Bass Pro Shops
|Founder(s)||John L. Morris|
|Key people||John L. Morris Founder
James (Jim) Hagale President & CEO
|Products||Hunting, fishing, and outdoor merchandise|
|Revenue||3.83 billion (2011) |
Bass Pro Shops (Outdoor World) is a privately held retailer of hunting, fishing, camping and related outdoor recreation merchandise. Bass Pro Shops is known for a large selection of hunting, fishing, and other outdoor gear.
- 1 History
- 2 Bass Pro Shops house brands
- 3 Tracker Marine Group
- 4 Retail stores
- 5 Islamorada Fish Company Restaurant
- 6 Uncle Buck's Fishbowl and Grill
- 7 NRA National Sporting Arms Museum
- 8 Affiliation with NASCAR
- 9 Charges of racial discrimination by the EEOC
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
The owner, John L. Morris, began his career in sporting goods with a fishing section in the back of a Brown Derby liquor store owned by his father, located in Springfield on the road to Table Rock Lake and Branson, Missouri. That small fishing department sold homemade bait and worms, proving popular enough that Bass Pro Shops incorporated in 1971. These homemade baits were so popular that many people wanted the opportunity to buy these when they had returned home. Thus began the Bass Pro Shops catalog first mailed in 1974. Soon, it became the world's largest mail order sporting goods store. In 1975, to meet the burgeoning demand for Bass Pro Shops exclusive products, American Rod and Gun was established. Acting as a separate wholesaling entity ARG serves more than 7,000 independently owned retail stores world wide. In 1977, Bass Pro Shops introduced the first fish-ready complete boat motor and trailer package with the Bass Tracker. In 1984, construction began on the Outdoor World Catalog Showroom in Springfield, Missouri. Big Cedar Lodge opened in 1988 on Table Rock Lake. In 1995, Bass Pro Shops Sportsman's Warehouse opened in Atlanta, Georgia, its first store outside the state of Missouri. In November 2001, taking advantage of Outdoor World's popularity as a tourist destination, the Wonders of Wildlife museum was opened next door to the store in Springfield.
Bass Pro Shops house brands
Bass Pro Shops carries a number of house brands. Among these are:
- Bass Pro Shops
- Bob Timberlake
- Johnny Morris Reels
- Natural Reflections
- Offshore Angler
- Uncle Buck's
- White River
- Worldwide Sportsman
Tracker Marine Group
For the article on the company, see Tracker Marine Group.
In 1978, Bass Pro Shops introduced the Bass Tracker boat, produced by the Tracker Marine Group. Its brands include Tracker Boats, Nitro, Sun Tracker, Tahoe, Fisher, ProCraft, Kenner, Mako Myacht and SeaCraft. These boats are sold in showrooms attached to every Bass Pro Shops store, in stand alone Tracker dealerships, and to independent marine dealers throughout the United States. All Tracker Marine Group boats are manufactured in multiple plants in southern Missouri. Over 400,000 people have purchased Tracker boats since 1978.
Bass Pro Shops has over 70 existing and proposed stores in the United States and Canada. The store sizes range from 20,000 square feet (1,900 m2) up to 300,000 square feet (28,000 m2). The largest flagship stores are known as Outdoor World stores. The decor of the stores includes taxidermy mounts native to the local area. All stores have an indoor water feature that showcase fish species that are indigenous to the area. The fish in their tanks are game fish of great size. In some of these aquariums, professional anglers and store pro-staff hold demonstrations showing the use of an artificial bait. They catch the fish in these tanks to show how well the bait works. Bass Pro Shops is also known for its Outdoor Skills Workshops, teaching skills as varied as fly fishing, Dutch oven cooking, archery hunting with an archery range in the store, and GPS navigation. They hold many skills workshops with the top names in the outdoor world.
The Rancho Cucamonga, California Outdoor World store is used for the exterior shots of the fictional Outdoor Man store in the ABC sitcom Last Man Standing, starring Tim Allen. Camera crews have also visited the store several times to film interior shots.
Islamorada Fish Company Restaurant
Many locations include an Islamorada Fish Company, a chain of restaurants owned by Bass Pro Shops.
