Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris appeared on CNBC’s Squawk Box last Friday to talk about holiday sales for the outdoor retail chain. The conversation quickly turned to rumors concerning a possible purchase of Cabela’s, a large and popular competitor.

Morris was certainly expecting the question after the rumors were first reported earlier this month. As Squawk Box’s co-anchor Joe Kernen pointed out, the merger of the two companies could make the resulting entity a powerful force in the world of outdoor retail.

“That’d be a hell of a combination, you’ve got to admit, because you’re more East, they’re more West, right?” Kernen asked.

Morris acknowledged the rumors but gave no definitive answer.

“There’s a lot of rumors from this. Who knows where they’ll lead, if anywhere, but we have a high regard for that company,” Morris said. “Both our companies grew up pretty much the same way, from passion of the founders around the outdoors. There’s so many great people there. It’s a great brand we respect.”

Morris started Bass Pro Shops in 1971 from the back of his father’s liquor store before selling fishing tackle in a mail-order catalog. Similarly, Dick Cabela and his wife started their business selling hand-tied flies from their kitchen just 10 years earlier. Both companies were founded by self-made men and emphasize hard work and passion for their industry. Currently Morris has a a net worth of $3.9 billion and is ranked the 133st richest person in America by Forbes.

If Bass Pro did acquire Cabela’s, it would nearly double their number of stores in North America. So far no spokespeople from either company have confirmed that such a deal is in the works.

The question regarding Cabela’s occurs around the 1:40 mark in the video below.

Image screenshot of video on cnbc.com

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  • ValleyCounty

    Absolutely the worst possible thing that could happen to Cabela’s. The difference between the attitude of the sales people in the 2 store is like night and day. I will NOT grace the doorway of a Bass Pro Shop, because of their piss poor attitude towards the customer.

    • Rod Logsdon

      I’ve never been to Cabela’s … I don’t have one close by. However, I have been in a number of Bass Pro Shop locations, including their flagship store in Springfield, MO. I have never been treated badly at any of their stores.

    • 19greg45

      Their prices are higher than Cabela’s too. Nor do Bass Pro Shops keep as wide a variety of reloading supplies in stock in their stores as Cabelas does, nor as extensive a stock of ammo, especially .22 LR.

  • Gritty

    Pffftttttt!! I will NEVER spend another dime in Cabelas! You may as well take their Cabela’s Brand “Lifetime Guarantee”, print it out and wipe your a s s with it! They screwed me out of over $200.00 on a pair of Cabelas Brand boots that basically disintegrated after 2 years of little use! Never again Cabela’s!

  • Glenn H

    The down side to this would be that Cabela’s would probably increase their prices since they tend to be somewhat less expensive than Bass- Pro!
    It’s like we finally got a Gander Mountain in our hemisphere but most everything they sell is less expensive at Academy!

  • GrumpyYoungMan

    Bass Pro outdoes Cabelas in nearly every way.
    Heck when you can buy your boat and outfit it with everything you need all in one spot and have it serviced there as well you really can’t beat that kind of convenience.
    Not to mention you can go bowling, sit at a bar, or sit down and eat in a restaurant in most BP locations that’s a shopping experience that is hard to beat.
    It will be interesting to see if this deal goes through.

  • DoubleB

    Here in western Washington state we have one of each of these stores within 30 min of each other . Have been to both numerous times. Also have noticed that cabelas is somewhat higher priced with fewer sales. Customer service at Bass Pro was better than cabelas for me… My vote goes to BASS PRO!