Tracker Marine Group, the boat manufacturing division of Bass Pro Shops, purchased five dealerships from Minnesota boat retailer Crystal-Pierz Marine, according to several reports. Larry Whiteley, a Bass Pro spokesman, indicated the dealership will retain the Crystal-Pierz name because of its notoriety in the Great Lakes region but will stock its own aluminum and fiberglass boats in the stores before spring. Terms were not disclosed.
“It's a well-known brand name in that part of the country, and we'll continue to utilize that name,” Whiteley told the Springfield Business Journal.
Bass Pro purchased Crystal-Pierz stores in Shakopee, Brainerd and Ramsey in Minnesota as well as Rice Lake, WI. and Fargo, N.D. The other two locations remain with Crystal-Pierz owner Luke Kujawa,Tracker Marine sells boats under the Tracker, Sun Tracker, Nitro, Tahoe and Mako brand names.
According to a report from the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal, Crystal-Pierz shrunk from 14 locations in 2005 to seven before the purchase. Crystal-Pierz had projected 2008 revenues of $40 million, down 56% from three years ago.
Tracker, believed to be one of the country's five largest boat manufacturers, also has had to downsize in recent years. The company closed its Bolivar plant in February 2008 and consolidated the operations into its plant in Lebanon. An additional 45 employees from both Bass Pro and Tracker were laid off in March 2008 as part of an internal consolidation.