Day one of the International Fly Tackle Dealer Expo in Reno was highlighted by AFFTA’s release of some valuable data on the fly fishing industry. The “Survey of U.S. Fly Fishing Retailers” was prepared by Southwick Associates, Inc., and it gives us a clearer picture of the state of the market than we have had in many years.
Among the highlights:
The total sales of small to medium retail stores is estimated at $748.6 million annually (excluding sales of large national chains like Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops).
Sales percentages by season are: January-March, 15.2%; April-June, 29.7%; July-September, 36.3%; and October-December 18.7 percent.
Sales by region of the country indicated that the Rocky Mountains are strongest at 31.5%. The West is 25.8%; South is 23.7%; Northeast is 10.9%; and North Central is 8.1%.
The national average for shop sales is $314,789 annually; while the West led with the highest regional average of $431,294.
Traditional (brick and mortar) in-store sales are the leading channel, accounting for 83.3% of total sales. Internet sales ranked second at 13.1%, and mail order catalogs accounted for 3.6%.
In terms of product, flies accounted for the most revenue nationally at 11%, though the percentages of sales are fairly balanced across a wide range of offerings. Other notable categories were rods at 8.3%, reels at 6.4%, lines at 4.9%, tippet and leader 5.6%, waders are 4.5%, fly tying materials 7.8%, and soft goods (apparel) accounts for 5.8% (though there are other soft goods categories as well, like vests, packs, etc. Guided trips account for 12.8% in terms of gross sales (not just retailer margin).
The number of fly anglers is estimated (based on U.S. Fish & Wildlife data) at 3.83 million.
Angling Trade will report more on this data in coming issues. For more information, please contact AFFTA at www.affta.com.