How's your Fly Shop doing?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Steelie Mike, Nov 18, 2009.

  1. lylelovett666

    lylelovett666 Active Member

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    How's you Fly Shop doing?

    I think it may depend on when you started ffing.I started a little over two years ago so the net as well as local shops have both been involved in my addiction from the beginning.The internet is just a part of doing business now and failing to use it or to use it properly will cost you.
     
  2. Mark Speer

    Mark Speer It's all good.....

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    How's you Fly Shop doing?

    Doing what I can do to keep it local! Lucky to have a couple awesome shops in the Valley. If I can't find it here, I will venture to a couple of sweet shops in Spokane.
     
  3. John Hicks

    John Hicks Owner and operator of Sea Run Pursuits

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    How's you Fly Shop doing?

    Ok before this gets too far, I'll clarify what Mike was saying. I'm sure if you don't have a shop within easy driving distance you will either use a big box or online shops to find your gear. But however if you have a shop close by, why not patronize it.

    I do all my shopping either in person or online at a local shop, or at least one I know is a shop and not a warehouse. There are many many shops that have jumped onto the online bandwagon. This really is the way of the future. I will be the first to admit that I know jack about setting up a web-store, but shopping from home is very easy in the day of broadband internet. I just take a little extra time to make sure that the online business I'm patronizing is also a brick and morter store.
     
  4. Jake H

    Jake H Banned or Parked

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    How's you Fly Shop doing?

    A large dose of clarity is apparent here. Good post Ive.
    I rarely chime in on these threads as I find them a little like a hamster wheel, but I'll add my cheap .02. I have managed three fly shops in my life and have a little experience in this.

    When did it become the responsibility of the customer to keep a shop in business?
    Every other retailer in the country is finding new and creative ways to keep people coming in the door and adding value to their dollar. If a fly shop doesn't do that it's not my fault if it fails.
    When was the last time you went to Home Depot and purchased an item that you KNOW is cheaper at Lowes but you don't want the HD to close, come on?

    My dollar is more valuable to me today than it has ever been and I'll spend it where it brings me the most return, and laying a guilt trip on me to support any one retailer is a sure-fire way to send my business elsewhere.
    And it would surprise me to hear any fly shop owner worth a damn to use that approach.
     
  5. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

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    How's you Fly Shop doing?

    U.S. retailers have indeed had to become especially creative in attracting and retaining customers to keep their doors open. Sadly, fly shops (like skiing, cycling and other niche sport shops) are the victims of not only the economic downturn, but also the rigid MSRP pricing model to which their manufacturers and suppliers force them to adhere.

    Since so much of their inventory is MSRP 'protected', fly shops lack the most important tool in the mainstream retailer's toolbox: the ability to put selected items on sale without penalty by the supplier.

    You're right though in that it's not my responsibility to keep my local shop in business after they made a choice to start a business that mainly offers only controlled price products.

    K
     
  6. bitterroot

    bitterroot Love vintage graphite!

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    How's you Fly Shop doing?

    If an independantly owned and operated shop is not offering an online business they need to get on the bandwagon! The local shop in my area is doing a booming online business.
     
  7. sroffe

    sroffe Active Member

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    How's you Fly Shop doing?

    In my discussion over the years with a few fly shop owners, I've gotten the impression that the small stuff we buy, flies, tippets, materials, etc... really don't keep them going. Every little bit helps. It is the sales of high ticket items, rods, reels, and such are needed to keep them afloat.

    As many have said, disposable income low, thus, we don't buy the high end items they need to survive. I don't know what the solution is. Those few in the community who can still afford a new rod and reel can't single handedly keep the local shops afloat either.

    I don't think it means every shop will go under. But, unfortunately I fear that there will be more that need to close the doors. Sad, isn't it?
     
  8. Mike T

    Mike T Active Member

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    How's you Fly Shop doing?

    Any independent business needs to be investing significant effort in broadening it's customer base, branding itself and remaining relevant to their customers. That's particularly true for a business such as this that is fueled by discretionary spending.

    I'm a small businessman so I make it a point to talk to the business people in my community and those I frequent. Dry cleaners- business is off a lot. Dentist- people are putting off cleanings and slow pays on major dental work. Insurance agent- people cutting back coverages and upping their deductibles to save a few bucks. Car dealer service dept- off a lot. Good inexpensive restaurants- business is up with new faces being seen. Pet groomer- way off. Espresso shops- business off on weekdays, up on weekends.

    Fly shops are slightly different as the discretionary spending that occurs there tends to be higher than elsewhere. I don't worry about my local shops, but I do wonder how they juggle their costs and pull for them every chance I get. What will keep me coming back? Little things. Having product in stock, this is huge! Help with knots. Accurate fishing reports, a board saying that hoppers are big on the Yak right now tells me you just don't get it. Going to bat for me with warranty problems. Finally, simply saying hello and helping me select the most appropriate product for my needs and not selling me the product that you need to get rid of or the corporate office demands you push. That means the world to me. Oh yeah, and fresh coffee on a rainy morning helps lubricate the wallet as well.

    Many thanks to the guys at the shops who've helped make the fly fishing learning curve much less steep and painful. I'm a fan but my pockets are a little smaller these days so please, for my sake and yours, keep trying to make more fans everyday.
     
