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Wal-Mart and fishing

3564 Views 20 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  imonembad
I got my copy of Bassin' yesterday and there was a page on trends for 2007. The first couple of paragraphs dwelt with the rumors that W/M may really be getting out of the fishing tackle business. One of the items mentioned in the article was that they may already be sending merchandise ordered for 2007 back to the manufactures. The earlier clearance sales on tackle was a normal process as far as I could tell but two weeks ago at our store, they were resetting their plan-o-grams in the fishing dept. and I took the time to read every sheet they had out. What I found was that a lot of items were being cut out or given fewer pegs and other items were going from a four peg layout to six and sometimes as high as 10. Normally, when this is done they are carring fewer items, less selection and are moving to a time where less shelf space is designated for that section.(I'm an old retail manager so it registered with me). I know that stores have different plan-o-gram layouts depending on their location and store size, but I found this trend at our store suprising since Lake Dardanelle is here and there is really only one other major tackle store in our area. Has anyone noticed the same trend this year in their store? Just wondering.

Gary 8)
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Nope. We have 2 Wal-Marts here in Longview with a third being opened next month and I have asked the managers at both of the stores and they said that they were expanding their product line. That is what I have heard but anything can happen between know and then.
Does the mix of merchandise seem to be varried? I'll be honest, I have been disappointed in the mix here. Again, I realize that it will vary from store to store and region to region but I guess I expected more here since we have a strong tourist and tournament draw in the area. On the other hand, the mix that we have may reflect that those products provide a better margin for the store. I guess profit is still a minor consideration :rofl1: :rofl2: 8)
Gary, Sounds like its time to take the plunge and open a tackle store in Russelville.
I have the location and as they say; location, location, location!!! :D I am seriously considering the possibility. If Mary reads this, it is where there once was a store but they messed up and let their business go. It is where the "auction" sign is. When this store opened, it had the best stock in town and had good prices but they spent the money on themselves(so rumor has it) and didn't put it back into merchandise. When that happens, you eventually get to a situation where you have no inventory which = no business. Can you imagine a store near Lake Dardanelle which places an emphisis on American made products, as much as possible, that has the floor space to support this merchandise, AND a casting tank(indoors) so you can try out rods, reels and lures? And I drive past an empty building, day in and day out, that could be the answer. 8) My wife has always said I'm the dreamer but I have always said, "A person without dreams--ain't breathin'"

Philosophy 101 by Dr. OTTER 8) 8) 8) 8)
I have noticed the same things with all the wal-marts here in alabama. they are doing normal clearance items but they are changing things up also. I too read that same article, oh and by the way i think i have set a record and visited almost every wal-mart in alabama :rofl1:. I have to travel alot in my state for my job. im keeping a close eye on them in case they do start clearing them out.
Gary, I have two buddies in the tackle bussiness with in 25 miles of each other they both have done it right and they are both successful. They both have a off season hook that keeps them from going under. One sells Mathews bows and black powder guns and the other has a whole sale picture frame bussiness. They both have or will get any bait you can think of.
That is the key. You do not have to be a hugh mega-store to be successful. Know your area, offer good merchandise with out being exclusive, and give GREAT service. Wal-Mart began with that philosophy but lost it some where. Target is giving them a run for their money(watch the stock numbers) and they are doing it with clean stores, wider isles and service. I have opened 4 new stores during my retail career and every one competed well because we(my associates in each dept.) paid attention to what the customers were buying and what THEY said they wanted. If you listen, give good service, and keep a clean operation, you will succeed reguardless of who the competition is. Another thing is re-invest in your operation especially for the first 5 to 7 years. One of these days----(maybe soon) ;D
I was in WalMart last year when I complained to an assistant manager about not carrying stuff we use here. A LADY walked up, dressed like a New York fashion model, high heels, the works, a knock out. She had a scanner, asked what my problem was. She was the out-of-town person in charge of some part of arranging and ordering in the sporting goods section, doing a study there. I asked her the same questions. She didn't have a clue about fishing. I told her this was Arkansas, not Canada. We fish for bass here, while a small minority fish for crappie and catfish. Half their lures were for crappie and catfish, bass lures sharing about the same space as trout and salmon, and assorted saltwater lures. She thanked me for my input. The results? Less bass stuff, more trout lures, one less aisle, way too many tacklebox choices taking up 1/4 of the space. You can get high quality box brands across the highway for about the same prices. The most common rod? Ugly Sticks galore. It is now a terrible waste of time walking all the way back there. You are not likely going to find anything you planned on buying in these two stores. Local employees, including the manager, have no power to change anything. Well, they can order rifles and shotguns they don't stock. Lures? Save the breath.

The megastore WM across town got an extra aisle. They added Rebel crankbaits in two sizes. WHOHooo. Other than that a few brands of worms and 20' of hooks. I haven't run into another angler shopping either store in months. I gave up for the last time. I order online and buy some at a local baitshop, the big one across from WalMart.

