The best way I can sum up the new Bass Pro Store in Pearland Texas is; A Lot of Fluff, Little Substance.
I've looked forward to this store opening ever since Bass Pro announced they were going to build it. Currently, the nearest Bass Pro Store to me is in Katy Texas. It's about an hour and half, sometimes two to get to the Katy store. You have to drive through Houston stop and go traffic, navigate a mess of road construction and short tempered drivers to get there.
The Pearland Bass Pro Store is about 45 minutes away and usually the drive is very easy.
So you can see why I was really excited they were going to put one in.
The Pearland Bass Pro had their grand opening last week. I fought the urge to go knowing I would be in the area this week. So I waited patiently, imagining all the neat things I was going to buy when I got there.
As soon as I walked in, I felt like I had been in there before. This store is the two story design, not the 1 story design like the one in Katy. This is the same design as the Bass Pro in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. My Mom lives about 10 miles away from the Bass Pro in Broken Arrow so I visit that store when I go and see her.
These stores seem cramped to me. They seem never to have the space that the larger stores like the one in Katy have. The store in Katy has ample room to browse and shop.
Not so with the Pearland Bass Pro.
The decor is wonderful, but Game mounts and suspended birds can only go so far. I don't go into these stores for the decor, I go to buy equipment and supplies that I can't find elsewhere.
Beauty Is Only Skin Deep But Ugly Goes All The Way To The Bone
I'm a Big Ole Boy as the saying goes. I wear a 3x shirt. Many times I'll buy some 4x camo to layer over my 3x. In the Houston area, the only outdoor store I've found who regularly carries 3x and 4x clothing is the Bass Pro in Katy.
Academy Sports and Outdoors stores do not carry them, Gander Mountain does not carry these. Heck, Wal-Mart carries more Big Man's outdoor clothing than Gander Mountain and Academy stores combined.
Now you can add the Bass Pro store in Pearland Texas to the list of local Outdoor stores who do not carry Big Man's clothes! I can't believe two stores from the same company can be so different! The Pearland store and the one in Katy are only about 35 miles apart, but these two stores are different in the products they carry.
I then went to find some Hunting boots in size 13. Didn't have any. So, I went to find some Hornady SST .45 caliber Muzzleloading bullets. Since I had bought some at the Katy store last year, I was sure they'd at least carry these. Nope. Nadda. In fact, I saw no .45 caliber Muzzleloader bullets hanging on the pegboard!
This is what happens when you let Pencil Pushers design, build and stock a store. They only carry products that appeal to the masses.
For example, last year I went looking for some 7mm-08 ammo. No Academy or Gander Mountain stores in the area had these and didn't stock them. Wal-Mart had one box of 140 grain Remington's. I already had those, I wanted something different. I ended up at the local Outdoor store called Carter's Country. When I asked the lady behind the counter if they carried any 7mm-08 ammo, she said "What flavor? We have 5 different types."
Now THAT is what an Outdoor Store is suppose to do! I ended up buying 4 different brands to test.
Yeah, But How's The Hired Help?
I wasn't too impressed with the Associates at the Bass Pro in Pearland either. Maybe I caught them at a bad time, but many were just lounging around shooting the Bull and not being very helpful. A couple were friendly and seemed to want to help, but none really went out of their way. I saw quite a few customers looking around for someone to help.
Compare this to the store in Katy where the Shoe Associate brought out 6 pairs of boots last month when I was looking at Snake Boots. I'm hard to fit so she had taken the time to bring out all the Snake Boots that she thought would be close. She then went back and got a few more. It's like those folks at the Katy store are working on commission! The people at the Katy store have always been very helpful.
Basically this new Bass Pro in Pearland is just another Academy or Gander Mountain. Nothing you can't find at this store that you can't find at Academy or Gander Mountain, well, except maybe the RedHead brand! There's very little reason for me to go back, just the hope that after everything settles down after the Grand Opening, they'll come to their senses and start stocking a lot of the same Hard-To-Find products that the Katy store does.
I couldn't be more disappointed in a store if I'd tried. Since I buy most of my Casual clothes and work clothes at the store in Katy, I was really hoping this Bass Pro in Pearland would be the same, but tis not to be.
I told my Wife it was like meeting a girl online, falling head over heals at the sight of her Glamour Shot's picture and meeting her only to find out that the picture was taken 10 years and 50 pounds ago!
Since I refuse to put myself through the ordeal of driving to the Katy Bass Pro, I'll wrap this up and go fill the order for my Oklahoma Muzzleloading trip online at Cabela's. If Cabela's was to open a store on the North East side of Houston, I'd never see the inside of a Houston area Gander Mountain, Bass Pro or Academy's store again!