Bass pro buys Sportsmans Warehouse!

trev

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Bass Pro Shops ruined my local Cabelas. It used to be obvious that the higher-ups at Cabelas understood and appreciated fly fishing. Bass Pro is just redneck crap. Oh well. More motivation to shop at real fly shops.
Bass Pro saved your local Cabela's, if not for BPS it would be a dollar store or flea market by now. Fly fishing stuff is not high profit in that kind of setting. The only fly shops that seem to survive on flies only are small one man shops or shops with destination locations.
 
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burk48237

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According to the Industry mags, the sale is on hold. The FTC is has told them it is on hold past the normal period for investigation. I do think it might fall under monopoly regs, and the market is a pretty big market. I suspect with Wal Mart reducing their outdoor sporting footprint, Target out of it, K-Mart being toast, Bass Pro/ Cabelas alone is probably buying about 30-50% of the product in a 45 Billion dollar industry. Not many people realize it in small segment like Fly Fishing, but the conventional tackle market is big bucks, probably the largest dollar business in Sporting Goods almost double what Golf does.
 

trev

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Isn't that why Great American Outdoors Group is running C's and BPS as separate businesses, to avoid monopoly problems? Look at all the fishing companies Pure owns and operates.
 

RMflyguy

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Oh no, SW was always my go to big box outdoors retailer to find a good deal. Stores not as polished, but that’s not important to me. We have several Jax stores along the front range...I try to support them as well as my small, local shop.
 

gbrooker

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Bass Pro saved your local Cabela's, if not for BPS it would be a dollar store or flea market by now. Fly fishing stuff is not high profit in that kind of setting. The only fly shops that seen to survive on flies only are small one man shops or shops with destination locations.
Saved it for what? Selling clothing of Wal-Mart quality? Saved it for spin gear and tackle one can get at...Wal-Mart? As far as the reasons I usually went to Cabelas (rods and reels, fly tying material, waders, boots, quality fishing clothes at nice prices) this Bass Pro-ified version of Cabelas might as well be a dollar store. Yes, this is how capitalism works, blah, blah, blah but I don't have to like it.
 

burk48237

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Isn't that why Great American Outdoors Group is running C's and BPS as separate businesses, to avoid monopoly problems? Look at all the fishing companies Pure owns and operates.
Yeah but Pure has some serious and Large Competitors. Shimano (Loomis-Power Pro), Rapala (VMC, Suffix, Storm, Luhr Jensen, Blue Fox, Terminator, Strikemaster), Pradco (Rebel, Bomber, yum, Cotton Cordell, Fred Arbrogast, Bagley) Among others, in fact almost everyone in conventional has merged or been bought out by someone over the last couple of decades. We're seeing it on the Fly side too. Orvis-SA, Rio-Reddington-Sage, Winston-Bauer, Ross-Abel-Airflow, bundling, mergers and acquisition is where the business is headed.
 

trev

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Saved it for what? Selling clothing of Wal-Mart quality? Saved it for spin gear and tackle one can get at...Wal-Mart? As far as the reasons I usually went to Cabelas (rods and reels, fly tying material, waders, boots, quality fishing clothes at nice prices) this Bass Pro-ified version of Cabelas might as well be a dollar store. Yes, this is how capitalism works, blah, blah, blah but I don't have to like it.
It is a business in your town. paying taxes and employing people, an empty building with a for rent sign on wouldn't do that, the Cabela's near me was a clothing store long before GAOG took over, the real difference is that now all the Chinese stuff has different labels and they sell more boats than tents. The fly fishing area is about 20% of what it was but apparently they sell just about as much, very little as C's and still very little as BPS.
Cabela's should have stayed mail order only and transitioned that to a web business, all the catalog stores get into trouble when they try to go to chain stores.
 

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I know we're talking about the Bass Pro and SW merger....but I was at my local Cabelas today. It is one of their flagship stores on the East Coast. I was returning a jacket I purchased a couple years ago (Cabelas Brand) where 3 out of 5 zippers failed. I was po'd as I loved this jacket. They looked at it....scratched their chin and offered me $32. So much for lifetime warranty. They took my drivers license.....and she said the next time I return any clothing (any brand).....that I can only return something < 60 days old.

