A FISHING tackle shop which opened its doors in Bromsgrove two doors before the first UK Covid lockdown is celebrating its second anniversary.
In 2019 Richard Cooper gave up his role as a business consultant to focus on his fishing tackle business.
He recognised Bromsgrove did not have a dedicated angling shop since Roy Huins closed his Worcester Road outlet in the early 2000s.
He spent a year conducting home-based research and leased a premises at Sapphire Court on Bromsgrove Technology Park.
Following a three-month refit he opened ‘Rods and Lines’ on March 21, 2020, and was subsequently forced to close its doors two days later following the Government’s ‘stay at home’ policy.
Richard had a fully-stocked shop with rent to pay and whilst the new business had a website, its online shopping facility was in its infancy.
Lockdown provided the time and motivation for rapid progression and soon website sales were generating a good income.
Richard also started a ‘click and collect’ service, for when restrictions were eased.
Fishing was one of the first activities to be allowed back on a wider scale when lockdown ended in May 2020 and Boris Johnson encouraged people to ‘go fishing and play golf’.
Rods and Lines experienced soaring sales and by the second lockdown in November 2020 was well placed for handling online and ‘click and collect’ orders.
Now, as the firm turns two, Richard is reflecting on how fortunate he has been to have survived a turbulent two years.
He said: “When shops began to re-open after the first lockdown many fishing tackle businesses struggled with supply issues and stock shortages.
“We were lucky because our new shop had been fully-stocked when forced to temporarily close – it was a blessing in disguise.”
Rods and Lines now plans to expand the product ranges it offers, alongside the installation of a second floor to better display clothing and larger stock items.
The shop will support local charity Dodford Children’s Farm with regular fund-raising drives and an open day is planned for May in lieu of what should have been a launch event two years ago.