I personally don't shop at Walmart, Target, Cabela's, Bass Pro or even Fred Meyers! I would rather lose my business to another shop than to the almighty dollar! We have based our business on service and quality since we opened our doors in 1981. We continued that tradition in 1997 with flyfishusa.com. I use the local grocery store, farmers market (when in season), and local meat market for my food. I use the local hardware store for most tools and repairs (they are right next door) I know it's tough when the big boxes have amazing deals like a complete fly fishing outfit for $100, or a LCD TV for $129. Personally I believe that it's because of these kinds of stores that this country is in such dire straights economically.
Derek M Bachmann
Director of Marketing
Hmmmm. This is a bit like the hatchery debate. Once theyve taken hold, a system relies on them, at the expense of the wild population. It reaches a point where its too late to reverse it. The Trinity river is a perfect example. In theory, I agree with you. In reality, I dont have the kind of money to shop like that. In a perfect world, I would shop at the mom and pop stores, and sometimes I do, but I have to look out for my finances first.
We moved to the midwest after a lifetime on the west coast. The thing I miss almost as much as the fishing is my Fred Meyer. There isnt anything out here even close to Freddy's! we go back west 3-5 times a year and we go to Freddys whether we need something or not. We just walk in the doors and say "Mmmmmmmmm... Freddy's!"
I have awally world 1 mile from me, I seldom ever go in there.Besides not having the proper equipment for fly fishing , try to find someone with knowledge to a beginner. I wait and use the local fly or bait and tacke store were i fish weather rivers or beaches.I agree with you wally world dosn't care about it's workers well being, or the community there in. Sad part is i have a local tackl shop 1/4 mile fro me but they are the meanest and arogant people to deal with. So i shop were i fish.
We used to have two really nice fly shops locally. One downtown, one about 15 minutes away. They were full service; knowledgeable folks, casting lessons, tying lessons etc. Their only faults were that they carried too much high end gear at the expense of entry level and mid-range stuff (not everybody is going to buy a Sage).Then Gander Mountain came to town. Within 4 years they were gone. Now, Gander has cut its fly stuff to almost zero. Almost no rods, damn few flies and virtually no tying stuff, plus the staff are clueless. And we are screwed. I have to buy everything online and I live in a decent sized city on the freaking coast.This is what happens when you don't support a good local shop.
I am a big fan of inexpensive, but I hate cheap. I stay out of Wally World, le Tar-jha, etc., unless there is no available option. Cabellea's I had been ordering from, from the time it was a paper catalog. Last winter they botched a gortex shell and fleece liner I ordered for my mom. after 3 weeks of dealing with customer service my mom asked me to stop "because don't want to be a bother". Bass Pro I see as a positive thing in a community.
When I think "small business", I don't thing about it having share holders or a Director of Marketing. I try to buy everything from humans locally. When that doesn't work I go for humans with web sites.
It's not anything new.
I've always gotten the majority of my gear from catalogs or the "big box" of it's time, Sears & Roebuck.
Herter's and LLBean mostly and later Hook&Hackle and Cabelas
I don't often feel welcome in a fly shop. I guess that I don't look the part. Maybe I smell.
Your general bait and tackle shops don't expect you to drop a grand just for walking in the door and often they're closet fly fishermen themselves and happy to share some intel.
I go to W*lmart too. Just for the pharmacy. $4 prescriptions. You'd be crazy not to.
I use the local grocery store, farmers market (when in season), and local meat market for my food. I use the local hardware store for most tools and repairs (they are right next door) I know it's tough when the big boxes have amazing deals like a complete fly fishing outfit for $100, or a LCD TV for $129. Personally I believe that it's because of these kinds of stores that this country is in such dire straights economically.
Uh, I understand you're in marketing, so, uh...Do you shop on line?
What's the philosophic difference between walking into a Walmart vs buying discounted merchandise on line? Where does your business model support the idea of shopping local and supporting the "local fly shop?"
Hey, you started the thread, although I don't see why...
Flyfishusa, congratulations on surviving for so many years in this business! That to me says you folks are doing things correctly & taking care of your customers! It's a tough business to be in to begin with. I had a mail order/internet fly business for 15 years. Didn't have a brick & mortar store, couldn't afford it, but managed to keep it going for those years just primarily selling flies I tied & tying materials. Unfortunately I never made much money doing it, it was more a labor of love because I enjoyed doing it. I worked a full time job too through most of those years. I would do it again however!
As far as the big box stores, most did not start out as big box stores. They flourished & grew from small businesses, something that most businesses strive to attain. I've read the Cabela Bros started by tying flies at a kitchen table & selling them. Johnny Morris started Bass Pro Shops. He was one of the very first tournament anglers when Ray Scott started BASS & saw the value in selling gear to tournament & weekend bass anglers. Walmart also started as a single store.
I also buy most things online, and I'm conscientious of deals & bargains, as my finances are limited. But I also don't mind buying from small businesses when I can. We no longer have any fly shops nearby, and only one full service tackle shop that has much in the way of fly fishing or tying items. I don't buy much from them, as I don't need much of what they carry, but will go there when I need something fast, even though their prices are generally a bit higher than I can find online. They are good folks too & a past customer when I was tying flies commercially so that makes it easier to go there & deal with them for me.
For anything my wife & I need that is not fishing related, that's her dept. and I let her handle it however she needs to stretch the money we make as best she can.
---------- Post added at 07:11 AM ---------- Previous post was at 07:10 AM ----------
Originally Posted by mikel
hey, you started the thread, although i don't see why...
I believe the thread was started because the poster invested as a business member and is trying to promote the idea of doing business with small shops vs. mega sporting goods retailers.
I get about 99.9% of my supplies from Mountain View Sports in Anchorage, I'm talking hooks and other materials for tying & such. My rods are now coming from a manufacturer who is (hopefully) becoming a sponsor of my little business. So............I do shop at a Three Bears for most grocery related items and very seldom at Wal Mart or Freddy's.
We have some small businesses in Wasilla where we go for outdoor wear also, I like to think we help to pay the bills in them.
Hey, you started the thread, although I don't see why...
He's affiliated with the FlyFishing Shop in Oregon. (Pictured in his post) He is pointing out how legitimate small, specialty businesses are being put out in the cold by the big box stores. Theres no doubt he's feeling the strain that he's posting about and I dont blame him. Its a tough spot. These guys have to mark their products up to unaffordable to stay open, but this economy has the everyday Joe looking for good prices. Its a tough spot to be sure. Not to mention fly fishing is a somewhat elite endeavor with prices to match.