ANGLING TRADES ASSOCIATION vice chairman Mike Heylin hopes that the government bailouts will save the wider angling trade during the Covid-19 crisis.

As anglers anxiously await news on when they will fish again, tackle shops without active online sales have been left without any turnover.

Many manufacturers have temporarily suspended or scaled down their operations, and fisheries have had no income.

Thousands of angling staff have been furloughed, or simply laid off from casual work.

Even the giant 35-store retail chain Angling Direct has required government and bank aid. But it has carried on trading via the internet.

An innovative short-term move by big name brands Fox and Matrix has seen them sell direct via their website to the public, but to support retailers. Buyers select their favourite/local tackle shop to receive a commission on each purchase.

Angling Trades Association view

The ATA’s Mike Heylin told Angler’s Mail how the crisis is generally affecting the trade, whilst shops still await news of re-opening timing.

Mike said: “Obviously this was the last thing that the tackle trade needed, as some shops were struggling anyway.

“The full impact partly depends on how long the shutdown lasts. Any longer and many businesses will suffer.

“The government has put in place quite a lot of support, especially for smaller businesses, and they will have to make sure that they take advantage of what is on offer.

Mike Heylin of the ATA.

Mike Heylin of the ATA.

“Closing the retail outlets does have a knock-on effect, manufacturers having less demand for their products, although they have been experiencing supply problems themselves.

“Smaller shops without an online sales back-up are bound to suffer most, although those with one could do quite well.

“The shop closures might just also reinforce the trend towards online shopping, and many businesses will need to change their business model.”

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