Sidney, Nebraska-based Cabela’s has been purchased by another sporting goods behemoth.  Bass Pro Shops acquires Cabela’s 85 stores in a $5.5 Billion cash deal that nearly doubles the number of stores they own.

It was not immediately clear whether the acquisition would result in any store closures, but the companies said in a statement that Springfield, Mo.-based Bass Pro Shops would "celebrate and grow" the Cabela's brand.

Neither Bass Pro Shops nor Cabela’s has a Wyoming locations BUT THEY SHOULD! or should they?

While I love supporting local mom & pop stores and cringe at behemoths forcing out the little guy, I wonder, would you like to have a mega-sporting outdoor store here?

 

wsj says ‘the rival companies are pioneers of a concept now-coveted by retailers of all stripes: stores that double as both shopping centers and entertainment destinations. Both Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops have earned cult followings for their oversize outposts filled with hunting, fishing, and outdoors gear, as well as ornate taxidermy and fishing exhibits.”

Cabela’s stores served as gathering places and doubled as wildlife museums, drawing not only hunters but school children. Its Michigan outlet once was that state’s largest tourist destination, drawing six million visitors a year.

Bass Pro Shops’ flagship store in Springfield draws more than 4 million tourists a year and, is adding a 1.3 million gallon aquarium. Last year, the company opened a 530,000-square-foot store inside the former Pyramid sports arena in Memphis, featuring a cypress swamp, a hotel, a 28-story free-standing glass elevator, and an alligator habitat.

Bass Pro Shops won’t complete its acquisition of Cabela’s until 2017. Bass Pro Shops said “it is business as usual at Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s and there will be no immediate impact to our stores.” They plan to keep Cabela’s offices in Sidney and Lincoln, Nebraska.

From tiny acorns; John Morris started selling lures and bait out of the back of his father’s liquor store in Springfield, Mo., in the early 1970s because he was dissatisfied with the tackle sold at nearby shops.

He turned that small business into a chain of nearly 100 Bass Pro Shops megastores with roughly 20,000 workers, and made himself into one of America’s richest men along the way. According to Forbes, he has a net worth of $3.9 billion and ranked 403rd on its list of the world’s billionaires.