Bass Pro Shops Targets Aggressive Expansion, Emphasizes Experience

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons
Bass Pro Shops and Tracker Marine Group have 84 stores nationwide. | Courtesy of Creative Commons

At a time when several large retail chains are announcing widespread store closures, Bass Pro Shops has aggressive expansion in the crosshairs. The Springfield-based seller of hunting, fishing and other outdoor merchandise has already opened two new stores in 2014 and has five more scheduled to debut by year’s end. That includes a store in Memphis that Bass Pro founder Johnny Morris has said he expects to be “one of the most dramatic retail stores ever created.”

Though Bass Pro is privately held and closely guards its financials, the company’s continued expansion seems to suggest its strategy of being a destination, not just a store, has helped it withstand challenges from online retailers.

The company frequently touts that its average customer drives 50-plus miles to reach the store and stays there for 2½ hours. “We’re not a big box store … we’re a destination that specializes in providing entertainment and education through our aquariums, mounts, and murals; a great shopping experience for high-quality gear (and a mix of products that’s customized for each store); and opportunities to learn how to use the gear through our many in-store events throughout the year,” Bass Pro Communications Director Tammy Sapp told the Springfield News-Leader.

Bass Pro Shops and its subsidiary Tracker Marine Group have 84 stores nationwide. As of the spring of 2013, the company employed 2,300 people in the Springfield area, according to the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, making it the area’s seventh-largest employer.

Read more from the Springfield News-Leader


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