THE UK’s largest fishing tackle retailer, Angling Direct PLC, has continued to increase sales and has plans for three more shops.

September was the worst month for overall high street sales in eight years, but Angling Direct fishing tackle stores recorded £26.6 million of sales in the six months to September. That represented a 21 per cent annual increase.

It was underpinned by a 41 per cent jump in in-store sales and a 15 per cent rise in like-for-like sales.

AD executive chairman Martyn Page said: “Our efforts on social media to raise brand awareness have created a lot of momentum.

“Having extra stock available in every store also helped drive that increase in sales.

“Fishing is a tangible thing, and people like to come into the store and still feel the product.

“We’ve used Government data to work out where the most fishing happens, and opened stores in those locations accordingly,” Martyn added.

The increase in revenue comes off the back of the company opening four new stores this year.

The latest were Leeds, West Yorkshire, in August and Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, in September, bringing the total stores to 34.

Rotherham, South Yorkshire, then opened in mid-October and three more are planned over the next year.

Leeds now has an Angling Direct fishing tackle store. The branch opened around the same time that Erics Angling Centre closed down in the city. It has since been confirmed that AD has acquired the Erics stores and online business.

Angling Direct fishing tackle staff get ‘on their bikes’

Meanwhile Angling Direct fishing tackle shop staff have been doing its bit for charity, trying to raise over £8K for a scheme for youngsters.

They have been raising the cash for Berkshire’s Angling Projects, founded and run by Les Webber MBE. It offers facilities free of charge to groups of youngsters for up to a week.

The event, called Tour De Branches, was the brainchild of the company’s health and safety officer, Mike Leake.

The nine-day challenge has just concluded. It began at the Colchester store, in Essex, and finished at AD head office in Norfolk, covering 1,295 miles.

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