It’s a good question. Can you really get rich selling fishing tackle and/or tackle and sporting goods? Think about it: out of a 5,000 square foot store, how many rods, reels, and lures can you realistically sell?
The problem is compounded by the notoriously low margins resident with fishing tackle. And for many parts of the country, winter slows sales down considerably. Granted, it’s a fun business to be in, but most of us are doing it for a living. And if you are working both hard and diligently, why shouldn’t you succeed to the point of generating substantial wealth over the years?
I have been in the tackle industry most of my life and fortunately built a business that has rewarded me richly. Some might say I got really lucky, while others might speculate that I inadvertently ran into the honey train!
No folks, my success was the result of a lot of mistakes, hard work, experimentation, determination and a rock hard resolution to find both big sales and handsome margins. And, in most cases, one has to step out of the warm fuzzy zone and experiment with products, promotions, and selling tools that promote big sales and profits. Doing like everyone else, usually will not catapult you to the top.
How to make it big
Let’s get specific. If you look at those who hit the big time, most of them brought innovation to the public. In some cases, store and selection size was enough to get the public’s attention and purchases. Others have made their “bones” with inventive marketing options such as through catalog sales, internet selling or the offering amazing bargains.
But aside from the big box stores, Wal-Mart and Amazon, there are lots of success stories about tackle/sporting goods retailers who have built very successful business and who have become financially comfortable in the process. So, what do these “standouts” have in common?
Usually, these retail “champions” have somewhat larger stores, typically something north of 8,000 square feet, something in the 10,000 to 15,000 square feet range. Most notable, however, is their willingness to try new merchandise categories and methods of reaching their customer base.
Within their stores, and well combined with tackle and sporting goods, will be a profusion of products that have some relevance to the great outdoors and with an appeal to most consumers who spend time enjoying nature. At the top of the list will be new products or categories coming to the market.
Secondarily, the inclusion of all forms of apparel for men and women, footwear, headwear and accessories add sales, gross profit dollars and builds consumer loyalty. The retailer that states, “I’m a tackle store not a clothing store” is missing the point and the opportunity for incremental sales and profits.
Additionally expand your sales of margin rich merchandise either by buying it much cheaper or changing your merchandise mix to include a much higher percentage of high margin products. Alternatively, purchase a larger number of closeouts, join a buying group or consider either direct import of port of entry purchases, all of which will yield large margins.
If you want to be a retailer with considerable net worth, focus on any product or category that will generate sales and consumer following. Experiment a lot: jettison the failures and embrace the winners. Lastly, don’t follow the pack but rather lead the pack! If your net worth is not increasing year over year, it’s time to reassess both what you are doing and how you are doing it.
Your net worth will appreciate this new direction!