NEWS of a huge price hike for a popular product has spotlighted a deepening struggle to maintain tackle prices and profits.

The UK fishing tackle trade is feeling the pinch amid economic uncertainty and exchange rate pressures.

Kent-based Nick Gilbert who runs NG Floats has announced that his suppliers have made a massive 60-70 per cent trade price hike in hollow elastic.

This, in turn, will lead to a price increase in the cost of his award-winning pole fishing product.

Nick explained: “This increase, adding to this the crash of the pound to dollar exchange rate means I will have to put the price up to reflect this as I can’t take the double hit!

“You need to remember you pay import duty and VAT on what you buy so you end up paying a lot more of that also.

“I buy from China, India, and USA, they all want paying in dollars so as soon as the EU vote (on Brexit in 2016) was announced the pound started to plummet against the dollar.

“I have just re stocked and what was costing me about £5,000 is now over £6,000.

“As I have such a big turnover in elastics it has hit me first but I expect others will have to follow soon, as everybody gets it from the same supplier so it will affect all that sell it.

“I will just be adding £1 to a length, so nothing too drastic,” Nick added.

Cost pressures rising across trade

Stephen McCaveny is marketing manager of UK fishing tackle and baits giants Daiwa, and is well placed to see the wider picture.

Stephen commented: “I can’t really comment on the price of one specific item as we are a global company that develops and manufactures a wide range of products covering all fishing styles.

“But the sector does currently face cost pressures partly caused by the decrease in the value of the pound following the uncertainty over Brexit, plus price increases from suppliers in the Far East generally.

“In China specifically they are also now having to pay workers higher wages and invest in environmental improvements.

“We alongside most of our competitors have tried to absorb these increases as far as possible to keep prices stable in what is overall a flat market.

“We are conscious of the need to increase our portfolio into growing areas like lure fishing, and less into other areas which seem to be in decline – there were would appear to be a downturn in match angling and also recently even in carp fishing.

“There are also opportunities for retailers who are expanding and investing in the right way to be competitive on prices which helps the customer and boosts sales,” added the Daiwa UK man.

“Brexit blamed for everything”, says UK fishing tackle guru

UK fishing tackle guru John Loftus is the new CEO and chairman of the Angling Trades Association, and he commented on how businesses are currently coping.

John said: “This is my opinion but firstly I do not think that Brexit is having a major effect on prices. However there is no doubt that it is the ‘go to’ reason for everything from the state of the weather to the increase in incidences of ingrown toenails!

“Certainly exchange rates have effect upon prices but in general these fluctuations are absorbed by the manufacturers and distributors and the effect upon the end consumer is minimal.

“There is no doubt whatsoever that fishing tackle and the sport in general is an absolute bargain when compared to the cost of other sports and the growth in prices has been very small year on year.

“The industry is still generally flat but matters which have a great effect upon it are weather, time availability and the large number of alternative sports and pastimes available to young people.

“The ATA will continue to highlight the benefits of the sport such as it being a healthy outdoor pursuit that is suitable for both genders of all ages,” added the former UK fishing tackle director of Daiwa, Shimano and Marukyu.

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