Would You Like Some Jam With Your Tackle?

What, are you crazy? Raspberry jam with you rod and reel? Give me a break! What in the wide world of sports does raspberry jam have to do with fishing equipment?

Well, if you are in the tackle business, jam and tackle can be as relevant as sales and profits. If you are ringing up a sale, the register doesn’t know or care the source of the money; it’s all green and can be deposited in the bank.

As retailers learned during the second World War, or during the Covid pandemic, getting the right and/or sufficient inventory to sell is critical. If you have expenses and payroll to meet, then you just need sales dollars without undue care for the source of those dollars. Whether they come from rods, reels lures, liquor, bicycles or jams and jellies, they are all green and are all depositable!

My father, who started our tackle business in 1933, quickly learned that, so long as you had customers in the store, there are unlimited opportunities to sell product irrespective of the nature of the products. Sales dollars are largely equal (although margins differ) and in business keeping the customers happy and ringing the register are the highest priorities.

Tackle retailers should not get hung up on the concept that they have to be “pure” fishing tackle. “Pure” does not pay the rent nor does the public care. They just want to find what they came in for and may willingly purchase other non-related products if it suits their fancy.

Walgreens sell liquor, Cabela’s sell candy, sporting goods stores sell artwork and Costco sells everything! In this post pandemic period, the public seems willing to purchase most anything, partly because of pent up demand and partly because that’s simply their desire.

Getting hung up over “we’re a tackle specialist,” may sooth your retailing ego, but it will rob you of potential low hanging sales opportunities. This then brings us to the subject of raspberry and blueberry jam, Slacks Jam in particular.

During the early years of our business, my father was returning from a Canadian fishing trip and went through Lodi, Wisconsin. He stopped at a local gas station and at the check-out area was a large bowl of Slack’s Jam with a stack of crackers and a sign that said, “Help yourself, no charge.” Next to the freebees was a mound of red raspberry and blueberry jams for sale.

The jams were delicious wherein dad purchased 40 cases of jam for our stores. Like the gas station, we put them out on the counter with crackers, etc. We sold lots of jams and lots of tackle. We also made lots of friends and kept our customers happy and coming back.

The lesson to be learned here is that the retailer should not limit their perception of what they can and cannot sell in the absence of trying. Sales are sales and such ancillary sales increase the size of the daily bank deposit.

So, what’s the takeaway here? Be fully willing to experiment with selling all kinds of related and non-related products. If only two in ten works, you’re still up 20% from where you were. Part of the secret to enhancing sales year over year is to infuse your product mix with that which is new, inventive, and enticing for the consumers.

Have at it and enjoy the incremental sales!