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Angling Direct posts bumper start to the year with new destination store opening

PUBLISHED: 08:56 23 April 2019 | UPDATED: 08:56 23 April 2019

The Angling Direct team when it joined London Stock Exchange a few years ago. Picture: London Stock Exchange

The Angling Direct team when it joined London Stock Exchange a few years ago. Picture: London Stock Exchange

London Stock Exchange

Norfolk-born company Angling Direct has reeled in a record start to the year as well as announcing the opening of its first "destination store".

The company began as a single tackle shop in 1986 operating our of Wroxham.

More than 30 years later, Angling Direct is Britain's largest fishing tackle retailer, and has seen like-for-like store sales up by 29.5% in February and March.

Overall sales are also up 28.5% for the period compared to this time last year.

Online orders for January and February were up by 27% and the company's German, French and Dutch websites helped European sales surge 66%.

And this windfall of demand has led to the company announcing a destination store opening in Nottingham – a popular fishing area given its proximity to the River Trent.

The destination store is part of an expansion drive that will see 20 new locations open this year and next as the firm bucks the gloom on the high street.

The group now has 27 UK stores.

Chief executive Darren Bailey said: “We are very excited to have opened our Nottingham store, which is set in a very popular angling area near the River Trent. The location also offers a good number of local lakes which all cover a broad range of fishing disciplines.

“As we seek to cater for all anglers across the UK with a new and modern retail offering, we will continue to strategically expand our physical geographical footprint, as well as enhance our online offering in terms of products, experience and education in order to help raise the profile of angling.”

Earlier this year, Angling said it expects to post a 39% jump in revenue to £42m for the year ended January 31 thanks to higher sales both in store and online.

Angling Direct has been helped by its main rival, Fishing Republic, collapsing into administration in December after it failed to raise emergency funding.

Shares in Angling Direct jumped over 12% to 75.8p in morning trade.

It will announce full-year results in May.

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