Bass Pro Shops has officially completed its purchase of Cabela’s at a price of roughly $4 billion, a figure Dick, Mary and Jim Cabela surely never envisioned when they started a fledgling mail-order business at a kitchen table in 1961. Johnny Morris’ company had a similarly modest beginning, when in 1971 he began selling fishing tackle out of his father’s liquor store.
Both are the kind of success stories that fuel the American dream and the sale of firearms, ammunition and accessories are part of their stories. “We are excited to unite these iconic American brands to better serve our loyal customer and fellow outdoor enthusiasts,” said Bass Pro Shops CEO and founder Johnny Morris. “As we move forward, we are committed to retaining everything customers love about both Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s by creating a ‘best-of-the-best’ experience that includes the superior products, outstanding customer service and exceptional value our customers have come to expect.”
With the nation’s two largest sporting goods dealers merging, there are some questions from loyal customers and Bass Pro already has an FAQ page dedicated to providing the answers. For example, gift cards, regardless of issuing company, can be redeemed at both outlets. The same policy applies for warranties. Members of the Cabela’s Club will be happy to learn, “There will be no change in how you earn, save or redeem your Club Points.”
Both companies started small, growing their business as mail-order firms at a time when printed catalogs were expensive, slowly shipped to homes, and the more-budget-friendly Internet was the stuff of science fiction. Today’s outdoorsman, however, can see first-hand and take home the gear at outlets across North America, or browse the selection at their fingertips from the comfort of home.