Specialist fishing retailer Angling Direct buys out competitor
- Credit: Angling Direct
Norfolk-born fishing tackle retailer Angling Direct has bought out a former competitor.
Angling Direct has purchased Erics Angling Centre, which has two stores in Buckinghamshire and Leeds.
Erics has been operating for almost 30 years.
Alongside stores, online and mail order operations combined to record a turnover of £5.2 million in 2018.
Angling Direct bosses say they believe the acquisition will accelerate the progress of Angling Direct's newly opened Leeds store, reducing the expected pay-back period by consolidating the local retail offering.
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The store at Farlows Lake in Buckinghamshire is the firm's first lakeside store. Bosses believe it will present a host of new opportunities to engage with both seasoned and novice anglers on one of the country's most popular fishing sites.
Following the integration of Erics, Angling Direct will have 31 stores in England.
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Darren Bailey, chief executive of Angling Direct, said: "Erics Angling is a premium business, providing thousands of regular customers with a high standard of service. We look forward to welcoming these customers to Angling Direct and introducing them to the high-quality and broad range of our products and services.
"I also welcome the staff to the group. With their knowledge and experience, they are a valuable addition to Angling Direct and we will support them fully through the integration."
The group was founded by Martyn Page and William Hill in 1986 when they bought a fishing tackle shop in Wroxham.
More than 30 years later the chain is the biggest specialist fishing tackle and equipment retailer in the UK and now floats on the London Stock Exchange.
Steve Blow, of Erics Angling, added: "It gives me great comfort to hand over the business, which I have assisted in building over the last 30 years, to Angling Direct. While continuing to provide industry-leading products and excellent, reliable service, I believe Angling Direct will further enhance our customers' retail experience. It has everything an angler could ask for - be it online or in-store."