It’s a new era for outdoor enthusiasts who like to shop.
Bass Pro Shops this week completed its $4 billion purchase of Cabela’s, which has a store in Lacey, right off Interstate 5 and less than 20 miles from Tacoma’s Bass Pro.
And we’re not alone in having two stores. Research by The News-Leader in Springfield, Missouri, where Bass Pro has its headquarters, noted last year that “Around the country, there are 30 Bass Pro Shops locations within 40 miles of an existing Cabela's store.”
Bass Pro representatives in Springfield, when contacted Wednesday, had no comment as to whether closure was in the cards for either store in the South Sound. (Cabela’s also has stores in Tulalip and Union Gap).
Distance alone might not be the only factor determining which stores continue.
“I think of greater importance would be the size of the population center in which the stores are located,” Jeffrey Jones, associate professor of finance at Missouri State University, told The News Tribune on Wednesday. “New York City could probably support two stores less than 10 miles apart,” while smaller cities likely could not.
In its news release, Bass Pro Shops founder and CEO Johnny Morris stated: “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.
“We’re also deeply motivated by the potential to significantly advance key conservation initiatives.”
So, what do shoppers here need to know now? A representative from Bass Pro’s headquarters referred us to the online FAQs for Cabela’s and Bass Pro. A condensed version follows:
Store names remain: “We will continue celebrating and promoting both the Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's brands as we bring our two great companies together.”
Gift cards can be exchanged: “Customers can exchange a Bass Pro Shops gift card to a Cabela's gift card for an equal amount and vice versa. Gift cards are exchanged at the customer service counter in either store or by contacting our online customer service centers.
“To exchange a Cabela’s gift card that you would like to use at Bass Pro Shops, call 800-211-6440 to have it exchanged. To exchange a Bass Pro Shops gift card that you would like to use at Cabela’s, call 800-237-4444 to have it exchanged.”
Product returns can happen at either store: “Cabela’s purchases can be returned to our customer service counters at Bass Pro Shops and vice versa or by contacting our online customer service centers.”
Brands’ credit cards and points program: “Cabela's CLUB Visa holders will earn 1 percent back on all purchases made at Bass Pro and all locations that accept Visa.
“In addition, Cabela’s CLUB Visa members will still earn 2 percent, 3 percent or 5 percent back on qualifying purchases at all Cabela's locations, earning points for free gear and incredible outdoor experiences.
“Bass Pro Shops Outdoor Rewards Mastercard holders will earn 1 percent back on all purchases made at Cabela’s and all locations that accept Mastercard. Also, you will still earn 3 percent or 5 percent back on qualifying purchases at all Bass Pro Shops locations, earning points for free gear and unique experiences.”
Prices: “We are working to make everyday pricing consistent in all locations.”
Online ordering: “There are no immediate plans to combine the websites.”
You’ll still get catalogs from either place: “There are no plans to stop mailing catalogs.”