Far Bank management confirms RIO and Sage will go direct
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The news emerging this week that Sage and RIO fly fishing brands are to sell direct has received a loud and mixed reaction from the trade.
Given that some of fly fishing’s biggest manufacturers already sell online, and that sister brand, Redington, went direct three years ago, some dealers and consumers consider the move inevitable.
Others accuse the brands of circumventing bricks and mortar dealers and question what this may mean to dealers and the impact on the traditional supply chain.
The news, revealed by Angling Trade magazine on Monday, prompted a flurry of activity on chat rooms and angling blogs with comments ranging from ‘what is all the fuss about’ to ‘I will never buy another Sage rod’.
The brands, both part of the Far Bank Enterprises holding company, will begin selling rods, lines and other products online from 2016. Sage is claimed to be the leading producer of fly rods in the US.
Speaking to Angling International yesterday, Far Bank’s VP of Marketing, Tag Kleiner, said that no press release had yet been issued, but confirmed the decision had been made.
Far Bank argues that going direct will lead to market growth that will ultimately benefit dealers and consumers. It is rumoured that dealers may be compensated, but full details, including pricing strategy, have yet to be revealed.
Far Bank President and CEO, Travis Campbell, alluded to the company’s position regarding direct-to-consumer sales in an exclusive Angling International interview last October. “For Sage, I say that we will sell direct as soon as we can make one plus one equal more than two,” he said.
“If I thought we could grow the overall market and not just take a sale from our retail channel, I would sell direct tomorrow. I am sure that we will some day sell Sage with some form of direct model because our consumers will likely demand it from us, but we are trying to be thoughtful in our approach. I would say the orientation with RIO is akin to Sage.”