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'Sad day' for Cabela's: Cabela's lays off nearly 70 corporate employees


Nearly 70 employees in Cabela's corporate operations were laid off Wednesday.

"The majority of the people were in Sidney, but there were people affected in Denver and Lincoln," said Doug Means, executive vice president and chief supply chain and IT director.

Means was in Prairie du Chien, Wisc., on Thursday at one of the company's distribution centers with CEO Tommy Millner when reached on his cell phone.

In a media release, Millner said, "This was a sad day for us at Cabela's.

"These are not only our co-workers, but also our friends and neighbors," he said. "As our business needs shift, we have to make organizational shifts. This is part of our ongoing focus on continuous improvement."

Means said the job reductions were felt throughout various departments in Cabela's corporate operations.

All affected employees received a severance package.

"It was not specifically targeted at one specific area," he said. "It really was about trying to balance and align for growth. It would have affected a lot of different areas of the company."

Despite the layoffs, Means said Cabela's remains committed to Sidney.

A 160,000-square-foot expansion to its headquarters along Old Post Road is set to be completed soon.

Means said employees are scheduled to move into the new building in January.

"None of that changes," he explained. "We're still moving forward with the plans, nothing changes about that."

Additionally, Cabela's remains committed to opening between nine and 11 new retail stores every year, he said.

"That's over 700,000 square feet of new retail space every year for the foreseeable future," Means said. "Again, that's not a change in our strategy."

Additional large-scale layoffs are not in the works, he stressed.

"We all understand these are very, very difficult changes," he said. "We tried to get all of those changes, as best we could, done at one time, and we plan to be very selective as we hire positions for the future."

No other reorganizations or restructurings are planned, Means added.

"This isn't part of some other grander thing that's coming a week or two or month from now," he said.

Two of the local layoffs affected members of the Sidney City Council: Mayor Mark Nienhueser and Councilor Joe Arterburn.

In addition to the bulk of the company's corporate headquarters, Cabela's operates a retail store, call center and distribution center in Sidney.

This week's downsizing comes seven years after the company laid off 100 workers in Cheyenne County.

Nienhueser said based on the results of Cabela's staff reduction in 2008, he doesn't expect the city's economy to suffer in the long term.

"There was a similar adjustment in workforce at Cabela's back seven or eight years ago, and it did not have a long-term impact on the economics of Sidney," he said. "And I would suspect this would be similar and we would not see any long-term affects to our economy in Sidney."

The mayor also highlighted Cheyenne County's low unemployment rate, which was 2 percent in August.

Over the summer, Cabela's reported its second quarter retail store revenue increased 13.9 percent while its direct revenue decreased 7 percent. Total revenue for the quarter increased 9.9 percent, to $836.3 million.

Third quarter financial results will be released Oct. 22.

"We continue to focus on finding ways to grow, finding ways to improve the company and finding ways to really service our customers," Means said.


Reader Comments

jwn writes:

I have to say just one thing and that is true more stores would make it convenient to customers but we have have no problems getting these items off line or though catalogs the problem is there is not much on the getting it out there I don't see advertising much maybe a hunting shows but taking away from the workers is taking their role for working at this place less pleasing how can a customer have a will to buy when you lay workers off just for your own funds we have 1 opening in AL I'm going

Mamakat65 writes:

Maybe if they stop putting so much money into opening new stores and start caring and taking better care of the existing ones they could keep their heads above water. The moral in the stores is very bleak. People are quitting daily. No one feels any job security. I love my job but I can't survive on 12 hours a week. Who can?


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