Pallatrax secures ‘significant investment’ for growth
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Pallatrax International, the manufacturer of eco-friendly fishing products, has attracted ‘significant investment’ from outside the industry.
Three non-executive directors will be central to a new strategy that will take products directly to retail markets for the first time, drive growth in international sales and accelerate new product development.
A comprehensive relaunch of the business, which also includes the building of a new factory and the recruitment of additional staff, is planned to start in March 2020.
“This is the biggest step in the company’s history. We are going from a cottage industry set-up to a totally different, more professional business,” says Pallatrax founder and Managing Director Simon Pomeroy.
“We will go direct to shops and have built in the necessary investment for agents where we think they are needed.
“We have never proactively gone to the retail market, so this is a major change. We will be hiring sales people, as well as extra staff to man the new factory.”
International sales, which currently represent about 20% of turnover, come high on the company’s list of priorities. “We already sell in countries including Austria, Holland, Greece and Belgium,” says Pomeroy, “but see big opportunities to grow exports, particularly in the US where our Stonze weights have previously won a best new product award at ICAST and are readily accepted for their genuine angling and environmental benefits.”
Pallatrax is known for its non-toxic Stonze weights, Naturals Bait range and fish-friendly Gripz hooks, but will consider entering new categories in the future, with luggage and bivvies among the possibilities.
“We have lots of scope, but we will only ever bring environmentally-friendly and innovative products to market,” stresses Pomeroy.
The only common thread among the new directors is that they are all anglers who have used and been impressed by Pallatrax products. “They were particularly impressed by our Gripz hooks, which have introduced a third design to the hooks market and given the business huge traction,” adds Pomeroy.
“They were also attracted by our policy of disruptive innovation and first approached me about a year ago. They have no previous experience of the industry but between them are responsible for billions in turnover.
“Their business acumen and experience will be as important as their financial input. They are making a massive contribution to the new strategy.”
The new factory is planned for Autumn next year. It will be built on the company’s six acres of land at its Bideford, Devon HQ and will provide the additional capacity needed to service new customers.