SIDNEY, Neb. (AP) — About 300 employees at Cabela's former headquarters in western Nebraska are taking buyouts this week, and afterward, the remaining operation in Sidney will be a fraction of the size it was before rival Bass Pro Shops bought the company.
Another 390 former Cabela's employees also applied for buyouts, but no immediate action will be taken on those. Bass Pro spokesman Jack Wlezian said that after the cuts about 500 employees will remain in Sidney.
Cabela's once employed more than 2,000 people at its sprawling Sidney headquarters. Bass Pro plans to offer the 550,000-square-feet of office space for $1 a year to other companies that want to move to the town of roughly 7,000 people. The buildings were advertised Thursday in the Wall Street Journal.
Springfield, Missouri-based Bass Pro bought Cabela's in a $5 billion deal last year. It was expected that jobs would be cut to eliminate duplication at the two headquarters, but it wasn't clear how many jobs would be lost until Thursday.
At least 500 jobs will remain in Sidney to handle a variety of support roles, including information technology, accounting, personnel and procurement.
Wlezian said many of these job cuts would have been needed even if Cabela's had remained independent because of the current challenges in the market for sporting goods and hunting gear.
Longtime employees at Cabela's were offered bonuses of up to $40,000 on top of two weeks of severance pay for every year of service in the buyouts. Some employees were also offered lifetime discount cards for Bass Pro and Cabela's stores.
Aside from helping market the empty office buildings in Sidney, Bass Pro has offered to support some programs in the Sidney school district.