Should Bass Pro retire the Cabela’s name?
One option Bass Pro is exploring in its mega-merger with rival Cabela’s is integrating both company names.
“On the exterior of the store, we would put up the Cabela’s name and really get after it,” Johnny Morris, Bass Pro’s CEO and founder, said at a meeting at Cabela’s headquarters in Sidney, NE about a week after the merger was announced on Oct. 3. Omaha World-Herald obtained a recording of his chat with a group of Cabela’s employees.
A Bass Pro spokesman afterward indicated that merging nameplates is one of many ideas being explored. The merger isn’t expected to close until 2017.
A follow-up article by the World-Herald discussed some of the other options Bass Pro could be exploring. One is operating Cabela’s as a separate business, although Mr. Morris told Cabela’s employees that the two chains would combine strengths. For instance, Cabela’s hunting and camping merchandise would integrated into Bass Pro’s stores while Bass Pro fishing and boating gear would be featured in Cabela’s existing stores.
Another could be in-store Cabela’s shops focusing on hunting, camping and Cabela’s-branded apparel.
In most cases, the buyer (Bass Pro) would retire the seller’s (Cabela’s) name. Integrating the nameplates could possibly serve as a transition to one name. The merged company could tap a number of efficiencies focusing on one banner, including combining marketing on a national level.
One challenge in this merger is that it is debatable in hunting circles whether Cabela’s or Bass Pro is the stronger nameplate. On hunting blogs, many Cabela’s fans are already vowing not to shop at either store anymore.
Perhaps the most controversial banner changeover was Macy’s move in 2006 to convert many of the regional nameplates acquired in its May Co. merger, including removing the legendary Marshall Field’s name for Macy’s. The loss still resonates. A Chicago Tribune article in late June on the impending retirement of Terry Lundgren, read, “Macy’s CEO who killed Marshall Field’s to step down next year.”
- Legendary Outdoor Brands Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s to Combine – Bass Pro/Cabela’s
- Bass Pro says it will keep Cabela’s brand alive — but for how long? – Omaha World Herald
- Bass Pro CEO says he won’t make ‘false promises’ that all jobs are safe at Cabela’s Sidney headquarters – Omaha World Herald
- Bass Pro is Moving Forward with Buying Cabela’s – Outdoorhub
- Macy’s CEO who killed Marshall Field’s to step down next year – Chicago Tribune
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What factors should guide whether to retire or integrate nameplates as a part of retail mergers? What advice would you have for Bass Pro?