“I don’t think there is room for two big retail giants. ”
Steve Collett for the six months ended June 30, 2018, the company said that it is in a year of transition, and that financial results “reflect the challenging period, including the very difficult trading backdrop.”
Revenues of £3.4m for the period were down from £4.1m in the same period of 2017.
The company has 14 large superstores across the country, as well an online business.
Angler’s Mail columnist, tackle supplier and England lure fishing team manager Steve Collett commented: “I’m not surprised that the company is struggling, as I don’t think there is room for two big retail giants in what is a difficult market.
“I did buy shares myself, but soon got out, as I didn’t think their business model was very good.
“The CEO described ordinary tackle shops as being run by ‘Mas and Pas’, but some of us have million-pound turnovers, and they had strange ideas about the age and gender of those who fish.
“But trade is generally down, and even though my turnover has gone up, my profit margin has declined. If I was on the stock exchange, I would have to give a profit warning.
“There are only so many big items of tackle, such as rods and reels, that people need, and so many anglers can get tackle from sponsors these days, or through eBay or Amazon.
“I feel sorry for the big tackle shop owners that the company bought out, as I believe they were largely paid in company shares, which will be worthless if the company goes bust.
“I had heard that some of their stores lacked stock, and there is no doubt that many anglers enjoy a smaller space that stinks of fishing, and where there are a couple of codgers who reckon they’ve caught
4 lb roach and 40 lb pike!” Steve concluded.
In stark contrast, Angling Direct, the UK’s other big tackle retail giant PLC, is thriving, having recently obtained a further £20 million in investment after a successful release of shares.
It has plans to open 20 new stores in the next two years, to add to the 24 they already own.