The closest Cabela's now is one of the profitable 38-store chain's biggest and busiest sites, a 250,000-square-foot center at Hamburg, north of Reading, among Pennsylvania state game lands. Work at Christiana starts next year - the 110,000-square-foot complex should open in 2014, employing more than 150 people full time and part time.
"We were happy to point their real estate people in the direction of this location," Alan Levin, head of the Delaware Economic Development Office, told me, "[but] no state funding was provided."
"I hate to see these big boxes moving to town. People should shop local," said Grier Wakefield, owner of Artemis Outfitters in Greenville, Del., a short drive north of Christiana and home to Vice President Biden.
Still, Wakefield doubts Cabela's appeal for the neighborhood's upscale, foxhunt-country "lifestyle" market. "People here are clay-target shooters and upland shooters and waterfowl shooters," Wakefield said. "We sell a full array of clothing, artwork, home accessories, and smoked game during the holidays. I'm not sure [Cabela's] will affect us dramatically."
"We overlap in selling apparel, but our focus is more on human-powered sports like biking and hiking," said Bethany Hawley, spokeswoman at Kent, Wash.-based REI (Recreational Equipment Inc.), a customer-owned chain with an outlet near Conshohocken. "All outdoor retailers increase people's desire to go outdoors. So this is good for all of us."
Joseph J. Greco, founder of PSC Info Group, an outsource-billing firm based in Oaks, Montgomery County, will remain part-owner and serve as chairman of RevSpring, the combined venture resulting from a deal in which Compass Investment Partners Fund L.P., of New York, bought control of his 30-year-old company.
Compass won't say what it paid for PSC Info.
The deal combines PSC, which employs 325, mostly in Montgomery County, with a smaller firm that Compass owns, Wixom, Mich.-based digital-document outsourcing manager Dantom Systems. Dantom boss Tim Schriner will be chief executive of the new operation.
PSC Info duns customers for Comcast, TimeWarner, T-Mobile, the University of Pennsylvania Health System, Western Union, NCO Group, Horsham-based NextGen Healthcare, and others.
"I started this business when I was a student at Methacton High School," Greco told me. "I was selling business forms to hospitals and financial institutions. In 1996, I saw that business was becoming commoditized, now that everybody had a desktop computer. I saw the opportunity to morph into a tech outsource provider."
RevSpring uses billing records "to do deep-data analytics and choose which approach is most effective for billing and collections management," Greco said. Sometimes, that's electronic; "we're [also] one of the U.S. Postal Service's largest customers."
RevSpring starts life with more than 500 employees, $500 million in yearly sales, and profits. (The firm won't say how much.) Greco said Compass bought out a previous investor, Atlanta-based Roark Capital, owner of Arby's.
With backing from Compass, "we want to grow organically and strategically with acquisitions," Greco said. "This is a rocket ship."
Contact Joseph N. DiStefano at 215-854-5194, JoeD@phillynews.com, @PhillyJoeD.