I took the gift card and looked around. The fly fishing section is almost empty. No exaggeration. I was going to grab some hooks....but I didn;t want to wait in the line, Only Cabelas brand of Double Handers and stock level sucked. They had 1-XXXL and 1-S Simms G3s waders. I turned around.....took a good wiff of the candied pecans and left.

It makes me sad as Cabelas was my favorite outdoor outfitter. You wanted anything hunting or fishing related that was quality.....Cabelas had it. I waited for the fly fishing catalog every year and tied every pattern in that book. Mr. Cabelas has to be rolling in his grave.

Where's my rusty rake to shake in the air when you need it?
 
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westcoast

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Granted it's not the #1 spot for fly gear ... but they do sell everything else as well. Being a consumer, variety and competitive pricing will always rule for me. I just bought a Red Head fleece vest there (online) on a 1/2 price sale, was so impressed with the quality that I ordered another. Last year I got an Alaskan heavy duty cot and a Coleman instant tent for less than half price as well. If you time the sales, there is a lot to forgive and be happy about.
 

burk48237

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It is a business in your town. paying taxes and employing people, an empty building with a for rent sign on wouldn't do that, the Cabela's near me was a clothing store long before GAOG took over, the real difference is that now all the Chinese stuff has different labels and they sell more boats than tents. The fly fishing area is about 20% of what it was but apparently they sell just about as much, very little as C's and still very little as BPS.
Cabela's should have stayed mail order only and transitioned that to a web business, all the catalog stores get into trouble when they try to gE

I think where these category killer big box stores kill themselves is they over-store and over estimate the capacity in their markets. I had Sports Authority as my biggest customer in wholesale years ago. I had two stores that did 2 1/2 million at wholesale in tackle and hunting accessory business in their second year in the market. In their their third year they added two additional stores, one of which wasn't mine and did about the same business, a year latter one more store, and by the time I saw the writing on the wall they had 6 stores in the Detroit metro area, had some new competition and were doing less business with 6 locations then they were doing with 2!

I saw the same thing with Cabela's in MI, they opened the Dundee store and it was one of the busiest tourist site in the state. Based on Zip codes of customers they opened a second location near Grand Rapids. They gained about 30% percent more business but were now operating two locations with the costs (payroll, utilities, insurance, building and inventory) of two locations. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that isn't an efficient way to run a business. Those big boxes need to be destinations, not local bait shops. I remember when Sports Authority was at it's peak I would see people walking around with shopping carts full of lures and tackle stocking up for a big trip or an upcoming season opener. As the locations expanded I saw less of that and more people stopping in with a hand basket to pick up a few items. I can certainly name other factors, but the reality is those big boxes need to do 15-25 million in a year in sales to break even. And most metropolitan areas can at the most absorb one or two locations.
 
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burk48237

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As far quality BPS has always been lower quality in the Clothing and Fly tackle departments than Cabelas. I suspect it's the nature of their home markets. With a Northern MW home market and people fishing and hunting a lot in colder rougher conditions plus Ice Fishing and a destination travel business that featured a lot of travel to AK and CA. They had much larger market for high tech clothing solutions so they produced some fairly good quality private label waders and clothing. On the Fly side, being close to the American West gave them a lot of traveling fly fisherman in the stores. Their market (MW-northern) created a demand that BPS market didn't. I happen to fish with one of their Fly tackle buyers, he lives in this area and worked for Hardy for a while too, he knew what he was doing when it came to fly tackle and their private label stuff reflected that. They knew they had to own the mid-priced market as the guy looking for a top of the line rod wasn't shopping there.

As far as BPS, they built their marketing around the pro bass circuit in conventional tackle. If you'll notice the high tech clothing boom was late to the bass pro circuit. Fly Fisherman were wearing tech shirts for 30 years before the Bass Pro's caught on, the Huk, Simms conventional, and Under Armor contributions are mostly within the last 5-10 years. Consequently BPS has been behind the curve on that market almost completely. As fas as Fly, they knew they didn't know it, that's why the put Orvis in their White River fly shops to give them some credibility, they still don't get it. Their people just don't think like fly fisherman, they are the PBR crowd not the Talisker 10 crowd. The sad thing is a Simms or Far Bank order from BPS is still a huge percentage of their business and hugely effects inventory availability for their core fly shop customers.
 
