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Top US retailer warns: ‘Shun ICAST and miss out’

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Fred Haas, Vice President of Product Development at Tackle Direct, one of North America’s biggest retailers, has a warning for tackle shop owners who shun ICAST.
↑ Haas says that Tackle Direct looks at more than 100 new products at ICAST during the three-day show.

Retailers who shun the opportunity to attend ICAST – the world’s largest fishing tackle trade show – are squandering their opportunity to be competitive in the industry.

That is the view of Fred Haas, Vice President of Product Development at Tackle Direct, one of North America’s biggest retailers. He told Angling International: “You are not taking advantage of one of the biggest tools of the trade if you are absent. You have to be there to understand what is happening in the industry. It is definitely your loss if you are absent from ICAST.”

Haas’s unequivocal views on ICAST’s importance to retailers both large and small come from 16 years as a show attendee. The Tackle Direct team normally consists of six people and includes a camera crew to film new products for immediate release on the company’s web platform.

“We will look at more than 100 new products during the three days and quickly launch new niche brands on our e-commerce platform. By being there and seeing the products first hand you can steal the first to market advantage on the big box stores and achieve significant margins before they are driven down by competition.

“There are also a lot of show specials that can be taken advantage of, alongside extended terms that you cannot get anywhere else. It is a win, win.”

Haas added that he has unearthed gems at the show including the now famous Line Cutterz.

He spotted them at ICAST and made an order before the product shot to prominence on national television on the Shark Tank show.

“Other vendors we discovered by walking the aisles at ICAST include 13 Fishing, Phenox Rods & Accessories and Fitzgerald Rods – brands that we have enjoyed a lot of success partnering.

“We are looking for high-end, quality products that are niche and different from mass market products. ICAST has that and more.”

Filed In: Product News