Roger, you are almost right with your Herters info. here some bits n pieces i found whilst researching Herter's copies of Heddon River Runts.
Herters actually imported all sorts of outdoors stuff from all aver the world and sold it through their mail order catalogues.
George Leonard Herter is thought of as both a creative genius and an eccentric character. But to remember him as anything other than the founder of a ground breaking hunting catalog would be a crime. The founder of the Herter’s catalog, Herter was able to supply needed hunting and fishing supplies in the days before the internet and mega supply stores like Bass Pro Shop. Born in Minnesota in 1911, Herter used his military experience and a small investment to build up an empire based on his famous mail order catalogs. But even with great success, Herter still had to face his own personal demons. As his business flourished, he became more withdrawn, and a series of bad business decisions spelled the downfall of his catalog. IN the final years of his company, Herter would only work during the night, leaving notes for his managers to follow the next day. He promoted unqualified people, and was sued on one occasion after backing out of an offer to sell his company. In 1978, Herter decided that the future lay in retail, not mail order. He opened several mega-stores across the northeast, but do to the gas shortage at the time, the stores closed soon there after. In the end, Herter sold his company for only $300,000 (originally being promised 3 million) after turning down several offers over the years from other companies. Herter spent her final years suffering from bipolar disorder until his death in July of 1994. Despite his shaky fall from grace: Herter’s name is still fondly remembered today for his magic writing skills and pioneering work in bringing desired equipment to sportsmen across the country.
What singular experience has affected Minnesota sportsmen more than any other from both a cultural and a business perspective? Standing in the showroom of Herter's, Inc., of Waseca. This Minnesota institution and the worldwide catalog that promoted it changed hunting and fishing in the state in three dramatic ways: It caused an explosion in the popularity of these activities by making them even more attractive and accessible. It put Minnesota on the map as a sportsmen's paradise. And it dramatically changed the economics of retail throughout the state.
Whether you were 10 or 100, a pilgrimage to Herter's captured every young sportsman's imagination through the latter half of the 20th century. You'd step through the doors to find every hunting and fishing item known to man under one roof. Though we take this concept for granted now thanks to Cabela's, not to mention Wal-Mart, it was absolutely revolutionary in the mid-1930s.
George Leonard Herter (died 1994) of Waseca, Minnesota was the heir to the Herter's outdoor goods business and an author.
In 1937 Herter took his father's dry goods store and turned it into a mail order outdoor goods business, selling hunting and fishing items through a catalog. He later opened retail outlet stores which pioneered the style of outdoor goods stores now used by Cabela's and Bass Pro Shops. The company went bankrupt in 1981. Of course, it wasn't just the showroom. Herter's catalogs reached nearly every corner of the globe--peddling not only a massive array of products, but subconsciously promoting Minnesota as the hub of sportsmen's knowledge and innovation.
As for "sparking conversation and debate," Herter's is not without controversy. While sportsmen firmly approved of its innovative approach to retail, the existing "Mom and Pop" shops did not. Like all big-box retailers, Herter's was the beginning of a model that is still being perfected today and has caused a rapid decline in smaller, family-owned stores.
To put it plainly, hunting and fishing has always defined Minnesota, and today, every Minnesotan knows Cabela's. What they don't know is that Cabela's wouldn't exist without Herter's.
US - Cabela Inc acquired Herters Inc , a catalog retailer of bird hunting gear and equipment.
Acquirer: Cabelas Inc
Acquirer Business Discription: Own,op catalog company
Acquirer SIC Code: 5941 - Sporting goods stores and bicycle shops
Target Name: Herters Inc
Target Business Description: Ret bird hunting gear
Target SIC Code: 5941 - Sporting goods stores and bicycle shops
sorry for going a little