I’m sure you’ve heard in the news that Bass Pro Shops, one of if not the biggest outdoors stores in North America, just bought Cabela’s, another huge outdoors retailer, for 5.5 Billion dollars. This is a huge story in the world of us anglers! Bass Pro Shops is an incredible company whose strengths outweigh their weaknesses by a large margin. 

Their main strength that makes them who they are is that their brand is extremely marketable. So marketable that it sometimes annoys some of us anglers. What I mean by this is that they have gained so much popularity that it has infiltrated the people who don’t fish. As you have probably seen, a huge number of the people who wear their extremely popular hats have never even wet a line let alone caught an actual bass. This can come across as annoying for anglers cuz it makes them look like “posers” but to the company, all it means is free advertisement. This is vital to their success, they have managed to expand their store to different markets other than fishing. Another strength is their pyramid. Yes they have a pyramid! You can find it in Memphis, Tennessee. Originally, it was built in 1989 but it only became a BPR in 2015. With a restaurant, hotel, and many more things that cater to the needs of outdoorsmen, they have created a woodsman’s paradise. It was even featured in the famous YouTube channel, Dude Perfect. It’s a really neat looking megastore. They are doing nothing but expanding their business. 
Cabela’s is also a great outdoors store but they don’t have the same awareness in the non-fishing and hunting world like Bass Pro Shops. The deal is good for both parties since Cabela’s was looking to sell, and Bass Pro Shops was looking to eliminate competition. With this purchase the amount of competition in the outdoor retail industry has been narrowed down to a few big individual companies and a bunch of small businesses. This worries some anglers because less competition means higher prices. This is a very reasonable concern because there is still competition when it comes to pricing, for example, the online retailers such as Tackle Warehouse are very good at creating sales and getting the word out about it. There is less competition when it comes to choosing a store as a consumer but the prices won’t be affected. They will still have sales. In today’s world it is easier than ever to make sure you are paying the best price possible because we have Google. If Bass Pro Shops does increase prices there are still other outlets online and in-store that create competitive prices. 
The deal gives the consumer less choice but I personally don’t think it will affect the prices in any extreme way. I think it is a good business deal and I am excited to see what BPR does with their newest acquisition. I just wish there was one of these stores near my house, maybe they will expand. 
Image from: Wikimedia Commons

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