Pilgrimage to ICAST is buyer’s most important trip of the year
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Fife, Washington could not be much further in the US from Florida, the world capital of recreational fishing.
The locations are worlds apart, but once a year the Sunshine State becomes home from home for Gabe Miller, the Fishing and Marine Buyer for Farwest Sports, the two-store retailer with a growing e-commerce presence. Miller’s pilgrimage to ICAST, the world’s largest fishing tackle trade show, is one of his most important trips of the year.
He has been attending the event since 2007 and he believes it gives his business a ‘huge edge’ over many of his regional competitors who do not attend.
“It’s a must-go show for Farwest Sports. The advantage it gives us over our rivals cannot be overstated. It means that we are first to the market with many of the good new products launched at the show. We get to see some real gems that cannot be seen anywhere else in the country.
“The wide range of products on offer at ICAST also helps our growing e-commerce business as we are looking for a wider range of tackle than we would normally need for our two stores. We have to be competitive with other online retailers so that makes ICAST even more important to us. The selection of products on offer keeps us ahead of the curve.
“Everything you need to be a credible internet retailer is there at ICAST.
“The New Product Showcase is key to us and so are the networking opportunities that attending the show presents. I have developed valuable longstanding relationships with vendors I met at ICAST. There are companies at the show who never visit our region so getting face time with them delivers long-term benefits.
“It is so much easier sorting out problems with a supplier if you know them personally and ICAST gives us that the opportunity to establish a rapport.
“I really couldn’t envisage a year when the company will not attend ICAST.”