A smaller version of taxidermy mountain is located on the second floor
If you are a retail store, there’s nothing like hosting a grand opening, or any large event, during a pandemic. It is happening across the country, and yes, it looks a little different than what the marketing folks had originally envisioned. Take, for example, Scheels opening its newest store in Eden Prairie, Minnesota (a ‘burb of Minneapolis). It actually opened in July, but they delayed its official “Grand Opening” until this week. And because I’m such an influencer (tongue-in-check), I was able to get a sneak peek with about 30 other local influencers this past weekend. I’m not sure who the other influencers were, but I can assure you I was the only one who took a straight line to the ammo area. (No, they didn’t have 9mm nor .380, dang it). Also, part of why I attended was to do re-con for a client for their store events. I mean, you always have to check out what the other team is doing.
Section of Scheels archery area
This Scheels store had me seeing bits of Cabela’s inside…from the taxidermy mountain spectacle upstairs (the store is two stories and 250,000 square feet, so plenty of room for spectacles), and amusements with a 65-foot tall Ferris wheel and 16,000-gallon saltwater aquarium. I even mentioned that to our “tour guide” for the morning, who was spewing facts about the thousands of pounds of rebar it took to make the store. I wasn’t interested in rebar. Can you show me the archery simulator? The store also boasts a fudge shop & cafe (again, Cabela’s-like). I find the café addition a little odd since the store holds an anchor spot in a mall…nonetheless, besides the archery simulator, there’s also a golf simulator, a mini-hockey rink and a mini bowling alley. None of which were available to us influencers to use, #ThanksCOVID. Otherwise, you better believe there would be pics of me being fabulous on a Ferris wheel in this editorial.
more of Scheels archery area
Part of the allure of this store is just the massive amount of opportunities for brands to “own” a space. In fact, just past the entryway is the largest Kuhl display I’ve ever seen. I immediately sent my husband, who digs that brand, a photo with the message: “you need to get here.” Cabela’s or other more “outdoor-centric” stores may have larger gun displays (or maybe I wasn’t seeing much due to brisk COVID-sales), but I was surprised at the very large safe/storage display and in the archery section, the amount of archery targets and accessories displayed. I was also glad to see a good amount of taxidermy in the store – but only on the second level where all the sports sections are located. The tour guide said locals generously donated their mounts. Some mounts were claimed with their owner’s name and location; others were not.
This Eden Prairie Scheels has three archery simulators
This Eden Prairie store isn’t the largest Scheels (that’s in Dallas, Texas) and it only holds the title for the newest store for a brief stint as Colorado Springs is opening in March, 2021, but it is helping to revitalize one of our Minnesota malls by replacing a former Sears anchor spot. Fun fact, this is also the same mall the ‘90’s movie “Mall Rats” was filmed. So, this Scheels has that going for it.
There are several bronze statutes surrounding the store, including this one that I swear looks like Fred Bear. Yes?
Usually I am the one organizing these types of events and openings, so it was nice to be on the other side for once. I like being VIP. Also, thank you to everyone who sent me notes of encouragement and discussion from last week’s editorial, “Where, oh where, Have all the Male Hunting Influencers Gone?” It sparked some new friendships (that’s you Cameron, we are friends now) and debates. Be safe out there this week everyone – Michelle Scheuermann, editor, Archery Wire.
Looking down (?) on the Ferris Wheel from the second floor
There are two animated statues – this one is of our famous hockey coach, Herb Brooks