With Memorial Day in the rear view mirror, Sportsman’s Warehouse in Carson City has experienced cruisin’ speed.
When you think about it, Memorial Day to an outdoor outfitter retailing chain is a lot like the Thanksgiving-to-Christmas period for conventional apparel retail outlets. Memorial Day, though still technically about three weeks before summer starts, is the unofficial start of the outdoor summer season in temperate climes. It’s time to get your toys well before your brain switches to fireworks for Independence Day.
Of course, for an outfitter the season continues on from fishing and camping to autumnal hunting. Then you’re back to Thanksgiving and gifts for the outdoors man of the family. But Memorial Day is a real marker.
“Crazy busy,” was how Katy Gay, manager of Carson City’s Sportsman’s Warehouse, described things up to and into the Memorial Day Weekend. Tuesday was back to regular weekday foot traffic. But the Carson High School graduate who came back to run the store that opened in early April at the Carson Mall said things have gone well since the grand opening.
“Our sales are holding strong,” Gay said. She said the Carson City store has stolen some sales from the Reno store, where she worked for years. She said she knows that because she has seen familiar faces since opening the capital city store. She added, however, Reno’s store is still doing well.
Next door in the mall at Bealls, the chain family apparel store that opened later in April, reports positive vibes about the first few weeks there as well.
“Carson has given us a great reception,” said Chris Scott, a sales clerk.
“We got a warm welcome from the community,” added Leanne Turrietta, Bealls’ assistant manager.
The question, of course, is whether the two new anchor stores are helping smaller outlets at the mall. At nearby Jo-Ann’s Fabrics and Crafts store the word was foot traffic has picked up, but down the mall to the north personnel at a couple of other shops there had more muted views. Though they said foot traffic was up at first, both during and right after the grand openings, it’s still too early to determine bottom line impact longer term.
One sales clerk at a smaller shop several doors from Bealls said despite a bit of increased traffic, it may take six months or so to figure out how much business is resulting. She said spinoff from the outfitter wouldn’t help an apparel accessories store, though the Bealls traffic might.
She also said people had gotten away from shopping at the mall during the lengthy recession and retrenchment, so it may take time to alter habits via a rejuvenated shopping center.