Reeling in promised Bass Pro Shops stores hard for some cities
Posted January 11, 2013
Cary, N.C. — For some cities, Bass Pro Shops is the big one that got away.
The outdoor retailer said Thursday that it would open a 105,000-square foot store on Harrison Avenue in Cary by early next year, creating 250 to 300 jobs.
Elsewhere, it has taken years for Bass Pro Shops stores to get off the ground, if they even open at all.
In Memphis, Tenn., for example, Bass Pro Shops and city leaders agreed on a store site in 2006. Construction on the store started only a few months ago.
Officials in Buffalo, N.Y., were in talks with Bass Pro Shops for years until the company finally backed out. The opening of another store in Bridgeport, Conn., has been delayed at least six months.
Cary officials leaders said Friday that they don't expect similar problems.
"I don't anticipate any major concerns," said Ricky Barker, associate planning director in Cary. "Since they're moving into an existing building, that makes the process easier."
The store will replace a Carolina Pottery store in the Harrison Square shopping center off Interstate 40.
"Any time you get a large anchor to a shopping center, it creates a lot more vitality," Barker said.
Bass Pro Shops said demand in North Carolina also will make the move easier, and they likewise don't foresee any problems.
"A lot of time, the development itself or the developer will run into complications," company spokeswoman Katie Mitchell said. "Unfortunately, no one knows the name of the developer. They only know the name of one of the anchor stores, which happens to be us."
Bass Pro Shops cater primarily to hunters and fishermen – they stock everything from hiking clothes and fishing boats to bird feeders and camping equipment – and the company said the Triangle is home to the nation's sixth largest community of anglers.
Mitchell said Bass Pro Shops expect 2 million to 3 million shoppers a year at the Cary location.
John Jones said the prospect of not having to drive to Concord, where the only other Bass Pro Shops store in North Carolina is located, has him hooked as a customer.
"I'm always interested in the new stuff that's out, and they've got a great variety of product," Jones said. "Without my wife knowing, at least monthly I'll stop by just to see what's going on."