Mobile fishing tackle retailer Tackle Trailer ready to hit the road

Mark Buckle with the first franchised Tackle Trailer.

Mark Buckle with the first franchised Tackle Trailer. - Credit: Archant

A mobile retail concept for fishing tackle and bait which was launched in Suffolk in 2011 has awarded its first franchise.

Tackle Trailer, which is based in Mildenhall, has spent more than three years developing its business model and the design of its trade mark trailer.

Managing director Steve Calder said: “We set out to fill the gap created by so many High Street store closures, by offering the convenience, personal service and local knowledge you’d expect from a traditional store with the kind of prices you’d usually associate only with an online business.

““We have the backing of several major wholesalers and other key suppliers, enabling our franchisees to carry a range of competitively priced tackle, fresh and frozen bait – and to benefit from the sale of other top-brand kit via our ecommerce store.”

The first franchisee is Mark Buckle, a former outreach worker, and a keen carp angler, who is based in Bury St Edmunds and will be responsible for developing his own exclusive sales territory.

He said: “I’d been in my current job for a little over five years, and I was ready for a change. When the opportunity came up to run my own business, working in a sport that’s brought me so much pleasure, it was a no-brainer.

“I’ve already lined up several venues (we call them ‘tackle stops’) for the new store, and now I can’t wait to get started.”

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The first of the mobile stores will be showcased at the Henham Park Game and Country Fair, on March 14 and March 15, and Tackle Trailer aims to recruit a further 18 franchisees over the next two years.

Tackle Trailer director Carol Aykin said: “Our franchisees don’t need either retail or sales experience but they do have to have a genuine passion for the sport, to share our high service standards, and to be able to get along with people.

“There are lots of early starts. It’s quite hard work and, let’s be honest, we aren’t going to become millionaires any time soon. This is, after all, a lifestyle business.

“But for the right applicants we offer a genuine opportunity to make a good living in what is, after all, a great industry to work in.”