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No ‘false promises’ over Cabela’s jobs says Bass Pro Shops owner

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Cabala’s signage could appear on the outside of Bass Pro Shops, admitted owner Johnny Morris.

Bass Pro Shops owner Johnny Morris has met staff at Cabela’s headquarters, but according to reports he told them that he wouldn’t be making ‘false promises’ that all jobs are safe.

He visited employees at Sidney, Nebraska, following his company’s $5.5 billion takeover of the business last month to address two meetings of around 300 people. Cabela’s employs 2,000 in the city.

Local newspapers report, based on a recording of the meeting, that he reassured workers that some operations would remain in the company’s hometown and throughout Nebraska and that jobs are planned to remain there – ‘important and significant jobs’, he added.

“There’s going to be some change. There is going to be some slimming down,” he is quoted as saying.

A Bass Pro spokesman is said to have confirmed the meeting in Sidney and said that Morris also committed to keeping all three call centres open in the state in Grand Island, Kearney and North Platte, as well as Cabela’s Club credit card operations in Lincoln.

He also shed some light on what might become of the Cabela’s and Bass Pro brands, telling workers he expects to combine both and that Cabela’s signage could be incorporated to the exterior of Bass Pro Shops’ stores.

He added that he expects Cabela’s hunting and camping merchandise to be incorporated in Bass Pro Shops’ outlets and Bass Pro’s fishing and boating gear to be included in Cabela’s.

During the meeting Morris revealed that this wasn’t the first time that Cabela’s and Bass Pro had thought of getting together. About ten years ago, shortly after Cabela’s became a publicly-traded company, Morris met with Chairman Jim Cabela to discuss the companies merging, but the deal fell through.

“We had this secret rendezvous at some hole-in-the-wall place in Denver,” Morris said. “We went there and had lunch. We were discussing the same things: is there a way maybe our companies can come together? It obviously did not work out.”

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