Converting its Hungarian distributor into a Svendsen-owned operation has allowed the company to increase its product offer to anglers in the country, says CEO Hans Maasbøl. “We can now grow the market even further,” he explains.
A global supplier of fishing tackle has demonstrated how its collaboration with a local and well established team in one of its European markets has created a solid foundation for growth. After developing the Prologic, Savage Gear and Madcat brands into some of the most popular among anglers in Hungary, distributor LaNiTex Kft was approached by Svendsen Sport to investigate the potential of working more closely with it to build on that success. Negotiations resulted in the former owner of LaNiTex Kft, Laszlo Bulatko, joining Svendsen as its Country Manager for the Hungarian market. He said: “The change was a smart move strategically for Svendsen and a very natural development for LaNiTex Kft. It has worked very well for both parties.”
The employees of LaNiTex Kft were transferred to Svendsen. The team in the region includes Bulatko assisted by nine colleagues working in sales, marketing, customer services and the warehouse. The move has established Hungary as one of Svendsen’s main markets in Europe and created an opportunity for it to better serve the needs of its retailers and end-users. The group says that the Hungarian blueprint will play a crucial part in its plans to grow the brands even further in other markets.
Svendsen Sport CEO Hans Maasbøl told Angling International: “One of the advantages of being an independent distributor is the ability to react quickly to changing conditions in individual markets in terms of offers and promotions. But there are also risks. Going from having an independent warehouse to being able to have a much wider portfolio of products benefits Hungarian consumers immensely and in return enables Svendsen Sport to grow its brand presence even further. By having an international company like Svendsen Sport supporting the Hungarian market by offering a wider range of products, backed by marketing, customer support and product development, the service for retailers and consumers is considerably enhanced.” What characterises the Hungarian market is the size of the country’s retailers. In most parts of Europe, the stores are larger, whereas the local outlets there do not exceed 50sqm.
“Hungary boasts a lot of prime fishing waters and a strong culture rooted in bass, pike and carp. We are expecting to grow here in the coming years.”
Maasbøl explains that this demands a different approach. “We have been able to build a strong infrastructure to ensure we retain our position in the market. We have a strong team of pro-staffer who live and breathe our brands. They are all well established in the angling community and have a comprehensive knowledge when it comes to identifying trends and product development. This is backed by a robust marketing strategy that involves sponsored anglers and staff attending exhibitions and visiting shops to tighten the bond between manufacturer, retailer and end-consumer. Social media also plays an important part with a constant flow of inspiration and information filtered through Facebook and YouTube, alongside personal blogs and forums to keep the passion thriving.”
Maasbøl added that although Svendsen Sport has a solid grip on the Hungarian market, the potential of a country that boasts a population of almost ten million is still unfulfilled. “The country has more than 500,000 anglers and the number is growing dynamically every year. The reason for this is the investment that has been made to encourage people to go fishing. It is 93,000km2 and boasts a lot of prime fishing waters and a strong culture rooted in bass, pike and carp as the main species, but also catfish, perch and zander. Svendsen and the Hungarian team are expecting to grow this market in the coming years. With experienced staff to execute our international strategic goals by using their knowledge to adapt to the local marketplace, we feel confident that we can grow the Hungarian market even further.”
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