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Fishing Republic is a fine catch for John Truslove

Ben TrusloveFishing Republic are looking to reel in customers after opening the doors of their tenth UK store on the outskirts of Birmingham.

In a deal arranged by property agents John Truslove, the fast-expanding business has taken a 5,303 sq fit unit at Portway Garage, Old Alcester Road, close to Junction 3 of the M42.

It is the latest move in its bid to develop a UK-wide network of outlets, bringing size and consolidation to a highly fragmented sector.

Following a “soft opening”, the branch is already welcoming keen anglers, with an official launch to follow on Friday, April 2.

It represents a £500,000 investment by Fishing Republic and will create a small number of new jobs.

In keeping with a strategy to choose out-of town sites, where lower rents provide sufficient elbow room to price products keenly, the firm has taken the shop, just off the A435 Alcester Road, on a 20-year lease.

Last year, Fishing Republic floated on the AIM market advised by Michael Jayson, managing partner in the Manchester office of national audit, tax and advisory firm Crowe Clark Whitehill.

It has its headquarters in Rotherham, with other stores in Barnsley, Crewe, Doncaster, Hull, Manchester, Sheffield, Sunderland, Swindon – following the purchase of Cotswold Angling – and now Birmingham.

Chief executive Steve Gross said: “The Portway site appealed because, being close to the motorway, it is easy to get to.

“It is in a big fishing area and the south side of Birmingham didn’t have a large format store, so it was an ideal location.”

John Truslove director Ben Truslove said: “The property is strategically well placed and has a prominent frontage.

“Having been comprehensively refurbished and redecorated, it is an excellent site, well placed to reel in plenty of fishermen in the area.”

The group sells over 20,000 products catering for all disciplines of the sport including coarse, carp, game and sea fishing. It has developed several ranges of own brand products which are manufactured in the Far East, and also has a major internet presence.

Mr Gross said: “Fishing has been my hobby since the age of five, when I used to go with my father to Ladybower reservoir in Derwent valley in Derbyshire.

“I started fly-tying when I was about seven and then set up a fly-tying business aged 13. Since then I haven’t looked back and fishing and the business of selling fishing tackle have remained my passions.”

 

Fishing Republic was incorporated in 1991 and opened its first retail outlet in 1999.

 

It is due to announce in mid-April its maiden preliminary results for the financial year ended December 31, 2015. In a trading statement in February the company said it expected turnover to come in approximately 21 per cent ahead of the same period last year at around £4.1 million.

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