ASA chief tells retailers: We are counting on you to keep new anglers in the sport
American Sportfishing Association (ASA) President Glenn Hughes highlighted the industry’s reliance on retailers when he made his annual ‘state of the industry’ address at the ICAST trade show.
Speaking to hundreds of trade representatives at the Industry Breakfast, which traditionally precedes the opening of the show, he congratulated retailers on their record sales following the boom in participation. He said: “You now share the awesome responsibility of keeping these anglers [in the sport] and ensuring positive experiences, by teaching them how to fish, where to fish and what to use. We are counting on you.”
Earlier in his comments at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Hughes had reflected on the trials of the past year. “We can all look back on 2020 and curse COVID-19, mourn those we’ve lost and yet be thankful that people had discretionary time and money, and used that discretion to spend that time and money on fishing.”
However, he recognised the supply difficulties still facing manufacturers as they endeavor to satisfy the increased demand for product. “I’ve had the good fortune of speaking with hundreds of you this past year. And although you experienced record sales, I’ve heard time and again that dealing with production and distribution problems has made this possibly your toughest year ever.”
Hughes also revealed that – as a measure of how well the industry had fared in 2020 – the federal excise tax paid by manufacturers on every product they sell totalled $209 million, a 54% increase over 2019.