Landale: new Fulling Mill website will sell direct to consumers
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Fulling Mill has announced plans to sell direct to consumers through a soon-to-be launched website.
The UK fly company has, however, assured customers that it has no intention of becoming an online tackle shop.
The move, says Fulling Mill, is a reflection of fast-changing consumer expectations. It will begin trading from the new site on or near December 1st this year.
Fulling Mill has told its dealer network that there will be no price incentive to buy online, that there will be clear links to the nearest dealer and that discontinued ranges will be offered to dealers a month in advance of general release.
The site will also incorporate an improved ordering platform for dealers.
“It is purely a response to consumer behaviour,” said Fulling Mill’s Vice Chairman, Will Landale. “Every piece of consumer feedback we have received has encouraged us to take this step.
“We know that consumers are time poor and sending them elsewhere for a product irritates them and ultimately damages the brand.
“But we don’t see the move as a game changer and we will not be using mechanisms that retailers are fearful of. We will sell at RRP and it is not our intention to impact the shops. We have no plans to become an online tackle shop and we don’t intend to market the direct part of the site aggressively.”
Fulling Mill wrote to customers with advanced notice of the new site, as well as speaking to many retailers one-to-one. Landale reports that while most dealers accept the move as a sign of the times, there is an understandable nervousness from certain quarters. Dealers with concerns are being encouraged to contact the company directly.
The move comes at a time of considerable change for the expanding business, with a full-scale launch in the US and a management restructure just two of the developments geared to speeding up the exciting recent growth.
Since Atlantic Solway Holdings acquired Fulling Mill from former long-term business owner Barry Unwin almost three years ago, the new management team has completely overhauled all internal processes and systems, enlarged its Kenyan factory by 40%, opened a new factory in Sri Lanka and purchased its own office and warehouse facilities in the US.
“We believe the time is now right to expand,” says Landale. “Our aim is to double the company’s turnover and the last two years has been all about laying down the foundations for this growth.”