  9. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

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    How's you Fly Shop doing?

    That's undoubtedly true, especially when you consider the actual cost of turning on the lights in a retail store every day and keeping it staffed and stocked. When the flyfishing business was booming in the late 1990s and early 2000s as more people took up our sport, shops could count on a steady stream of newbies, each of whom needed rods, reels, lines, waders, boots, etc. But now that the sport is in decline, so too are the shops that catered to it, especially the latecomers to the boom who may be undercapitalized, have a limited market or reduced capability to adapt.

    Darwin was right: it's the survival of the fittest. Those shops who are the least able to survive a changing environment will be the first to go. The ones who survive will thrive again as the environment inevitably improves.

    But yes, it IS sad.

    K
     
  10. BFK

    BFK Member

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    How's you Fly Shop doing?

    Why are shops closing? It's because fly fishing is a zero-growth (more likely negative growth) sport and has been for at least the last three years. The economy doesn't help, but it's not the major contributor across the board, nor is the Internet nor big boxes. There aren't that many new fishermen taking it up, and a lot of the folks who entered during the last little upturn have now gone on to more trendy pastimes.
     
  11. Bob Jones

    Bob Jones Still truckless now farther away

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    How's you Fly Shop doing?

    I had only Kaufmans in Portland most of the time, others would come and go. I never could afford the big names {Simms,Sage, Orvis etc.} so I made or ordered from somewhere when I could. Kaufmans was always a big help and I would talk to them when I made a trip up there . I Told Randall one time that I bought what I could but I had to go where I could get the most for my money and i only bought flies when I needed a sample to tie from or one was to hard for my hands to get done. If it weren't for the bigger catalog odrder places that would save me money I wouldn't have the opportunities to fish that I've had. When my sons were young teens and wanted to learn to fly fish I built 3 rods for our first trip togeather to the Deschutes in Oregon. We used medalist reels and concept fly lines bought on sale at G.I.Joes and had a great time. Couldn't have done that oherwise and that was 35 years ago. I think I got ripped off by the first shop here in Wa. and then found a couple that are pretty good to deal with so I'm doing good now. I can only hope these shops do well because my spending won't keep anybody open. By the way I'm still useing some of the best of the original equipment we had. tight lines! Bob
     
  12. miyawaki

    miyawaki Active Member

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    How's you Fly Shop doing?

    That's not entirely true. Last June 20, all of the Puget Sound fly shops put on the Jimmy Green Fly Fishing Fair and Casting Expo. It was aimed at bringing new people into the sport. Ask any of the shops or people who were there and they will tell you that the little park in Monroe was packed with newbies. At one time, two baseball fields were filled with people of all ages taking casting lessons. We all came away feeling very optimistic about the growth of the sport.

    The important marketing lesson to come out of this is that we shops are looking to increase the size of the market by bringing new people into the sport and not simply trading our existing customers (you guys) back and forth.

    Leland.
     
  13. NomDeTrout

    NomDeTrout Fly Guy Eat Pie

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    How's you Fly Shop doing?

    the problem with marketing the sport of fly fishing is...you have to convince people of these things:

    1. you will inevitably be spending quite a bit of money, as opposed to gear fishing, where you have hundreds and thousands of cheap rods and reels ready to fish at your local Walmart.

    2. you will be putting yourself at a disadvatange when fly fishing. Let's face it, its harder to cast a fly rod then to take a spinning rod and toss powerbait out and play the waiting game. Sure, fly fishing also opens up a lot of opportunities to fish areas where it may be advantageous to have a fly, but then again, alot of newbie anglers don't see the diference between planted trout and wild cutthroat. fish is fish. quantity > quality for alot of newbies.

    So this leaves convincing people who have been gear fishing for awhile or someone who may have a past in fly fishing (such as your father or grandfather was a fly fisherman). Its a tough market, but to see the growth of companies like Orvis goes to show that its possible...but growth comes with expanding your market, as Orvis did years ago with their clothes, accessories, etc.
     
  14. dryflylarry

    dryflylarry "Chasing Riseforms"

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    How's you Fly Shop doing?

    Being retired for 7-1/2 years now, the old pension paycheck doesn't get very far each year. The home property tax doesn't go down, the power bill goes up, the health care cost goes up, the car insurance goes up, the cost of groceries has gone up, on and on etc. So, now it's a matter of saving nickels and dimes to upgrade my equipment, and oh how I want a couple more rods and reels! I somehow manage to save some nickels and dimes, but seems it usually pays for the fuel for a few nice trips each year. Since I retired, I think just the health care costs have gone up on the average of probably $60 more per month each year! Do you know how much equipment I could have used that on?!!! It's probably mostly the guys that haven't been fly fishing more than 15 years that purchase more equipment than us older guys, but I'm working on the upgrades! I usually walk out of a fly shop with some kind of purchase tho. (Oh yeah, and SUPPORT good healthcare reform with a public option damnit!!!!)
     
  15. miyawaki

    miyawaki Active Member

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    How's you Fly Shop doing?


    People who walk into a flyshop and are new have already made the decision to fly fish. The first words out of their mouth is, "I want to get into flyfishing, what do I need?"

    Leland.