First time at Scheels: What’s it all about?

April 6 was opening day at Boise’s first Scheels Sporting Goods, and boy was one to remember … or one to forget, if you hate busy retail stores.

Before visiting on opening day, I believed that nothing in Scheels could outmatch what you could find through online shopping. I genuinely did not understand what all the hype was about, nor did I even know what Scheels was before a few months ago.

The first thing you see when you walk in is a line of people waiting to leave after they check out.

Beyond that, is a 16,000 gallon fish tank that towers over your head as you walk under its archways. Then as you look ahead, there’s the infamous Scheels ferris wheel that every location has.

I did not wait in line to get on, but I assure you it looked like a good time, especially with everyone staring at you.

The store is layed out similar to the Boise Towne Square Mall, only a bit smaller and more lively.

The first floor seemed almost like the ‘basics’ level, for customers who are looking to do general outdoors shopping. Brands like The North Face, Nike and Chubbies are located on the first floor. 

The bottom floor reminded me of the athletic section of Fred Meyers. There’s a little section for footwear, skateboarding, sunglasses, beach/sunny days, etc. There wasn’t anything crazy, but it was convenient having all sorts of variety in a concentrated area.

Overall, the bottom floor did indeed feel like a one stop shop for general sports and outdoors shopping, while the top floor was definitely more on the ‘hardcore’ side of touching grass.

For starters, I have to mention the Legos. Not only was there a dream-like variety that rivaled the actual Lego store, but they had a giant Lego Buster the Bronco that was absolutely breathtaking.

While the top floor did indeed have Legos, it also had guns … interesting mix there Scheels.

Regardless of the strange product placement, the second floor did offer a wide variety of sporting goods that I was genuinely impressed with. If the bottom floor felt like a retail apparel compilation, then the top floor felt like the true sporting goods heaven.

The top floor was set up in a really cool way, with every sport having a dedicated section. 

Whether it was a popular sport like football and basketball, outdoors products like fishing and hunting, or even things you wouldn’t expect to find in a sporting goods store, like pool and frisbee golf, there were at least a few aisles dedicated to every activity … barbecuing even had a section!

The golf section had an indoor virtual setup, there was mini bowling and even a shoot ‘em up game with pirates that you’d likely find in an arcade. 

Overall as great as the new Scheels store is, it really wasn’t worth the hype. The store is an interesting place, but is it interesting enough to be in with 10,000 other people? No.

At the end of the day, it’s just a retail store, the same way that In ‘N Out is just a fast food chain. I’ll admit that I do understand the hype now, and the opportunity to physically hold and test things in store that you don’t get online is something that can’t be forgotten.

All in all, Scheels is cool, crowds of people aren’t. Hopefully in a few months the store will be about as peaceful as the Boise Mall.

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