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Canfield's Sporting Goods (Omaha) closes, cites BSA

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Owner Scott Marble, who worked at Canfield’s for 10 years before taking over as owner in 2014, cited common challenges in the retail industry as the reason for closing: expanding competition from online retailers, the decline of “big box” stores and — bad news for a store that sells lots of winter-sports goods and apparel — increasingly warm winters.

The store also once was a one-stop shop for Boy Scouts looking for vests, books and badges, which the store sewed on in-house. But in 2015, the Boy Scouts of America pulled its distributorship, which accounted for about 15 percent of the business’s sales, Marble said. The Scout business also drew traffic to the store — Boy Scouts would often pick up a new pair of boots or camping gear while they were there.

“That really was the beginning of the end,” Marble said.

The local Boy Scouts office didn’t return a call for comment.

Sad, I prefer shopping at the smaller, local outdoor stores.

More at source link below, including video.


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Sad, indeed.  Back in the day, the local department stores all had a Scout Counter.  Everything there you needed.  I guess less was needed !  The more local the store, the more local the merchandise.  Back then, the unit number was under a local Town Name and State ! .  No "Council" strip.  If you went to the wrong store, you might not be able to buy the right Town Strip.  Each Troop/Pack often kept a supply of the numbers and town/state strips.  Included in the dues...


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Their Going Out of Business sale starts today.  70+ years!

"The Mid-America Council, Boy Scouts of America and many of its families have had a close, long-standing relationship with Canfield's Sporting Goods. We continually encouraged Scouting families to shop at this store and are saddened to learn of its closing," said Chris Mehaffey, CEO/Scout Executive, Mid-America Council, Boy Scouts of America.

No word of number of employees who will lose their jobs before Christmas. Other local merchants are worried of a ripple effect with the loss of a major store.

Teaching moment for Scouts?

1. Do the following:

a. Explain four features of the free enterprise system in the United States. Tell its benefits and responsibilities. Describe the difference between freedom and license. Tell how the Scout Oath and Law apply to business and free enterprise

from American Business merit badge    or

8.  Discuss with your counselor the different goals that may motivate the owners of a business, its stockholders, its customers, its employees, the employees' representatives, the community, and public officials. Explain why agreements and compromises are made and how they affect each group in achieving its goals.

from American Labor merit badge

Edited by RememberSchiff
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It would be nice to be able to teach the scouts facts about these things rather than knee-jerk reactions in the political arena.

It's unfortunate, but businesses go out of business every day.  Even businesses like General Motors who a mere 40 years ago was touted as "too big to fail," took a nose-dive here a few years back.  Brick and mortar business are closing right and left.  Kiosks are popping up all over the place replacing the need for high labor costs and automated manufacturing has been the new normal for over a century.

Cottage Industry hasn't been around on a large scale for a very long time.  Brick and mortar is next and who knows what will eventually replace digital shopping.

It doesn't say, but did Canfield's even have a website to sell and compete on-line?  All it takes is a computer, a phone and an office and one can be in the market moving product and making a profit.  That computer, phone and office can be someone's back bedroom, and from there take business from the anchor stores at the local dying mall.

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  • 4 months later...


I am currently in the Greater Omaha area and was suprised to hear Canfields was closing.  Granted there were not many outdoor stores in the area when I was younger and one of the general camping stores to visit.  I can't say I am too suprised they went out of business, larger stores like Cabela's/Bass pro shop, REI, LLBean etc are becoming more prominate all around the country.  These unique shops that don't have a brand name are getting fewer and fewer.  I first got my scout gear at a smaller sports store growing up.  It was nice not having to go to a scout shop an hour away when 30 mins worked.  It suprised me then, but not now since I've grown up and understand economics and business better now.  I get why this is happening, and with online shopping more available now then ever, it is not too suprising.  With all the issues that have become big news to the media with scouting (good and bad), it is not too suprising outside companies might not be too in favor for them in their stores.

BTW, the Canfield closure was big.  People lined around the building to get in.  The company was selling everything on the walls, including art they purchased for themselves.


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