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Case Study Bass Pro Shops

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Case Study: Bass Pro Shops

Bass Pro Shops is a privately held sporting goods and outdoor goods store headquartered in Springfield, Missouri. In addition to the Outdoor World store, Bass Pro Shops has over 15 large retail stores in the U.S. It also owns and operates subsidiaries such as Tracker Boats, Big Cedar Lodge, and Redhead. Bass Pro Shops is known for a large selection of hunting, fishing, and other outdoor gear.


Founded by John Morris in 1972, Bass Pro Shops was born out of a fishing tackle business that sold homemade bait and worms, located in the back of a Brown Derby liquor store. Bass Pro Shops mailed its first catalog in 1974. It soon became the world's largest mail order sporting goods store. In 1984, construction began on the Outdoor World Showroom in Springfield, MO. Big Cedar Lodge opened in 1984 on Table Rock Lake, near Branson, MO. In 2000, the Wonders of Wildlife museum opened next to the Outdoor World in Springfield.

External/Internal Factors


* Respected company with a strong brand name

* Well known brand name for outdoor fishing, hunting, and boating supplies

* Wide variety with many price points on different lines

* Comprehensive product lines

* Stable and educated sales force

* Committed employees

* Technical expertise with different product lines

* Unique in-store customer experience

* Catalog availability and sales


* Higher costs than competitors

* Rapid growth loses the strategic direction

* Vulnerable to technological changes

* Management style is out of date

* Not a lot of innovation in store set ups/displays

* Deals only with large accounts and misses the more specialized producers of hunting fishing, and boating equipment for the avid outdoorsman

* Male dominated target market not interested in the "bigness" of Bass Pro; they are looking to get in and get out


* Opening in foreign markets

* Competing firms are complacent and not attacking

* Demographic shifts in who is hunting, fishing, and boating

* New technology for the outdoors man

* Rapid market growth in large outdoor areas


* Introduction of substitute stores

* Demographic shift in customers

* Entry of foreign competitors in new markets

* Entering into the decline stage of the product life cycle

* Changes in federal policy on the environment, hunting, fishing, and boating

* Poor performance by all firms in sales, promotion, and distribution


Bass Pro Shops major competitors operating in the U.S. include R.E.I., Cabela's, Eastern Mountain Sports, Gander Mountain, L.L. Bean, Sierra Trading Post, Sport Chalet, Archery USA, Back Country Outfitters, and Sportsman's Warehouse, as well as national sporting goods retailers such



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