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SIDNEY, NE-Cabela’s move to more efficient, flexible units will combine with store expansion in the US and Canada for future growth, executives said at the chain’s third quarter conference call. After retaining a consultant in big-box design, the outdoor recreation retailer is downsizing many of its new units from an average of 195,000 sf to around 119,000 sf, even as it increases actual selling space.

“The result is an updated, more flexible and efficient design,” said Michael Callahan,SVP of retail operations.

The company, which operates 23 stores, also reviewed its real estate plans, and now expects to open seven new units in 2008, including one in Billings, MT, down from eight previously announced. New stores will range from 60,000 sf to nearly 200,000 sf (in East Rutherford, NJ, to open in late 2008).

During the last quarter, Cabela’s acquired S.I.R. Warehouse Sports Store in Canada, which will be its springboard to further expansion, said Patrick A. Snyder, SVP of merchandising and marketing.

Total revenue for the quarter was a record $546.8 million, up 11.5% from the same period last year. Same-store sales increased 4.6%. Net income was $13.2 million, compared with $15 million, for the year-ago period.

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