From the notebook of business editor Tim Rausch

Get the sense Bass Pro Shops saga is over?

The reasonable person standard was under assault by the rationale given by Bass Pro Shops’ decision to cancel its Interstate 20 store near CarMax.

 

Bottom line business idea: Stores make money for the owner.

 

Chain stores that make billions in annual revenue have a complex market analysis matrix that helps them determine where to place stores. Those things measure money, demographics, traffic. Iconic brand name companies with destination stores don’t decide where to put stores based on a dartboard mentality. (By the way, Forbes says Bass Pro makes $4 billion a year in revenue.)

 

Twice now, Bass Pro has attempted to place a store along I-20 in Augusta. So there’s something in the matrix that told the company they could make money in Augusta, and they chose the visibility along the interstate highway. As a matter of fact, we saw that in action when they decided to build an Outpost style store instead of its larger standard ones.

 

The Bass Pro statement said it pulled out of the deal for instances of nondisclosure in its negotiations. It cites only parking arrangements, however, and points out that that was the least of the concerns. OK then, what were the important disclosure concerns?

 

This is clearly a case of the PR Machine making a fool of the company, especially once information came out about the last-minute demand for additional incentives to get them to change their mind about pulling the Columbia County store.

 

Not having a recording of that conference call, having been present for the negotiations or access to Bass Pro’s internal systems, we can only go off what’s been made public. The impression being presented by the “clarifying” statement is that the county officials are lying, the pending competition with an archrival had nothing to do with backing out of a project, but instead it was a bad deal because they had to share parking spaces with the county.

 

Reasonable people tend to have finely-tuned baloney alarms.

 

A smaller parking lot limits the maximum number of customers who can go to the store at any one time. A major competitor down the street limits the number of customers wanting to hit the parking lot.

 

But if the store doesn’t have to make enough profit to pay back its construction, the matrix makes it look good enough for Bass Pro to stay in the deal.

 

If any deal with Bass Pro involves a free store to them, I believe that rules out a store in either Richmond or Columbia counties. I don’t believe we’ll have another round of “Bass Pro coming to Augusta ... but where?”

 

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David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 10/08/13 - 04:01 pm
1
0
Personally, I'm more sick of

Personally, I'm more sick of hearing about them for the last 5 years to the point that I'd never darken their doorway anyway. I can find what I need already. True, i'll miss out on the brand/logo culture. The truth is, I don't have a desire to stock up on expensive accessories. I'll dig up some worms and there are plenty of treble hooks misplaced on my garage floor. When I need ammo, I'll hit Waldens or wherever is convenient.

To the point Mr Raucsh, I think you're correct. BPS picked Augusta b/c there is a significant culture (or potential for it) of folks who buy outdoor stuff with specific logos/brands. Since Walmart's strategy is to kill-off competitors big and small, there aren't that many options around here for those who want a Yeti cooler or a Carhart cap. When BPS feels they can wet their beak too, they'll be back and just as ornery.

Tim Rausch
8
Points
Tim Rausch 10/03/13 - 04:24 pm
4
0
We're now hearing from

We're now hearing from Columbia County officials that Bass Pro tried to change the deal, asking for more incentives ... such as $10 million to build the store.

GuyGene
1321
Points
GuyGene 10/05/13 - 08:52 am
1
0
I'm done with shopping online

I'm done with shopping online at Bass Pro. I've bought thousands of $ from them - my business is gone, to...Cabela's!

agustinian
706
Points
agustinian 10/09/13 - 07:00 am
1
0
Bass Pro Shop -- you blew it!

Bass Pro Shop -- you blew it! You should have called yourself a "baseball" stadium, then North Augusta would have come running to have the taxpayers build your store. Plug that into their "magical formula" and voila! another 1500 jobs created.

my.voice
4914
Points
my.voice 10/14/13 - 12:05 pm
0
0
Bass Pro is a private

Bass Pro is a private corporation folks. They can build, or not build any place they desire. I am beginning to see the effects the media has on the masses...... somehow thinking that the government owns the retail sector. They choose to build or not build across the country many times each year. They take excruciating time in due diligence, a process that can take years. They didn't get this big by making dumb decisions. There is more to this than a request for 10 million dollars..... think about it.

If I were Bass Pro, I wouldn't locate in Augusta. With Cabelas, Academy, Dicks, and a Walmart on every corner, one has to weigh the population to available dollars to spend. I personally think they'd do better in Columbia SC, not Columbia County. Of course, they havent left a message on my machine asking my advice so I am going to have to figure they have their own people who make those decisions.

I will say, however, that regardless of the reason or reasons they pulled back, Mr Cross' comments pretty much sealed off any chance of a future BPS in the Augusta market, and certainly in Columbia County. I understand you were upset, but your comments were extremely uncalled for given your position.

OK, ............... Go ahead,........ thumbs down me :)

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