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Angling Direct furloughs staff during coronavirus crisis

(Image credit: Angler's Mail)

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The Angling Direct fishing tackle business has also put most of its staff on the government furlough scheme.

This allows them to claim 80 per cent of their wages, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.

In accordance with government guidelines, all 36 of the Angling Direct fishing tackle shops nationwide closed temporarily.

Their website sales continue, along with their customer services, with safety measures adhered to.

Meanwhile, all UK tackle shops – big and small – are awaiting news on when they will be allowed to reopen, desperate to start trading again.

Angling Direct also revealed that it had an overall sales growth of 23.3 per cent in February.

Group sales increased 19 per cent year-on-year over the first three weeks of March, prior to the significant impact of Covid-19.

An Angling Direct statement said: “Our webstores continue to trade and our distribution centres remain open, with encouraging levels of trade in both the UK and international markets.

“Given the current unprecedented circumstances, the board has moved swiftly to preserve capital and improve cash flow.

“This includes taking steps to reduce fixed costs and other expenditure, and putting investment plans on hold.

“The company has secured a short-term £2.5million credit facility from NatWest with an expiry date of September 2020, which will be used to help manage working capital as required during this period of disruption.”

AD chief executive Andy Torrance added: “Our focus remains on protecting our valued members of staff, ensuring appropriate and safe working conditions and, where possible, providing an uninterrupted service to our loyal and supportive customers.

“Like many in the retail community, we are also extremely thankful to the UK government for the support provided at this difficult time.”

Fishing remains an activity which the UK public cannot go out and participate in. That is mainly due to travel rules and what is deemed as allowable exercise.

The Angling Trust, with partners, is now pushing for a phased comeback for anglers on the banks, or boats, soon.

They carefully prepared a report with the #WhenWeFishAgain hastag. It’s been delivered to the government in good time for May 7, the date expected for the current lockdown’s review.

The Trust spells out a strong case for why angling should be allowed, the benefits it brings, and how proposed phases would work in a super safe way.