Zebco Europe, one of the oldest and best known tackle companies in the industry, is to cease business activities.
Rather Outdoors, the American owner of the 163-year-old German company based in Tostedt, has written to dealers to explain that ‘with great regret [ ] the business activities of Zebco Europe GmbH will be discontinued on April 30, 2024.’
All customer orders will be shipped up to and including February 28th, 2024, after which time customer deliveries will be made from the Rather Outdoors European distribution centre in Belgium. Around 80 people are employed at the Tostedt location, which will be closed down.
The letter to dealers, signed by President – Europe Paul Reeves, goes on to say that Rather Outdoors has decided that the best way for it to do business is to consolidate its operations in mainland Europe.
The operation of several locations in several countries does not make economic sense, says Reeves.
Rather Outdoors, which also includes Lew’s, Strike King, Fox, Matrix, Preston, Salmo and Fox Rage in its brand portfolio, acquired Zebco Brands in the US and Zebco Europe in early 2021.
Zebco Europe originated in Hamburg 1860. The product range was soon extended to include fishing tackle and, after several changes of ownership, was relocated to Tostedt. The company was acquired by Zebco Brands in 2011, before both divisions were acquired by Rather Outdoors ten years later.
The letter from Rather Outdoors
We would like to draw your attention as soon as possible to important changes that will take place in the business of Zebco Europe GmbH in the coming months.
It is with great regret that we have to inform you that the business activities of Zebco Europe GmbH will be discontinued on April 30, 2024. All customer orders will continue to be shipped from Hamburg up to and including February 28, 2024. From March 1, 2024, any customer deliveries will then be made via the Rather Outdoors European Distribution Center in Belgium.
This decision was not easy for us. Unfortunately, the operation of several locations in several countries does not make economic sense due to the significantly higher costs. We have decided that the best way for Rather Outdoors to do business is to consolidate our operations in mainland Europe.
Until further notice, everything is running as usual, all your deliveries of products from the Zebco Europe portfolio will continue to be sent to you from Germany. When your orders from Belgium start shipping in March 2024, we want to assure you that we will take all possible steps to ensure a seamless transition.
President – Europe
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