Cabela’s, the Sidney, Neb.-based hunting and outdoor outfitter, on Thursday reported that first-quarter sales at its stores open at least a year were down more than 20 percent, reflecting the steep decline in the sale of firearms and ammunition compared with the same period a year ago.
Sales of guns and ammunition soared during the first few months of 2013 and then began falling late last year.
“Comparable store sales for the (first) quarter decreased 21.7 percent as firearms and ammunition (sales) declined 39 percent and 32 percent, respectively,” Tommy Millner, Cabela’s chief executive, said Thursday.
On the other hand, Millner said, “Tight expense management and strong profits from Cabela’s Club (credit card) offset weaker revenue.”
Cabela’s first-quarter profit was $25.7million, or 36 cents per diluted share, down from $49.8 million, or 70 cents per diluted share, at this time last year.
Total revenue decreased 9.6 percent to $725.8 million. Retail store revenue decreased 9.4 percent to $440.9 million.
Cabela’s, which operates 50 stores in North America, opened more than a dozen new stores in the last 12 months. The company said new-store performance has been excellent. The company expects to open more than 20 new locations in the next two years.