Solar Tackle to open again after ‘significant’ investment
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UK manufacturer Solar Tackle will opens its doors again within the next few days following the injection of ‘significant new investment’.
Solar, owned by renowned product developer and former carp world record holder, Martin Locke, closed at the beginning of December to allow time for the expansion of its warehouse and the installation of a modern stock control system.
The company is also looking to move into bigger premises and increase staffing levels later this year as it seeks to increase its share of the carp fishing market.
“I have wanted to do this for some time because it has become increasingly difficult for us to keep up with growing demand,” explained Locke, who began the business in his garage 30 years ago. “Now we have the investment necessary not only to increase stock, but also to accelerate Solar’s product development.
“My real love is developing new products and I do all of that myself. But I have been bogged down by all the other demands required to run a business. Now I will have the resources to free me up to focus more on what I do best. I have lots of good ideas I can’t wait to get on the shelf.”
The source of Solar’s investment is undisclosed, but is believed to come from within the industry rather than a venture capitalist. The deal was agreed at the beginning of December and a long-term growth plan is in place.
“We have basically built new foundations for the business from which we can grow and expand efficiently,” said Jonathan Bones, who joined Solar as Marketing and Media Manager five years ago. “We have massively expanded our stock to allow us to compete much more effectively.
“Product development will now be on a much bigger scale and will enable Solar to compete more with other bigger players. Product innovation is Martin’s strength. That is what the Solar brand has been built around and there are loads of ideas in the pipeline, particularly in our very successful P1 range.
“It will also mean Martin gets more time on the bank, where his product development starts, and he can build on his profile in fishing’s consumer press.
“We are likely to add more staff in the second half of this year as the size of the business grows,” added Bones.
The vast majority of Solar’s business has traditionally been through retail shops, with the company adding an e-commerce site for bait sales three years ago.
The Dartford, Kent, company came close to being acquired by Marukyu Europe in July 2014 before deciding to pull out of the deal.