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Bass Pro Shops is implementing systemwide cuts and furloughs, including measures at its Springfield headquarters.
SBJ file photo
Bass Pro Shops is implementing systemwide cuts and furloughs, including measures at its Springfield headquarters.

Bass Pro cuts, furloughs 'significant percentage' of workforce

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Officials at Bass Pro Shops say they’ve made furloughs and layoffs that impact a "significant percentage of our workforce," according to a statement from the Springfield-based outdoor retailer.

The statement, provided this morning by Bass Pro spokesman Jack Wlezien, cited the coronavirus pandemic's effect on its operations. Company officials did not indicate how many employees have been affected by the layoffs and furloughs, although all divisions are impacted, including its Springfield headquarters, manufacturing plants and hospitality properties.

"We are facing substantial disruptions to our business in what is without question the greatest challenge in the history of our country, all due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control," the statement reads. "The unforeseen impact of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic is affecting every company and family in America, including our own."

Full-time employees whose positions were eliminated are slated to receive severance, according to the statement. Wlezien did not return a request for additional comment.

Bass Pro additionally put in place a temporary reduction in pay for all leadership and salaried team members, according to the statement. The pay cuts impact about 9% of the company's workforce.

"Though painful, these measures have prevented us from making significantly deeper reductions and furloughs," the statement reads. "There are no words to express how difficult it is to see our valued team members – the very heart of our company – being impacted by a global event outside their control.

"Our fervent hope is to bring back our impacted team members as quickly as possible, but circumstances will determine how we advance."

Bass Pro last year ranked No. 3 on Springfield Business Journal's list of the area's largest employers, with 6,000 employees within a 50-mile radius of the Queen City. Forbes reported Bass Pro had 40,000 employees and $8 billion in revenue for the fiscal year that ended Dec. 31, 2018.

In Springfield, Bass Pro temporarily closed its flagship store at 621 W. Sunshine St. starting late last month. Bass Pro reportedly has kept stores open on a town-by-town basis, depending on local rules regarding the coronavirus, according to Forbes.

Moody's Investors Service Inc. recently downgraded Bass Pro's credit outlook to negative from stable.


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