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That stinks Jim. I'm glad our WM down here have good selection.
Jim, it is amazing that in our areas we don't get what would sell! I have gotten to the point that I shop Little Rock or Rogers when I am in those areas simply because I can find what I want and need. I sure would rather shop here at home and support Russellville than another city. But ya gotta do what you gotta do 8)
We should all be boycotting WM any way based on thier bussniss practices with China.
I agree. I was also shocked to look at all the "American" lure companies whose products were made elsewhere. My interest peaked reading another thread here, and while I was at W/M I started reading labels as to where products were made. I decided to try to be more selective from now on and support "Made in America" as much as possible. Don't want to open up that can of worms in this thread since it exists elsewhere but it kind of tied in. 8)
The walmarts around here have a decent selection, but I already have everything I want that they have. 8) Including red rattletraps.
The walmarts around here are a joke too in Cincinnati. mostly all catfish stuff and hooks, 2 of the 4 dicks SPORTING GOODS, has also completely done away with there hunting and fishing department the other two downsized, they are going to mostly golf and other junk, I have resorted to the Bass Pro and internet to do all my bass shopping, BUt BPS is an hour away and it is harder to find the new stuff on the internet.
Just for the record - I used to worl at a Dick's Sporting Goods store and it was the same deal - no one there had a say in the merchandise we carried in the fishing department. The district manager was able to pull a few teeth and after a few years we were able to increase our ice fishing tackle in the winter months. Beyond that, everything else was ordered through the buyers in New York and it seemed like they only care about the profit margin. In one sense, I can understand it is a business and box stores need to sell more entry level stuff (aka: garbage) with a good profit margin to be able to sell to the masses (ignorant customers) who are only interested in, as I have heard many many times: "I am looking for the cheapest thing possible to go fishing with." Then there was a handful that fished a lot but did not have the money, they would buy something cheap, only to return it later when it broke, and then bought something decent. There were only a select few that came through the store I worked at that were really into purchasing high end tackle and could afford it as well - which is something that should be kept in mind for those dreamers out there that are interested in opening their own tackle shops. However, location is more about physical space it is also about having enough consumers in your area that want to purchase your service. The store I worked at was in central Illinois - not prime fishing or around big money, with the exception of university professors and a few others. In other words, you need to think about your customer base and cater to their needs and not just order all the high end stuff you are interested in.
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I have to disagree with jwbarker completely. If I were to own a tackle store, I would cater to the tournament fishing types. There is a store here that carries swimbaits, handpoured worms, G Loomis, etc. He has some cheap products, but his business revolves around the fishermen looking for things walmart and Dick's don't have. He does very well.
My Wiife works at Wal-Mart and they just made the fishing dept. bigger in her store. They are getting out the the firearms though.
I gotta admit the WalMarts here in SC have quite a good selection and a large one at that too. Tons of Zoom in all the major colors, as well as a dozen or more manufacturers of soft plastics like culprit, manns, wave, berkley etc... tons of crankbaits... a decent selection of rods.. with team daiwa and berkley being the highest end of rods they offer.. glass cabinets with a decent choice of reels up to the 200+ dollar range... all sorts of line from stren to power pro and mess in between.... and the list goes on. The bait that surprised me to show up in walmart was teh chatterbaits.... by the ton they have em now and they have a new one called a Chatter Frog. Interesting stuff... I think each of our 3 walmarts in my area have atleast 6 aisles of fishing tackle as well as selling live bait. I go to the one in Lake City on lunch often just to browse and see whats available
Long story short I finally sold out my shares in a local marina on Lake Hamilton, tired of having to fill in. It's always had at least one guy to pump gas, the original owner running the register, his wife ordering what anglers asked for. So along comes Jim who sells them on ordering some high end rods & reels. That was winter 2004. I personally spent at least 100 hours trying to sell the rods and reels they couldn't afford or even keep shelf space for, plus everyone else working there tried their best. $30 rods and $50 reels is big spending here. Tournament anglers? We have George Cochran living and fishing on this lake. The FLW 2005 Championship happened here. Sooner or later every top pro and thousands of wannabes will fish Degray, Hamilton & Ouachita at least once every 3 years. The next FLW is on Ouachita. The thing about serious bass anglers is they bring more equipment along than they can use. They buy fuel, food, and stay in motels. We never saw anyone famous come by for anything but fuel or ice. So that's what sells the most, that's the way it was before I got there, and remains that way. Us investors bought the tackle at cost, and now the marina is back on their feet, and doing what they did best, only more of it. More slips, more dock, more pumps, an ice making machine plus delivered, an udgraded shop, etc.

I'll never be caught involved like that again, friend or not. I got my investment back without interest. Lucky. I've watched bait shops come and go, the last to fall being Wilson's Cabin, a brand new sporting goods shop with about 40% fishing stuff. They had a room where we could build our own spinnerbaits. Lasted 2 years.

They say there are 3 major factors in businesses like that. 1. Location. 2. Location. 3. Location.

Here Hot Springs has all these highway locations between premier bassing lakes, and really only one shop seems to be making it, Trader Bill's. They carry some premium rods, but nothing like BPS can. It's mostly average priced stuff.

Before doing it...research it well. Tons of money have been lost around here. There's enough market for one to do it.

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