1972 - Present
Bass Pro Shops, a mega-retailer of hunting, fishing, camping, and sports gear, is headquartered in Springfield. The company’s logo features an illustrated bass which reflects founder Johnny Morris’s passion for bass fishing and harkens back to the shop’s humble origins. In 1972, the company got its start when Morris began selling fishing tackle out of an 8 square foot space at the back of his father’s liquor store in Springfield. After thirteen years at that location, Bass Pro Shops expanded his business to include several experiential shopping centers and later added Big Cedar Lodge, the Pyramid, and other venues. The company also got involved in several conservation efforts such as growing bass populations, conserving acres of turkey habitat, and protecting waterfowl breeding grounds.
In September 2017, the company acquired Cabela’s, its long-time rival in the outdoor sporting retail arena. That same month the Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium opened after a 10-year period of renovation. The aquarium received the Best Aquarium in the county award from USA TODAY 10Best Reader’s Choice awards in 2018 and 2020. Today, Bass Pro Shops has close to 200 retail stores and marine centers across North America welcoming 200 million visitors annually with more than 4 million shoppers visiting the flagship store in Springfield each year.
Categories: Business & Economy
Date: 1972 - Present
Subject: Sporting goods; Conservation; Businesses
Contributing Institution: Bass Pro Shops