Digital Native Fishing Brand Goes Experiential

a sign on the side of a brick building

Karl's Fishing & Outdoors, a digital native brand owned by Chicago-based Catch Co., has opened its first-ever brick-and-mortar store, located at WestBend Shopping Center in Fort Worth, Texas.

The direct-to-consumer digital platform, which was created for both novice and seasoned fishermen, opened an immersive and experiential retail experience that combines retail with “engaging, hands-on experiences,” according to a news release from the company.

a group of people in a store

Spanning 2,500 square feet, Karl's Fishing & Outdoors’ interactive store offers “best-in-class” products and will host fishing lessons and meetups, including philanthropic events and entertainment, for locals.

"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 Ross Gordon, founder and CEO of Catch Co., in the release. "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."

Designed in partnership with experience agency ChangeUp, the store includes interactive, tech-enabled experiences that demonstrate how products are used to catch fish, such as interactive displays that lets shoppers touch and feel baits and see how they act underwater. Shoppers can choose from a variety of brands including Mystery Tackle Box, The Googan Squad, BioSpawn, 10,000 Fish, HUK, Shimano, Daiwa and Lew’s. Products span 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 at Catch Co., in the release. "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 outdoorsperson in your life."

From June 16-20, the storefront hosted a variety of grand opening events, including a ribbon cutting hosted by Karl Von Dibble, the brand’s "chief fishing officer.” Influencers and fishing personalities also made appearances, along with the brand's Bassmobile, a 40-foot bass on wheels. Additionally, shoppers had access to exclusive giveaways and special offers, including:

  • On June 19 and 20, the first 25 shoppers received a limited-edition Googan Squad Texas flag contender lure and sticker.  
  • Visitors could sign up for a free Karl's Club 30-day trial membership and take advantage of member pricing (up to 30% off in-store and online).
  • While supplies lasted, shoppers received a free limited-edition Googan Squad Texas decal with any purchase, a pack of 10,000 Fish Yoto Worms with any purchase over $25 and a free Googan Squad Clickbait with any purchase over $50.
  • Visitors could enter a sweepstakes to win a BOTE Lono Kayak ($1,749 value).

Karl's plans to roll out stores in other locations throughout the U.S., with its second location planned for the Mall of America in Minnesota, opening later this year.