Relaxation Nation: Bass Pro Shops Buys Cabela’s

“Relaxation Nation” is Rick Limpert’s monthly column on recreation, sports technology and travel that can be exclusively found on Modern Life Discussions.

Anglers and anyone that enjoys the outdoors will still be able to roam through a Bass Pro Shops for years to come.

After bleeding money for the last six months and with sales down 1.3%, Cabela’s finally announced that they had entered into an agreement for sale of the entire company. It may be a bit of a surprise to many as Cabela’s had been aggressively buying land and opening stores.

With approximately 85 stores across North America, Cabela’s has become one of the biggest names in outdoor gear in the world, and has direct ties to some of country music’s biggest stars – like Luke Bryan. Revealed last week, Cabela’s has officially been sold to the highest bidder: Bass Pro Shops. The price? Nearly $5 billion.

This move has been 10 months in the making after it announced it was considering “strategic alternatives” to stop the downward spiral of sales.

The joint announcement was posted to both retailer’s websites and stated that in the immediate future, business will continue as usual – but hinted that changes were in the works for one or both of the outdoor giant’s stores.

The only major change at the moment will affect Cabela’s credit card business that’s being sold off to Capital One Financial Group who will continue to offer cards through the retailer.

“This morning it is with tremendous pride and humility that I share with you the great news that Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s have agreed to combine our two legendary brands to create a truly premier retailer in outdoor sporting goods. This merger of resources, experience and passion for the outdoors represents a unique opportunity for both organizations and their respective team members,” Bass Pro CEO Johnny Morris writes in the press release.

While they have not announced any store closures yet, and state their desire to “grow the Cabela’s brand”, Bass Pro Shops and Johnny Morris ultimately has the final say. In a similar deal between two huge companies, OfficeMax and Office Depot, the newly-combined company shut down 400 stores and changed all stores to the Office Depot name.

Long live Bass Pro Shops.

Rick Limpert

Rick Limpert is an award winning Atlanta-based freelance writer, columnist, host of The Tech of Sports Podcast and best-selling author. He has covered sports, technology and events all over the world. His works have been featured on Yahoo Sports, Yahoo News,, and in Sports Illustrated.

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