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BOISE, ID-Continuing its expansion into new markets, Cabela’s Inc. plans to open its first store in Idaho next summer. The 132,000-sf store will be located in the Franklin Towne Plaza in Boise, ID.

The new store, which will take advantage of its location near the junction of Interstates 184 and 84, will employ as many as 200 people from the surrounding area and will pour payroll $4.9 million into the state’s economy through payroll and benefits during the store’s first year of operation, according to a company statement.

Product offerings would include hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, boating and wildlife watching gear, as well as outdoor clothing and outdoors-styled gifts and furnishings. The store will follow the designs of other Cabela’s across the nation.

Idaho Governor Dirk Kempthorne said in a statement that 25% to 30% of the new store’s customers will come from out-of-state, making it one of the “premier tourism destinations in the Pacific Northwest.”

Cabela’s already has one store open and operating in the Mountain West in Lehi, UT. Next year, the outdoor gear retailer will open additional stores in the region in Glendale, AZ and in 2007 it will open storesin Reno, NV and Wheat Ridge, CO.

Outside of the Mountain West region, Cabela’s recent announced significant expansions are in the Midwest. The retailer expects to open a 125,000-sf store next year at St. Louis Mills in the St. Louis suburb of Hazelwood and a new store in Hoffman Estates in suburan Chicago in summer 2007. Most recently, the company opened an 185,000-sf store in Rogers, MN, bringing its total to 14 retail stores.

Prior to the announcements about the St. Louis, Chicago and Boise stores, Wachovia Securities analysts forecast that the retailer will open four new stores in 2006 in Gonzales, LA; Richfield, WI; La Vista, NE; and Glendale, AZ. The four stores total roughly 625,000 sf and will increase Cabela’s total square footage by 30% in 2006.

Cabela’s continues to expand despite recent weakness in retail sales and same-store sales. According to a report by Wachovia Securities, Cabela’s retail and direct segment performed below the firm’s expectations. During the third quarter, retail sales increased 23%, driven by a 47% increase in average sf offset by an 8.7% same-store sales decline.

“The typical Cabela’s store draws from about a 200-mile radius and we believe that higher gas prices pressured the tourist travel during Q3,” the report says, adding that store productivity appears to havedeclined to less than $300 per sf compared to Wachovia’s original estimate of $375 per sf.

“While we believe that Cabela’s multichannel distribution strategy provides a competitive advantage and diversifies its revenue streams, near-term headwinds from the effect of higher gasoline prices and expectations for higher home heating costs this winter could continue to pressure sales in both the retail and direct segments,” the Wachovia report says.

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