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Tuesday, October 22, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Huckleberries Online

Cabela’s sale worries customers

For some, a visit Monday to Cabela’s in Post Falls was just another day of shopping. For others, it was the first day under a cloud of uncertainty as to the future of the company following news of its acquisition by outdoor gear giant competitor Bass Pro.

“I hope they keep the same standard Cabela’s is known for,” said Sarah Greenwood, who was shopping with her boyfriend Monday. “I hope it doesn’t change. But if it does, I’m sure we’ll get along.”

Henry Gerber has been a customer of Cabela’s for 30 years. He used to order through their catalog, and now he likes to visit the store to trade in old rifles and buy new ones, along with gunpowder and ammunition. The 79-year-old was unsurprised by the news after reading an article in the Wall Street Journal a few months ago about the company’s lower-than-expected profits.

“This is probably just Bass Pro bailing them out,” he said.

Bass Pro announced Monday its plans to acquire Cabela’s for $5.5 billion, combining the two companies known for their giant destination superstores. The deal would make Cabela’s private by paying shareholders $65.50 cash per share, a 19 percent premium to Friday’s closing price.

Cabela’s opened a store in Post Falls in 2007. The company and local officials said at the time it could become a regional tourist draw, with its museum-quality displays of wildlife and aquariums filled with native fish.

Some of the drawing capacity of individual stores has been affected by the chain’s expansion – it currently has 85 stores, up from 17 when the Post Falls store was announced – but the closest Cabela’s store to the Post Falls location is still 175 miles away in Missoula. There are also Cabela’s locations in Boise and Idaho Falls, Idaho, and in Union Gap, Washington, and Lacey, Washington, and on the Tulalip Indian Reservation/SR, AP. More here (subscription).

Question: How often do you shop at Cabela's?

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D.F. Oliveria
D.F. (Dave) Oliveria joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently is a columnist and compiles the Huckleberries Online blog and writes about North Idaho in his Huckleberries column.

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