Thank you, Mr. Chair and committee members, for the opportunity this morning.
As previously stated, I serve as the vice-president of Cabela's Canada and Outdoor Services. As you would imagine, being a vice-president of Cabela's Canada includes providing oversight and leadership of our corporate office located in Winnipeg, our seven retail locations, and our e-commerce site. Mr. Darin Brecht is our director of finance and e-commerce, and he will speak shortly.
At Cabela's Outdoor Services, a group here in Sidney, Nebraska, we book hunting and fishing excursions literally throughout the world, particularly in North America.
Cabela's was truly thrilled to join the Canadian landscape a few years ago, and I'll speak to that from an industry perspective. We view Canada as truly aligning with the heritage and values of our customers who we've grown up with over the last 50 years. Our data had proven that a variety of Canadian customers came from Canada into our northern stores, thus prompting us to look further north as an expansion opportunity, which we did.
In our view, our industry has a passion for the outdoors that extends well beyond selling merchandise. In the words of our founder, Dick Cabela, many years ago, we sell fun. What we've come to learn about the Canadian landscape is that we sell fun and many goods that are deemed necessities by a variety of people who look to our products as a way to live their life.
As we open every new store, and in every existing store, we place a manager who is solely responsible for connecting with our local communities through booking our conference rooms free of charge to local organizations, coordinating fishing excursions, and helping to ensure outdoor lifestyles connect with and extend even further into local communities.
Our expansion has been well received. To date we have seven locations across Canada. In a few weeks we will open in Moncton, New Brunswick, and then this fall in Calgary. Next year we will be represented in Ottawa, as well as in Abbotsford, with a few more store on the drawing board as we continue to expand throughout the country.
Our growth is fuelled by Canadians' passions for the outdoors, a connection that goes beyond a retail transaction to being a way for people to live their personal lives in everything they do.
Our employees are referred to as outfitters. Something we look at, beyond the fact that they know their merchandise, is that they can live their lives and connect to our customers. If you enter the fishing department of one of our locations, you will find Canadians who truly know the local lakes, what is biting at what time, and what not to use. Those are the people we're looking for to be great outfitters in our locations.
As we've grown up in Canada over the last couple of years, we've customized our retail assortment based on what we've learned specifically from what our Canadian customers have asked us. We've expanded our trapping assortment. That didn't exist a few years ago. We've learned to add that. We've revised our hunting and soft goods assortment to be more reflective of the conditions for which people need products.
We continue to improve daily, weekly, and seasonally in different assortments. As an example, we opened our Nanaimo, British Columbia, location last year and changed our fishing assortment, as you would well imagine, rather considerably. To that store alone we added over 4,000 SKUs, or different product types, for fishing, based on what we had heard from our local communities.
As much as we are focused on opening up east to west, in Abbotsford as well as in Ottawa, we do serve a fair number of our remote communities in Canada. Our direct-channel business, or e-commerce, which serves customers through a catalogue business as well as an Internet site, www.cabelas.ca, ships a variety of packages into such areas as the Northwest Territories.
On a personal note, I had a chance to live in Canada for three years, in Winnipeg. Our family experienced the best of the Canadian outdoors from Lake of the Woods pickerel—Darin will talk about his personal experiences, but Darin and I have had a few good times on Lake of the Woods—to Manitoba geese, Saskatchewan white-tail, and Alberta moose. My family, my friends, and I were truly impressed with what Canada has to offer. Canadians' passion for the outdoors is truly unique and is ingrained in their lifestyles and their heritage.
Cabela's customers' passions and our passions for the outdoors are very similar across North America.
I'm going to turn to Darin at this point, who is our director of finance and e-commerce, to talk about not only his personal experience but also the hundreds of thousands of customers who visit our website, and what they're looking at.