Redington to ply its wares straight to the Public

In what amounts to direct competition with fly shops, Redington will be marketing its products directly to the customer as of October 1st. Visitors to the Redington web site will be able to purchase products three ways; via dealers, direct from Redington, or via online dealer web sites.

“We are planning to go direct, but in no way, shape or form are we closing dealers,” he told Angling International. “It is simply a case of providing our customers with an additional option.”

Bale did concede that some dealers may choose not to continue working with Redington because ‘they may not like the direction we are heading’, but emphasized  that the underlying point is not to lose sales.

– via September 2011,  Angling International

Redington is part of the Farbank group of companies, which includes Sage, and Rio.

“Asked whether Redington’s plans for going direct could be the precursor for similar moves by fellow Farbank brands, Sage and Rio, Bale said there was currently no intention for this to happen.

However, if we look down the road five or ten years it is very likely that most brands will be selling direct and Sage and Rio could well be among them,” he added. “It is a question of timing, who goes first and how you do it.”

Looks like a significant break shaping up between the large manufacturers and the small fly fishing shops that make up the fly fishing business, something we mentioned a couple months ago. Are we to be left holding up the little guy while the big players woo Target and Walmart?

12 thoughts on “Redington to ply its wares straight to the Public”

  1. This post may create a bit of backlash toward Redington, but it was bound to happen, surprised it took so long. Most major manufacturers across all industries sell direct to customer, either online or brick & mortar (i.e. Apple Stores) these days.

    If Redington clearly wants to cast a wide net and not only market, but convert customers based on their value proposition mantra, there’s no better way to do that to own their own e-commerce channel.

    With the recreational dollar being stretched thin these days, why leave it up to a fly shop owner/merchant or their potentially uninformed sales force to handle 100% of your point-of-sale efforts?

    The sport of fly fishing may look fondly on “the old way of doing things,” but retail does not. To survive is to evolve. Manufacturers going direct is an evolution, fly shops will need to evolve as well.

  2. Point taken, but…I still shop local first for fly stuff. So, I won’t be looking at those Redington fly front waders. Hello Orvis or Hogman!

  3. I love the “in no way are we closing dealers, we’re just sort of quietly stabbing them in the back” quote from the Far Bank guy.

    Then again, this shouldn’t come as a suprise; Redington was looking at Shopatron as a direct sales channel years ago.

    Nice scoop. Not bad for a guy writing in his underwear…

  4. Hey John – You’re the exact reason why Redington may choose to sell direct.

    You choose to shop local, however what if your fly shop made the decision not to offer Redington? (prior to their sell direct initiative) Are they squeezed out of your market by not doing so? Effectively, yes.

    Take a peek at Orvis.com & Hodgman.com, you might be surprised to find they already sell direct too.

  5. Take a peek at Orvis.com & Hodgman.com, you might be surprised to find they already sell direct too.

    Orvis has sold direct for most of its existence, and their catalog/online shop/email programs are extremely sophisticated.

    In a direct sales slapfight, they’re already light years ahead of the rest of the industry (save perhaps Patagonia). They even have a very good in-house copywriter, and I don’t know of anyone else with one of those (I heard Leland’s was looking for a budget writer, but they’re not a manufacturer).

    Which is why I suggested that if they could get their product house in order, they were going to own a much bigger chunk of this industry in ten years time.

    Redington may have decided to sell direct, but the decision is only the first step; they still have to create some kind of workable direct sales program — as will Simms, and without putting too fine a point on it, they don’t even have a working email program.

    At least now we have a greater understanding about why Simms is moving into the bass market (though I’m still confused as to how a tournament bass rainsuit won best of show at the IFTD); they have no dealer network to piss off in the bass world, and it’s much bigger to boot.

  6. Thanks, Tom, for the fortuitous post. Orvis, LL Bean and a few others were direct always, I think.
    I choose to buy from a retailer because I had my own business and I understand how hard it can be. No matter how you cut these days, your only as good as your last sale!

  7. Redington rods are the lesser quality, mass market rods of this marketing group. They are aimed at beginners and value directed customers. This move by Reddington is natural considering its’ customer base has not been on the stream long enough to establish brand loyalty. The other portion of their clientele are motivated by price alone because their interest in the sport is casual.

    In this economic condition, the only expanding markets are the discount market and the new larger market created through selling direct… pick one. Redington has to make this move, Sage does not…at least not to the extent that Redington will. Sage is a market leader and innovator with a completely different target market. Their concern is for developing new markets in foreign countries based on the quality of their product.

    Farbank brands knows this and is creating two very different rod companys that will not compete with each other. Troutrageous, John P., and Izzy Fisher have created these very different markets and Farbank is creating a product for each of them or perish. Redington has to make this move now to position themselves to confront competition from China. Local talent are cute but competition from China and India is war without prisoners. Yes, Sage may have to adapt to a new market conditions eventually by going more direct but by that time we will be wearing No-Dong Jeans.

  8. Here is the scenario with which I struggle, and that happens all the time: Average Joe reads about the hot new xyz rod and how wonderful it casts – the ad copy convinces him that the rod will change his life. But, being a smart shopper who doesn’t want to invest in a new rod without trying it, he jumps in the car and heads to the local fly shop to spend 30 minutes in the parking lot with his new graphite mistress…. then goes home to order it on-line. This happens a lot, and we all know it. I have a bit of a conscience and will pay the extra few bucks to the fly shop (or maybe its just an over active guilt complex) for letting me play with their stock in the hope I’ll buy from them. I can make as much of an economic arguement as the next guy to justify anything, whether its a discussion of channels, market segment, or agency theory, but in a sport that’s as personal as ours I still prefer to begin the journey with a human when I can (notice, however, I said “when I can”).

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