‘It feels a bit like a betrayal’: Bass Pro to stop selling to small independent retailers

Gary Simpson’s dealer number, 903, was once a point of pride. For years, the number has linked Gary’s Tackle Box, the modest fishing shop Simpson manages in Gainesville, Florida, with Springfield-based retail behemoth Bass Pro Shops.

The number indicates the Tackle Box’s relationship with American Rod & Gun, a subsidiary of Bass Pro, established in 1975, that sells the company’s products wholesale to independent retailers. Simpson’s shop has had its dealer number since 1978, more than a decade before Bass Pro would build its first store outside Springfield.

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