Sunday, November 9, 2008

Why Bass Pro Shops creeps me out

What is with all the dead animals on display at Bass Pro Shops in Arundel Mills? I stopped by there to see if they had any casual outdoor clothing and I found myself surrounded by hundreds of pickled animals. I buy a fair amount of outdoor crap, but there is no way I would spend one penny in this store.

What would people say if a pet store had hundreds of pickled dogs and cats on display? It's very strange how completely irrational our cultural customs are.


Doji Star said...

Because the store is designed to appeal to people who enjoy traditional outdoor activities like hunting and fishing, the former of which has become widely villianized. It is nice to step into a store where one doesn't feel crushed by political correctness. If you don't like it, then stick to REI, Patagonia, or other outdoor stores that choose not to serve the hunting market. This is the Free Market blog so we all respect your decision to vote with your wallet.

I think that Bass Pro, and, even more so, Cabela's, generate far more revenue appealing to the underserved hunting/fishing (man toys=expensive) market than they would by competing in the very crowded general outdoor space vs. the more yuppified and oh-so-PC Patagonia or whatever. Cabela's store strategy proved that one can sell vast amounts of very expensive stuff by opening giant stores in the middle of nowhere; rural America was very underserved apart from Wal-Mart.

I like your blog, although I've never commented here before. I'm not trying to be offensive or rude, I'm just trying to explain that you were clearly in a store not trying to appeal to your demographic segment. Some of us do, in fact, kill animals for meat and enjoy a good taxidermy display.

Kem White said...

I have to agree a store with a stuffed raccoon holding a pack of scissors as an enticement to buy is a little weird.

FreeMarket said...

Doji- I understand that people who buy their clothes from Banana Republic are probably not going to be fans of Bass Pro Shops. My main point with this post was to point out the dichotomy in our cultural attitudes about animals. When you say that you are a hunter, it goes without saying that you hunt something like deer or rabbits and not cats or dogs. I think it is weird that that distinction is obvious when there is no logical reason for it to be obvious.

Doji Star said...

I actually agree with both of you -- the raccoon IS creepy and cultural norms are often irrational.

When I'm in China, I'll try some dog and report back. Dunno about cats, think they'd be awfully stringy and not have much on 'em. Maybe they'll have some (and actually be sold as such).

Sorry, I didn't mean to gross out any vegetarians or pet lovers; I just couldn't help myself and was illustrating a point.

Anonymous said...

i love animals, they taste great