German retailer puts 25th anniversary celebrations on hold
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One of Germany’s major fishing tackle retailers has been forced to put its 25th anniversary celebrations on hold as the Coronavirus pandemic takes hold across Europe.
Fisherman’s Partner Angler-Fachmarkt group, which has shops and retail partners in Germany, Austria, France, the Netherlands and Italy, had planned to mark its milestone alongside the opening of a new store in Pinneberg, near Hamburg last week.
The company’s Managing Director, Hans-Jürgen Gäbler, told Angling International: “We put together an extensive and expensive marketing campaign, but our efforts were in vain because we are not allowed to open.
“All our stores have been closed for some time now and will remain so by law until April 19th. However, I don’t think they will be back in business before May.
“The situation for the fishing tackle industry is more than serious. We are at the beginning of the season and the shops are full of goods.
“The most important months for our retail business are from March to May. It is when we make 35% of our annual turnover and this year we will lose a major slice of that.
“Without making that turnover most retailers will not be able to pay invoices to suppliers or the rent. Fisherman’s Partner will only be able to remunerate its staff for a certain amount of time, but many other companies will not.
“We are all waiting for financial support from the government and there are huge amounts available to support the German economy – especially for smaller companies.
“It is only a matter of time before we get the first payments – we all hope that it will be in time. Some of our suppliers and competitors in the retail sector will not survive this crisis.
“Nevertheless, I believe in the Fisherman’s Partner concept and am convinced that we have a good future following the Coronavirus. People will still go fishing and won’t be taking expensive holidays or embarking on big money investments for some time yet.”