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07/11/2022

First Look: Karl’s Fishing & Outdoors goes experiential with first physical store

Marianne Wilson
Editor-in-Chief
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Karl’s Fishing & Outdoors has entered a new channel.

Founded in 2012, the digitally native brand has opened its first brick-and-mortar store, in Ft. Worth, Texas. Designed in partnership with ChangeUp, the 2,500-sq.-ft. outpost offers novice and seasoned anglers an immersive experience. Karl’s plans to open additional U.S. stores, with a second location, at Mall of America, Bloomington, Minn., slated for later this year.

Located at WestBend, a 278,000-sq.-ft. retail, office and dining destination in Fort Wort’s University District, Karl’s combines products for fishing and outdoor buffs retail with engaging, hands-on experiences. It will also host fishing lessons and meetups, including philanthropic events and entertainment.

Fishing can be overwhelming, especially for anyone just starting out, so we aimed to design a store and brand experience that was truly shoppable and accessible to all customers,” said Ryan Brazelton, chief creative officer, ChangeUp. “It was about giving shoppers a new way to engage with the Karl’s brand, while celebrating the artistry and performance technology from the lures to the reels & rods.”

The design features interactive, tech-enabled experiences that demonstrate how products are used to catch fish, including displays that let customers touch and feel baits and see how the items act underwater. The product assortment include rods, reels, tackle, kits, tools, fly fishing gear, kayaks, apparel and outdoor lifestyle items.

“The Karl’s Fishing & Outdoors flagship store promises to deliver an experience that hasn’t been seen in the outdoor category,” said Teeg Stouffer, director of retail experience, Catch Co. “The clean, simple design and tech-enhanced features make it an intimidation-free shopping experience – even for those who are new to fishing and outdoor activities – or the perfect place to find a gift for the outdoors person in your life.”

Karl’s was founded by Ross Gordon, founder and CEO of Catch Co., Karl’s Fishing & Tackle’s parent company. Catch Co. is best known for its two commerce brands: Mystery Tackle Box, a monthly subscription box of lures and tackle, and Karl's Bait & Tackle, a membership-based e-commerce platform.

“When we started Catch Co. 10 years ago, our goal was to help people discover quality products that would help them get outside and enjoy nature,” said Gordon. “Opening our first Karl’s Fishing & Outdoors store takes our mission to the next level by creating a shared space for anglers and outdoor enthusiasts to connect, learn about new products and ultimately embrace their passion for the outdoors.”