BRITAIN’S biggest tackle shop chain - Fishing Republic - has announced immediate plans for a further four superstores after opening their 14th shop last month.

Mighty Fishing Republic, who opened their first store in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, in 2005, have just opened a huge out-of-town store in Milton Kenyes, Buckinghamshire.

This will be swiftly followed by their 15th shop in Ipswich, Suffolk, in on Saturday, March 4, with at least three more confirmed for this year in Kings Lynn, Norfolk, Reading, Berkshire and Clavering, Essex.

Rotherham, South Yorkshire-based Fishing Republic is filling a niche left by many traditional shops closing down, hit by problems of parking and high rents.

Widest possible choice

Explaining the growing preference for the company’s US-style tackle supermarkets, CEO Steve Gross said: “We live in a ‘gimme now’ society; these days, customers expect the widest possible choice, instantly – both online and instore.

“As a result, traditional independent shops are simply unable to compete, whilst our stores may carry in excess of 25,000 product lines, smaller retailers do not have the physical space to hold this kind of inventory.

“Factor in escalating overheads and lack of parking and, sad though it is, it’s small wonder we’re seeing so many high street failures.”

By contrast, Fishing Republic’s superstores – all of which are open seven days a week – have gone from strength to strength. And Steve is confident the new Ipswich store will be a big hit – both with local anglers and those travelling from further afield.

Anglers ‘make a day of it’

Steve continued: “It’s quite common for our customers to drive an hour or more to visit our shops. And because we’re located on busy retail and business parks, they’ll often make a day of it, dropping the family off in the nearby shopping precinct, whilst they indulge in a little retail therapy of their own.

“Angling is especially popular throughout East Anglia, and in and around Ipswich in particular. Not only is the town situated on the coast; it’s also close to The Broads and numerous rivers, lakes and commercial fisheries.

“Our new store reflects this diversity, providing a one-stop ‘destination’ shop for anglers from the main branches of the sport – carp and coarse, match and sea.”

As with previous launches, the formal opening of Fishing Republic Ipswich will be marked with a one-day only sale, featuring savings of up to 50 per cent on leading brand tackle and accessories.

Fishing Republic changed to a Public Limited Company a couple of years ago, listing on the AIM stock market in London, and at the same time raised some of the capital that it needed for its expansion plans, via the issue of shares in the business.

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