Walleye-Mart

Meet the Branson of big-box stores

Mom-and-pop bait shops beware. You're about to sleep with the crappies, 'cause the retailing behemoth Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World is here to put you out of business. The growth of the Springfield, Missouri, company bears an eerie resemblance to that of Wal-Mart -- only it tramples outdoors competitors instead of, well, everyone else. Opening in 1971 with a paltry eight feet of shelf space in a Springfield store, Bass Pro has ballooned to nearly 40 superboxes. Its first Arizona location, scheduled at press time to open on June 6 in Mesa's controversial Riverview development, is a 200,000-square-foot colossus crammed with fishing, hunting, camping, and marine gear as well as interactive attractions. In fact, the Bass Pro folks expect the store to be as much a tourist attraction as a place to buy a pole. Per the press kit, "Customers actually plan getaways and even honeymoons around a visit to a Bass Pro Shop." Call your Bass Pro travel agent or wedding consultant for more info.
Starts: June 6. Daily, 2007

 
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