About 300 Cabela’s employees in Sidney have taken Bass Pro’s buyout offer as the outdoors retailer winds down the headquarters operation in Nebraska. They will leave the company this week.
Nearly 400 more Cabela’s workers also “volunteered to exit,” Bass Pro said Thursday, but the company is postponing any action on those people until it determines its needs and what opportunities could be available in Sidney or elsewhere.
For those people, the company said it will take an “extended period of time” to evaluate its personnel options; if after that time, any of their positions end up being eliminated, Bass Pro still will give them their full buyout package, the company said in a memo given to The World-Herald.
The company in February offered buyouts to employees at the former Sidney headquarters as it consolidates its home office operations in Springfield, Missouri, the home of Bass Pro. Cabela’s employees had until March 1 to decide whether to accept the buyouts, which included severance and bonuses of up to $40,000.
Bass hasn’t said what will happen to employees who didn’t accept the buyouts. The company finalized its $5 billion purchase of Nebraska-based Cabela’s last year.
Though it’s closing the Sidney headquarters, Bass said at least 500 corporate jobs will remain in Sidney, with roles in information technology, accounting, facilities, finance, personnel, logistics and procurement. An exact headcount hasn’t yet been determined, the company said.
The company’s retail store in Sidney also will remain open.
Bass spokesman Jack Wlezien said the company is “trying to do all we can” to help the people of Sidney and Cabela’s workers who could be affected by job cuts.
Chief Executive Johnny Morris and the company has contributed $20 million toward a fund to pay the bonuses to the Sidney employees leaving the company.
The company asked former Cabela’s executives to contribute to the fund, but last month said it had gotten “minimal positive response” from the former execs. On Thursday, Bass said one former Cabela’s executive who it said didn’t want to be named had contributed $700,000 toward the fund.
World-Herald staff writer Paige Yowell contributed to this report.