The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

Sidney location named Cabela's Store of the Year


The management team at Cabela’s retail store in Sidney had gathered for a video conference last week. Every store in the chain was connected, hoping to learn which one had earned the coveted Store of the Year Award.

But there was a problem. The monitor in Sidney’s conference room had gone blank at the most inopportune time.

It didn’t take the team long to go from anxiety to elation.

“We looked down the hall and here they came,” said Connie Carrillo, retail marketing manager for the Sidney location. Chief Executive Tommy Millner and a group of officials from the headquarters facility arrived with the news.

It is the first time Sidney has ever won Cabela’s Store of the Year award.

“It’s kinda hard to explain,” said store manager Rodney Davidson of his emotions at the time. “It’s a huge honor. There were several people in tears.”

The award is based upon several factors, most notably customer satisfaction. Retail staff from top to bottom--some 140 are employed by the Sidney facility--therefore contribute to the deciding data. Corporate headquarters updates each store on their standing on a quarterly basis.

“It’s not a popularity contest,” Davidson pointed out.

Sidney edged out the store in Buda, Tex. for the honor. Buda had won the previous two years.

“Every outfitter in the store stepped up to make this happen,” Carrillo said. “We were constantly making sure we were taking care of the customer.”

Davidson arrived in Sidney in October, replacing Chris Tulloch as head of the retail center. He had previously directed the Cabela’s in Allen, Tex.--a store that was also in the running.

“I was privileged to come in and wrap this thing up,” he said, crediting his predecessor for most of the groundwork.

The focus necessary to earn Store of the Year is so intense and the gap between ‘rivals’ so narrow that Davidson was ready for an emotion response, either way.

“We talked a lot about winning it,” he said. “If we didn’t win there would be a lot of tears shed, too.”

Once the announcement was made, Davidson received a congratulatory call from his counterparts in Buda.

“They’re good people,” he acknowledged.


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