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trev

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Wife and I used to go to Cabela's as tourists (20 minutes away) look at the camp stuff, browse the used guns and hangout by the aquarium. The kids gave me a gift card and 15 trips later I finally used it on something to give away, they had nothing I wanted. Now we tour the BPS and look at the aquarium. My middle aged kids think the Red Head clothing is better that whatever Cabela's was selling. I shop for clothing at a clothing store not a theme park. I buy my fly stuff at Tim's or Mac's.
 
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trev

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I don't follow such things but I thought that Johnny had built the pro bass circuit just to support his stores. Thousands of tournaments every year within driving distance of Springfield.
 

moucheur2003

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If there's a silver lining in this cloud, it may be that the more big-box competitors Bass Pro absorbs, and the harder they cull their remaining product offerings, the more room they leave in the market for independents to fill the void. Here in Massachusetts, there's a Bass Pro with an anemic "White River Fly Shop" only 17 miles away from the amazingly well-stocked Bear's Den fly shop, and Bear's Den just keeps growing and getting better. However, in places where the big boxes have already wiped out or absorbed the locals, it will require new entrepreneurs to step in. One of my favorite indie shops in Vermont closed down when its owner retired and his sale to a new owner fell through, just on the rumor that Cabela's was considering opening a store. (Cabela's never did.)
 
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Beartown Lodge

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This is very sad news indeed. I live on the Virginia - Tennessee line and in the last 10 years, we’ve seen BOTH Cabela’s and Bass Pro build stores in Bristol, Cabelas in VA and BPS in TN. The Cabela’s development was done by the City and the BPS development was done privately. Since the merger, the VA side development is a ghost town and a joke with a massive empty used-to-be Cabelas building anchoring a failing commercial development. Very sad to see.
However, BPS is not the only big outdoor retailer with which to pick a bone, as Orvis has done similarly slimy things to their authorized dealers. I used to work at an Orvis AD and we were one of the top grossing Orvis ADs on the east coast! What did Orvis do to reward their AD who worked hard for them? Why they put in a corporate store 2 miles up the road to try and capture all that revenue! I haven’t bought an Orvis product new since then.
Corporate monopolies are no good for anyone, especially the outdoor industry!
 

2wtt

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Greed, C went public! that is what killed them. I shopped there before the internet and before they had any real-estate except the one in Sidney and make sure you warn Pop's bait not to go public!
 
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callihan_44

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This is very sad news indeed. I live on the Virginia - Tennessee line and in the last 10 years, we’ve seen BOTH Cabela’s and Bass Pro build stores in Bristol, Cabelas in VA and BPS in TN. The Cabela’s development was done by the City and the BPS development was done privately. Since the merger, the VA side development is a ghost town and a joke with a massive empty used-to-be Cabelas building anchoring a failing commercial development. Very sad to see.
However, BPS is not the only big outdoor retailer with which to pick a bone, as Orvis has done similarly slimy things to their authorized dealers. I used to work at an Orvis AD and we were one of the top grossing Orvis ADs on the east coast! What did Orvis do to reward their AD who worked hard for them? Why they put in a corporate store 2 miles up the road to try and capture all that revenue! I haven’t bought an Orvis product new since then.
Corporate monopolies are no good for anyone, especially the outdoor industry!
they essentially took down a huge hill peak and flattened the area to build on it, I drove by that place many times during construction
 

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For the most part, I stopped shopping BP a long time ago when I bought three top of the Line BP rods and had two of them snap on the hook set the first time out. When I took them back they refused to refund the purchase price on the defective rods. F**k my once shame on you. Cabelas built a nice store five miles from the BP and that is where my business went. Now that BP owns it I no longer visit that store. I shop Feathercraft now and am happier with that arrangement.

Bill
 
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