24 April 2008

Deveroes vs Bass Pro

These two stores are similar, and opposite. Bass sells rural identity, whereas Deveroes sells urban identity.

They sell conspicuous consumption, and I feel condescending when I think about it that way, but actually, I have the same need to display my consumption. I just have better taste!(sarcasm)

Bass Pro Empty; the stuffed animals and empty parking spaces, awaiting the hordes:

I heard from a friend that read my Cincinnati Mills article, that Bass Pro Shop, which is one of the largest tenants at the mall is considering a move further-out, to a stand-alone location on I71, near Lebanon. They apparently want a site with a pond (so you can float your boat before you buy it, I guess), and a site that is more central to their customer base.

A strip mall comes to the city. The Deveroes and two rinky stores in Camp Washington near the freeway exit:

At least Deveroes keeps a store in the city. Does Bass have a store in the Smokies?:

Could we get a Bass Pro at Broadway Commons?


Mark Miller said...

Bass Pro has a store in Sevierville, TN, which is just a few miles from Smokey Mountain National Park. But it too is located in an area that is heavy with shopping centers.

Bass Pro tends to carry commodity grade outdoors gear. Hard core hunters and fisherman typically buy supplies and impulse items there, and shop by mail or internet at Cabela's for higher dollar items that need to last several seasons. Cabela's has stores in a few major metro suburbs, but most tend be located in God's country.

Talk about living your brand...the Cabela's closest to us is in Triadelphia, WV. A 10,000 sq.ft. attached building houses a big game museum with replicas of hundreds of record-setting trophy animals. It has a huge butcher shop on site that only processes wild game. There's also something called the "gun library" which includes almost every modern sporting firearm made. They even have their own dog kennels and horse corrals.

And some say Gatlinburg is hillbilly heaven.

Chris S said...

That Cabelas in the WV location is well worth the trip :) Great fishing gear selection (my particular vice). And the 10,000 sq. ft. splendor... oh my ;)

And the giant fish tanks are really cool too (my nephews all really enjoyed going to see the fish)

CityKin said...

I'm not trying to make any profound statement, but it is all so over-the-top that it just seems kinda sick. I guess I was thinking I had the same feeling about the way-too expensive athletic gear Deveroes sells.

However, I'm a bit out of my league when you start talking hunting and fishing, so I'll have to bow out on this one.

Randy Simes said...

That new strip in Camp Washington is a disgrace. It all started with the suburban style 5/3 and Wendy's.

Anonymous said...

I guess I am a bird of a different feather in that I love urban living but I also have a lot of hillbilly in me too. I love (and have) to get away sometimes and fish, boat, hike, explore nature. It puts me at peace and reenergizes me. I hope a distinction is made between suburban living and the beauty of our rural and natural areas...

CityKin said...

This is not about camping or fishing, it is about selling the image of doing those things. Like selling like big opver-powered boats and $500 fishing rods. This stuff has little to do with experiencing nature. My point is comparing this rural image to the urban image other stores sell.

Mark Miller said...

The reality of human nature is that image always outsells authenticity. It's a whole lot easier to project the appearance of an outdoorsman or athlete, than to actually become one.

And more to the point of this blog, the same goes for the shopping experience itself. In the heyday of downtown shopping there were two kinds of stores. Shillito's, Mabley & Carew et al. had huge single-purpose buildings with a mix of departments targeted to the type of customer they sought. Small shops had skinny street-level storefronts that attracted customers with window and sidewalk displays. This provided versatility. The mix of stores could change frequently and any store could grow or shrink without having to demolish and rebuild a whole city block.

When shopping creeped out to the 'burbs, developers mimicked the sidewalks and storefronts of downtown and the strip mall was born. The department stores wanted in on the act and the covered mega-mall was born. Both approaches tried to shoehorn the foot-traffic business model into the automobile lifestyle. It sort of worked, but never that well.

Successful shopping centers today lose the roof and encircle the parking lot with stores instead of vice versa. And department stores have taken one-stop-shopping in the single-purpose building to the kind of extremes seen at Ikea and Cabela's. When you get right down to it, they're still just trying to figure out how to get closer to the old authentic downtown shopping experience without having to actually go there.