Lewis Diuguid

Let’s hope Bass Pro, Cabela’s deal leaves area stores open

Bass Pro Shops will combing with Cabela’s in a $5.5 billion deal that was announced Monday. It could affect Kansas City area stores.
Bass Pro Shops will combing with Cabela’s in a $5.5 billion deal that was announced Monday. It could affect Kansas City area stores. The Associated Press

No one should be surprised by Bass Pro announcing on Monday that it is reeling in Cabela’s for an eye-popping $5.5 billion. It’s the big one that didn’t get away.

About three years ago Office Depot and OfficeMax agreed to combine in an all-stock deal worth about $1.2 billion. Last year Dollar Tree completed its purchase of Family Dollar for about $9.1 billion.

These days consumers can’t get too attached to any one company or brand. Whatever is popular now is destined to change.

Such mergers also are done for efficiencies. That means some stores will close, and some employees will be laid off. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen in the Kansas City area.

Cabela’s in 2002 made headlines and made a lot of sports enthusiasts happy when it opened in the popular Village West in Wyandotte County near the Kansas Speedway. Cabela’s, based in Nebraska, recently announced plans to open a second area store in Lee’s Summit.

That could be iffy because of the Bass Pro deal. Bass Pro has two area stores — one in Olathe and the other in Independence.

They pretty much capture the shopping interests of outdoors men and women for hunting, fishing, boating and other sporting needs. The two companies have been exploring combining for about a year.

Bass Pro Shops is based in Springfield, Mo., and has been around since 1971. Cabela’s started in 1961.

Each has close to 100 retail stores. They are so popular that they remain tourist attractions in the communities where they are located, drawing customers to the Kansas City area from miles around.

But the landscape could change with the deal that’s been struck. Let’s hope that there’s enough distance between the Cabela’s in Kansas City, Kan., and the Bass Pro Shops in Olathe and Inedependence for each to continue to operate and keep area sports enthusiasts well-stocked with what they need to have fun.

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