Bass Pro Shops have announced significant changes across the company in response to business downturns related to the COVID-19 outbreak and stay at home lockdowns across the nation.
The company started laying off and furloughing employees last week. Store and distribution center managers and other salaried employees have had their pay cut from 7 to 15 percent, with senior leadership taking a 20% pay cut.
A leaked memo first obtained by Forbes also said matching contributions to 401(k) accounts were suspended.
Bass Pro sent the following statement to OI, which is printed in its entirety:
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 unforeseen impact of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic is affecting every company and family in America, including our own.
Like many other companies large and small, we are very regrettably being forced to drastically scale back operations, and last week we took difficult but unavoidable actions to reduce staffing through furloughs and layoffs impacting a significant percentage of our workforce in every division, including our Base Camp headquarters, manufacturing plants, and hospitality properties. We also implemented a temporary salary reduction for all leadership and salaried team members (approximately nine percent of our total workforce). Though painful, these measures have prevented us from making significantly deeper reductions and furloughs.
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. Impacted full-time Outfitters whose positions were eliminated will receive severance along with outplacement services and support. We have also furloughed a number of Outfitters until conditions improve. During this period, all health and welfare benefits will continue as normal for all eligible furloughed Outfitters, which means we will continue to cover 75 percent of eligible Outfitter health and welfare costs for all furloughed team members for up to 90 days. All impacted Outfitters will be eligible to apply for government-funded unemployment pay.
As we navigate these trying times, we continue to ensure we are operating safely and responsibly in full compliance with local guidelines for everyone’s health. 97 percent of our office staff is now working remotely, and we have waived our standard attendance policy companywide to give everyone the option to stay home.
This is an unprecedented and unpredictable worldwide crisis. Our fervent hope is to bring back our impacted team members as quickly as possible, but circumstances will determine how we advance. The essence of Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s is an unshakable belief in the goodness and resourcefulness of our people, our customers and our country. We’ve never been tested like this before, but our confidence in our team and the future of America remains as firm as ever.