attractions bring people into the store and help create the theme of the great outdoors. Isn't this fantastic?
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        • #5
          Check out this entrance to a Bass Pro Shop. It makes you feel like you are walking into a hunting lodge in Colorado! WOW!
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          • #6
            Check out this amazing transformation of a mall in Clarksville, Indiana.

            Read more about the construction of it here http://www.cascocorp.com/Featured%20...larksville.htm
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            • #7
              Check out these amazing displays from their Las Vegas store.
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              • #8
                When you are in their fishing department, make sure you look up!
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                • #9
                  I love the scale of this entrance. It really is a grand entrance. I can't remember if I saw this or not, but I think it would be so cool if they had a restaurant on site as well to pull people in and take advantage of the decor.
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                  • #10
                    When you have such a grand entrance, you create these photo opportunities! Can you imagine doing something similar with your lawn care business office of garden center? It's possible. Then you would have people visiting you and taking pictures at your facility.
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                    • #11
                      What is amazing is they are able to spend so much of their floor space on setting the theme for the store and still make as much money as they do. I don't know of any other store that utilizes such floor space on non-sales items.
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                      • #12
                        Don't you actually feel like you are walking through the outdoors? Gosh I love this store!
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                        • #13
                          When you look up, you feel like you are walking through the Smithsonian Museum! Isn't this outstanding?
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                          • #14
                            The positioning of these stuffed bears really makes you think this is a live picture!
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                            • #15
                              Yet another amazing shot.
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