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UK retailer forced to reduce third of stores to call and collect as COVID-19 bites again


The UK’s biggest tackle dealer says it remains on track to deliver full-year underlying earnings of at least £3.8m, despite having to close almost a third of its stores due to the new tier four restrictions.

Angling Direct shuttered 12 of its 38 locations to foot traffic over the weekend in line with Downing Street’s latest directive. The AIM-listed firm said that its other 26 stores remained open and its website was fully operational for both the UK and European sales, with its distribution centre ready to fulfill increasing demand. A call-and-collect service is also in operation at the closed stores.

Angling Direct has continued its sales momentum since its last update in early December and, notwithstanding further restrictions impacting its store network, expects to deliver on the £3.8m previously predicted. The current restrictions are a bitter blow to retailers in the heavy Christmas shopping week, but as was proved in the last UK lockdown the drop in in-store sales can be largely counteracted by online business as more consumers have become comfortable with eCommerce trading.

Angling Direct’s online revenues for the first half of this year were up 62% in the UK and 51% for international business compared to the same period the previous year. Website visitors were up 54% and 150% respectively.

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