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Thread: fly tying materials online

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Townsend, Tennessee
    Posts
    1,397

    Default

    Hi mcfly,

    Thank you for your comments and we want serve you and get 100% of your fly fishing business. That is our goal and hopefully our mission is successful most of the time.

    When we built our final shop, the one that we own and do not rent, we made it much larger than the average store. The main reason we did this is to offer a comprehensive fly tying department. We knew, from experience over the past 15 years that one third of our customers tie flies based on data from our point of sale system. We ask for your name when you place an order. Your purchases are recorded in our database. Our computer POS system easily gives us the report we need to back up what I just said. One third of our customers buy fly tying materials.

    The size of our store was planned from the beginning to have a large fly tying department. Most of that space in that department is devoted to the outside walls, which in our business is considered to be prime real estate.

    That meant we had to spend an extra $150,000 dollars on the building and land to display the merchandise. Additionally we pay for more parking, drainage, property taxes, insurance, staff and HVAC for those who are customers and only 1/3 of them are fly tying purchasers. The average fly shop in the United States is 1,200 square feet. Our fly tying department is at least that large but we also have a mail order business and a classroom that takes up more space than the average fly shop. Our store is pretty big.

    David Perkins who is one of the owners of Orvis is a friend of ours, he likes our store a lot and he knows much about the fly fishing business. He was in the store one day and asked me how we can justify that much space dedicated to fly tying. I said “I don’t know but it brings customers in”. We have not quantified our return on investment in the fly tying material business. It doesn’t matter to us. It brings customers in.

    Ordering and receiving fly tying materials requires a huge amount of labor. A $1,500 order from Wapsi, one of our largest fly tying suppliers can take a day to a day and a half to process. That is because that order might include 500 to 600 items. It takes just as much time to process a package of dubbing as it does to process a fly rod or pair of waders. Therefore, a $5,000 order at wholesale from say Orvis takes a few minutes to order and receive through our computer system. A $1,000 order from a fly tying material supplier may take a day. The profit margin is the same, the labor cost is many times more. Remember, we package all spooled materials, physically count the items and verify the cost to the invoice. If we don’t balance to the penny we find the error. That takes a lot of time.

    I have a friend who owns a liquor store. He was complaining about the number of SKUs (shop keeping units) required to track in a liquor store. I asked him how many SKUs he had. His answer was 1,700. I think at the time our SKUs in the fly tying department were around 5,000. His unit cost was much more than ours. Ours run about $2.00.

    Another problem with fly tying materials is availability. When you are selling chicken feathers you can’t have a pipeline of available merchandise made on an assembly line in China. Our vendors, like us are often out of stock in certain items. And, our fly tying suppliers do not backorder. We have to re-order again every ordering cycle. Sometimes we order something four or five times before we finally get it. Imagine trying to keep 5,000 items manually listed as in stock on an online catalog.

    Finally, many small companies have tried to do this and failed. Some are still trying but I believe their efforts are in vain. Anyone could open an online catalog that sells nothing but fly tying materials and be very unique in our industry. It just doesn’t work. Maybe someday it will and we will be on the cutting edge if it can be done. I can’t make the numbers work. I guess we could double the price and make the department profitable. I think we would run into price resistance from customers.

    The Fly Tying material business is not profitable and if it were, you would be able to find the perfect store. Right now, we are not smart enough to do that. But we will try. Our selection of materials still brings customers into our store. We are happy about that.

    I am not writing this to dispute your opinion. It is my nature to educate customers about our business. Read the fishing report sometime. I love to write about this stuff.

    Thanks again for your comments and suggestions.

    Byron
    Last edited by Byron Begley; 05-27-2009 at 10:36 PM.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Waynesville NC
    Posts
    515

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    I think that the posts on this section speak to the support for your store and the LRO family. The only argument i got with you Byron is that I think that you have the perfect store my friend, and i like most on here have been to shops not only around this country but other countries as well, need saltwater stuff you got it, need discussion boards got it, need classes got the best instructors, need industry stars try Kreh, Humpreys, Clouser, Babb, Yea got it, need fishing reports with extremely detailed info yea no one has what you got stream level, temp, weather, fly patterns, even a cow standing factor?!? Got it and i don't really know what that even means! Sorry but i think that this gentlemen got under a few of our skins, and after reading your post and a few naty lights I just wanted to sound off again, no matter where I live and where i move, and I do that a lot, Little River outfitters will always be my local shop, and I am not alone.

    Barry Murphy
    "Carolina Boy"
    If it swims throw a fly at it!

    Barry Murphy
    828-400-3335 (Cell)

    www.projecthealingwaters.org
    "Healing Those Who Serve"

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Hillbilly Hollow, NC
    Posts
    1,049

    Default

    Like I said in a previous post, I've been in a lot of fly shop around the country and LRO is as good as it gets Plus Paula is good looking
    "Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it."
    Salvador Dali

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Townsend, Tennessee
    Posts
    1,034

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    Quote Originally Posted by flyman View Post
    Like I said in a previous post, I've been in a lot of fly shop around the country and LRO is as good as it gets Plus Paula is good looking
    Heh. Flattery will get you everywhere! I just have one question. Are you rich? /inside joke

    Paula

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Maryville, TN
    Posts
    1,063

    Default

    Paula,

    Just curious - where did the bold italics come from? Didn't see that in Flyman's post. Or have you been practicing the mind-reading skills? No disagreement - just curious.
    Charlie B

    His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me.
    bartonca@hotmail.com

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Townsend, Tennessee
    Posts
    1,034

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    Quote Originally Posted by nvr2L8 View Post
    Paula,

    Just curious - where did the
    bold italics come from? Didn't see that in Flyman's post. Or have you been practicing the mind-reading skills? No disagreement - just curious.
    Charlie,

    I bolded the comment that was a part of our little inside joke...I have no idea where the italics came from...doesn't it just do that automatically?

    Paula

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Des Moines, Iowa
    Posts
    177

    Default

    I order all of my materials from LRO via email. It's just as easy as adding items to an online shopping cart and takes less than 1 minute. And as far as service goes, I placed my last materials order on a Tuesday and I had the order on Friday ... and I live in Iowa! That is very fast turn around and, in my opinion, service that is lacking in ALL other fly material retailers.

    LRO doesn't just get my business, they have earned it.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    1,141

    Default Spring Creeks

    Any chance of trying out the spring creeks in Iowa? I know they are a ways from Des Moines but still, they are spring creeks.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Northern Kentucky
    Posts
    1,127

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paula Begley View Post
    Charlie,

    I bolded the comment that was a part of our little inside joke...I have no idea where the italics came from...doesn't it just do that automatically?

    Paula
    I thought there was programming built into the message board software that automatically added in the bold italics anytime it found Paula is good looking in any message or post.

    Jeff

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Townsend, Tennessee
    Posts
    1,034

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffnles1 View Post
    I thought there was programming built into the message board software that automatically added in the bold italics anytime it found Paula is good looking in any message or post.

    Jeff
    Jeff, you just may be onto something there! I'll have to thank my great friend, Sarah from Seattle, for enabling that, since she's our message board software guru.

    Actually, truth told, it was user error on my part. I was bolding the part that was included in the little joke we have going with flyman (common message board usage to show emphasis on what you're commenting on) and I messed up. My bad.

    Paula

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