Bass Pro said Thursday that 290 Cabela’s employees located in Sidney, NE will leave the company this week as part of a voluntary buyout program. Another 390 former Cabela’s employees also applied for buyouts, but no immediate action will be taken on those.
In an e-mail sent to media, Jack Wlezien, Bass Pro spokesman, said the company is delaying a decision on the 390 staffers “for an extended period of time to allow the leadership team to determine the appropriate organizational structure, including finalizing what opportunities will be available in Sidney and other locations.”
In February, Bass Pro offered voluntary buyouts of $40,000 to Cabela’s headquarters employees 50 and older with at least 10 years of service, and $20,000 to other employees. The payments were in addition to standard severance payments of two weeks of pay for every year worked at the company. Bass Pro is consolidating its home office operations in Springfield, MO, the headquarters of Bass Pro.
Wlezien said Bass Pro plans to keep at least 500 employees in Sidney, between the corporate office, retail store and distribution center.
“A significant number of roles spanning IT, accounting, facilities, finance, human resources, logistics and procurement will remain in Sidney,” Wlezien said in the e-mail. “This number and the department roster could grow as more departments finalize their structure and teams. The exact headcount will be influenced in part upon the decisions made by individuals.”
Cabela’s at one time had more than 2,000 people working just at the corporate office, according to reports.
Bass Pro also indicated that it took out a half-page ad in The Wall Street Journal, offering “$35 million” worth of office space for $1 a year.
Says the ad, “Usually, we’re all about the catch. This time, there isn’t one.” The ad touted Sidney’s workforce as “highly skilled” and “at the ready.”
More than 550,000 square feet is available on a campus of buildings in the city about six hours west of Omaha.
Bass Pro plans to spend more than $100,000 to advertise the buildings nationwide and also will continue to showcase the opportunity to its vendor network and through partnerships with the city and state to advance economic development in Sidney. Sidney has 6,800 citizens.
Wlezien also noted in his email that one former Cabela’s executive, who wanted to remain anonymous, had accepted Bass Pro CEO Johnny Morris’ challenge to contribute to a fund to help employees. The former executive contributed $700,000.
Bass Pro bought Cabela’s in a $5 billion deal last year. It was expected that jobs would be cut to eliminate duplication at the two headquarters, but it wasn’t clear how many jobs would be lost until Thursday.
Photo courtesy Cabela’s