Bass Pro Shops offers buyouts for corporate Cabela's employees

Bass Pro Shops offered two separate buyout packages to corporate staff at Cabela’s headquarters in Nebraska as the outdoor retailers continue consolidation efforts.

Bass Pro Shops Chief Executive Officer Johnny Morris said the severances offer a generous option for “all those negatively impacted” by the company’s $5 billion acquisition of Cabela’s in September.

“We do not take this process lightly and have a great deal of concern for the impact on our people,” said Jim Hagale, Bass Pro’s president and chief integration officer, in a Feb. 15 letter to employees.

Cabela’s employs more than a quarter of the 6,800 residents in Sidney, Nebraska. It’s unclear just how many jobs will be eliminated as Bass Pro Shops consolidates administrative positions at its headquarters in Springfield, Missouri. Morris has repeatedly promised to be “fair and supportive” of the displaced employees, including donating $10 million of his own money to fund severances.

“Our priorities through this process are to be respectful, direct, timely and supportive,” Hagale said. “We recognize that Sidney is a small rural community and that opportunities to continue a similar career path with a different company may be limited. This enhanced offering is meant to provide additional assistance for that career transition.”

The two packages offer either a $40,000 lump sum to Cabela’s employees over age 50 with more than a decade of service or a $20,000 pay out to those under age 50 and/or with fewer years of service. Hagale said the packages “go above and beyond” what employees could receive in the future.

“Some of you may have already been thinking about the option of retiring and these programs may help that thought process,” he said. “Likewise, there may be a number of you that are not open to relocating from Sidney if opportunities are presented elsewhere and this program is presented to be helpful for you as well.”

Employees have until March 1 to act on the severance packages, according to Hagale’s letter.

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