Uncle Buck's Fishbowl and Grill
The new Altoona, IA, East Peoria, IL, and Harlingen, Tx Outdoor World locations feature a first for Bass Pro Shops: a 12-lane bowling alley. The project is in cooperation with Brunswick Bowling & Billiards. In addition to bowling, the facility offers a full service restaurant and bar as well as world-class billiards in the Black Widow billiard room. The 15,000 sq ft (1,400 m2) underwater themed facility is connected to the Bass Pro Shops, but features a separate entrance to accommodate late night diners and bowlers.
NRA National Sporting Arms Museum
On August 2, 2013, the NRA National Sporting Arms Museum opened in the flagship store in Springfield, Missouri. It opened after nearly a decade of work by the NRA and Bass Pro Shops. There is almost 1,000 sporting artifacts from the 1600s to today, including some historically significant firearms from the NRA Museum Collection. The museum will host firearms and artwork from the Remington Arms Company factory collection, a multi-million-dollar collection of U.S. Military sidearms, engraved Colt revolvers of the American frontier, the guns of Annie Oakley and firearms of U.S. Presidents like Teddy Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower.
Affiliation with NASCAR
Bass Pro Shops and its owner, John L. Morris, have had a longtime interest in NASCAR racing. Bass Pro Shops has sponsored such racers as Dale Earnhardt, Kerry Earnhardt, and Martin Truex Jr. Truex Jr won the 2004 and 2005 Busch Series championships in the #8 Bass Pro Shops Chevy, and drove the #1 Chevy for Earnhardt Ganassi Racing in the Sprint Cup series from 2005-2009. He got his first win at Dover International Speedway and finished 11 in the Chase for the Sprint Cup in 2007. While Truex Jr renewed with Bass Pro Shops as his main sponsor for three years in 2007. In 2009, Truex Jr announced he would be leaving Earnhardt Ganassi Racing for Michael Waltrip Racing in 2010. Jamie McMurray, former driver of the Roush Fenway Racing Crown Royal Ford Fusion will replace Truex for the 2010 season.
McMurray won the 2010 Daytona 500 in his first race driving in the Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet. McMurray followed that up by winning the 2010 Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis, making him the 3rd driver to win both races in the same season. McMurray also won the 2010 Bank of America 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway.
Charges of racial discrimination by the EEOC
On September 21, 2011, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed suit against Bass Pro. According to the EEOC’s suit filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division (Civil Action No. 4:11-CV-3425), Bass Pro has been discriminating in its hiring since at least November 2005. The EEOC’s suit alleges that qualified African Americans and Hispanics were routinely denied retail positions such as cashier, sales associate, team leader, supervisor, manager and other positions at many Bass Pro stores nationwide.
The lawsuit alleges that managers at Bass Pro stores in the Houston area, in Louisiana, and elsewhere made overtly racially derogatory remarks acknowledging the discriminatory practices, including that hiring black candidates did not fit the corporate profile or customer demographics. The EEOC also alleges that managers at some stores retaliated against employees who expressed opposition to discriminatory practices and may have either fired or forced the resignation of others. Bass Pro Shops issued a statement denying the allegations and maintaining that the company had cooperated fully with an EEOC investigation.
On May 31, 2012, U.S. District Judge Keith P. Ellison threw out most of the EEOC’s racial bias suit against Bass Pro Outdoor. The judge found that "the EEOC failed to make its case for a pattern or practice of discrimination."
- Academy Sports + Outdoors
- Dick's Sporting Goods
- Gander Mountain
- Scheels All Sports
- Sportsman's Warehouse
- Bear, David (June 12, 2011). "When flooding washes out an Ozark fishing trip, we tackle Big Cedar Resort and the Bass Pro Shops". post-gazette.com (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette). Retrieved June 12, 2011.
- "NRA opens Midwest museum showing nearly 1,000 firearms". Reuters. Retrieved 3 August 2013.
- "Bass Pro Failed to Hire Blacks and Hispanics at its Stores Nationwide, EEOC Says in Suit". September 21, 2011. Retrieved September 21, 2011.
- Joe Sutton (22 September 2011). "Retailer Bass Pro accused of hiring discrimination". cnn.com.