Cabela’s, Inc.

Freshwater Fish Tanks and In-Store Displays
Design and Build of Attention-Grabbing, Sales Generating Exhibits Customized
to Individual Store Floorplans



“At Cabela’s, we want to bring the outdoors into our stores. We know the fish tanks and taxidermy displays are big draws for our fans that have become signature elements of the Cabela’s shopping experience. As we open new stores all across the country, we know we can count on Tenji to coordinate with our other construction partners to design and build these immersive and educational customer experiences, on time and on budget.”


Cabela’s, Inc. is the world’s largest mail-order, retail, and internet outdoor recreation outfitter. Founded in 1961 in Nebraska as a mail-order enterprise, Cabela’s now mails hundreds of millions catalogs each year to 50 states and 120 countries, operates 82 retail stores, provides credit card and financing services, trades on the NYSE, and generates hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue each year.

For many of their dedicated customers, however, Cabela’s is also an entertainment destination. Some fans even make a point to visit multiple locations when traveling or on their own outdoor adventures. Why? Because Cabela’s has invested in creating an immersive, authentic in-store environment with distinctive features, such as lodge styling, stone and woodwork, detailed taxidermy displays, and freshwater aquariums filled with game fish and local fauna.

Cabela’s considers the fish tanks and rockwork to be educational exhibits and demands the highest level of accuracy and artistry. They also understand how effectively these attractions engage customers. That is why, all across the country, they entrust their design and construction to the Tenji team. It turns out that making a commercial space feel like a campground takes the Tenji touch.


  • Cabela’s opens retail locations of varying sizes all across the country. Individual stores require different rockwork depending on size and floorplan and each have a special selection of native fish and game. They count on Tenji to customize design elements to these unique specifications while maintaining a consistently high level of construction.
  • Real rocks and real stone would look like masonry and give the exhibit an artificial feel. Tenji artists must also be geologists—able to create convincing natural environments out of fabricated materials—while our builders must also be artists able to replicate water erosion, tree bark textures, and more.
  • Coordinating the construction and installation of each exhibit is critical to keeping store openings on track. Extensive and highly specialized pre-construction capabilities and a top-notch team traveling to each location are key to this ongoing collaboration. Cabela’s knows it can count on Tenji to be bang-on in both budget and production schedule—every single time.


What truly sets Tenji apart, however, is our highly specialized advance construction facilities. Once designs and models are approved, our preconstruction unit, housed in an airplane hangar in California, pre-builds and pre-plumbs most major components of each aquarium and rockwork installation. And when the onsite construction team is ready, we send an experienced, specialized engineering and construction team to each location to re-assemble, plumb, and wire each exhibit prior to the store’s grand opening.

Cabela’s counts on Tenji for:

  • highly realistic rock formations and mountains, structured out of bent rebar and shotcrete. These structures do more than frame aquariums and display a wide variety of taxidermy. They form clever hidden spaces for life support systems and other critical behind-the-scenes details. For instance, the rockwork above each aquarium accommodates a waterfall feature, filling the store with the sounds and sensations of fly-fishing a local river, while the rockwork around it creates a room to store all the life support and drainage systems.
  • space-saving innovations and ease of maintenance to reduce staffing requirements. Any floor space not dedicated to sales must do double-duty to maintain store value. Tenji engineers take care to minimize staffing and space requirements.
  • highly responsive design, construction, and maintenance teams.

It takes a great love for the outdoors to sleep in a tent, spend hours in a duck blind, or wade out into a swiftly running river to cast a fly. Cabela’s in-store attractions demonstrate a deep understanding of their core customer—and the power of Tenji.