End of the year that was…

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Nick with a Zed from Holland... it’s the closest we could come to a pic of Santa Claus!

ho would have thought that a little bit of stock market money would cause so much commotion in the tackle trade? I’m talking, of course, about Fishing Republic and Angling Direct’s battle for the consumer. I think it’s fair to say that neither of the parties expected to just walk in to the trade and takeover… but I doubt very much that either expected the ensuing battle. And with independents now making a stand, some refusing to sell up, and talk of buying groups being formed, I think it’s fair to say we’ve not seen the end of this yet. Today you can buy a high-end Japanese carp fi shing reel for… wait for it… a tenner less than trade. That’s right. Ten whole English pounds less than the shop paid for it. Now I am well versed in loss leaders. They make sense. They draw custom. But loss leaders on capital items that anglers only change every three to fi ve years?

50 | Tackle & Guns | Dec / Jan 18

Reels that should retail at a shade under 400 quid can be mine for 250… And at what cost does it come to the brand?

Moving on… how was 2017 for you? As ever, talking to the trade, you rarely get to hear the ‘truth’. Everyone has a habit of putting a spin on what’s happening out there to make themselves look good. If only I had a pound from every person that told me it was a great year! Cut through the bullsh*t though, and being honest, it’s not been a great year has it? Retailers on both the gun and tackle sides have not run away with it. Dealers have had to adapt, at the cost of margin, and the result is turnover may be up, or held steady, but margins have been eroded and in some cases to next to nothing. Let’s hope that 2018 is better, hey? As I write this it appears a Brexit deal may be on the offi ng. I’ve avoided mentioning the B word in this magazine because there really is no

point discussing something when no one knows what will happen. Perhaps with a deal there will be some more certainty in the market and that will lead to more consumer confi dence. We shall see! As the landscape becomes a bit clearer we can probably start to make some sense of it. So what do we know about 2018? Well… there’s one thing we do know – and that’s that due to the massive response from retailers and exhibitors alike, there will be a show next year. We’ll have more news on that next year! From all of us at Tackle & Guns, please, have a Merry Christmas and we are wishing you all a Happy New Year! See you in 2018!

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