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Top European chain reveals UK store expansion plans

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GO Outdoors: Planning to become the UK’s biggest fishing tackle retailer.

One of Europe’s top outdoor sports retail chains has revealed plans to introduce up to 30 fishing-themed superstores in the UK over the next two years.

GO Outdoors says that the move coincides with its aim to become the biggest fishing tackle retailer in the UK.

In the next three months the chain will open three pilot stores in different parts of the UK and will adopt a whole new approach to how it sells tackle. Each store will offer equipment that has been specifically selected to cater for the needs of anglers in the region. The first is due to open in the north of England – a match fishing hotspot – and will boast one of the largest selections of poles in the UK.

A revamped store in Plymouth, Devon, will be the next to come on stream, offering everything for the sea angler, including kayaks and the latest in fish finding technology.

And tapping into the huge carp market, a third superstore is set to open in May with the emphasis on equipment used for the fastest growing and most popular arm of the sport. “No stores will stock the same tackle – each will cater for the needs of anglers in the region,” Peter Aske, Chief Buyer at GO Outdoors, told Angling international.

“This is quite a significant development for the company. We want to become the biggest fishing tackle retailer in the UK and each of our revamped stores will boast up to 7,000 square feet of fishing tackle. They will be proper fishing tackle shops within our store format.

“Each outlet will be open seven days a week and manned by qualified anglers who will be on hand to guide customers through their buying choices. Going into a traditional fishing tackle shop can be quite an intimidating experience. We will offer a comfortable, friendly environment where they can look around at ease.”

Aske added that GO Outdoors is proud of its commitment to fishing. He said: “We bring more people into fishing than any other organisation in the business. Our records show that we introduce 30,000 newcomers to the sport a year.

“As a supplier of camping and caravanning accessories, we are perfectly placed to promote fishing. There are 297 fishing lakes on camping and caravan sites in the UK and many of our customers who visit those holiday locations buy a rod and reel and other items of tackle from us.

“As a result our stores have seen growth for the last seven years and the fishing business has been a significant driver in that.”

Aske refutes suggestions that the growth of superstores like GO Outdoors are the death knell for tackle shops in the UK. He said: “There will always be a place for the traditional fishing tackle shop. Well-run businesses will survive. We attract an additional customer base. The more experienced angler will always want to use his local tackle shop.”

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