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Thread: Why fly shops close

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Knoxville TN
    Posts
    19

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    I just found out about the Creel in reading the Fishing Report. I just bought a new pair of sunglasses from Scott last week. I sat in the shop for a good hour chatting with Scott and a couple of other fisherman. I'm speechless and heartbroken. A good book of all the stories told on those wooden chairs would be awesome. It was my frequent stop on my way to the Clinch just like LRO is for me when I go to the park.

    A thought for Byron. A second location called "Little River Outfitters 'The Creel'" would be an awesome idea. A huge undertaking for sure.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Townsend, Tennessee
    Posts
    1,397

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    I remember the first time I walked into the Creel. I lived in Nashville at the time. Don waited on me. He was a nice guy. Scott bought the shop, Don was there, Will Littlejohn, then Jim and Jim, Mike and all the other staff that I got to know over the years. Scott and I became friends even though we were actually competitors. I don't think he or I looked at it that way. The Creel was doing well and we were doing well. Before Maryville got an Office Depot I would stop in the Creel and see everyone maybe twice a month and sit in those chairs and pet on Sadie. I talked to Scott this morning and it made me feel better. He sounded good. But I am sad for them and some other friends who have closed their shops. I am also sad for the Creel customers. There is going to be a void that can't be filled. It just doesn't seem right. But I can tell you this and Scott will back me up, when those big stores opened we knew it. It hurt us a lot. I was scared to death. And I am not over it yet.

    Byron
    Last edited by Byron Begley; 02-26-2008 at 06:15 PM.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    633

    Default Fly Shops Closing

    I was tempted to try to post this on every listing on the site. Byron and Paula are so gracious to host this site. You two really need to take advantage of the exposure more. Get ad revenue from suppliers as other sites do......... seriously!!!!!!!! Next; WE NEED to support this shop so that we may enjoy their expertise when we need it. If you use a product that you don't see in the store let them know about it, more than likely they will see the benefit of the product and put it in the store (armed with features and benefits information to sell the product). This is one of the nicest flyshops in the country, lets keep it here! I for one will be ordering more stuff on-line from LRO, taking advantage of the free shipping. They ship quickly and accurately.
    Seriously though Byron, Paula and Daniel; start using this board more as a mraketing tool. Put a bill board with rotating banners right at the top like say the Itinerant Angler does, put new products up there, advertise your schools and dates. Dog eat dog............. don't get eaten, I know you all can do this and a tasteful manner.
    Buy local every chance you get. Especially in your fly-fishing gear.
    My 2 cents.
    John

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    1,141

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    I have debated all night with myself about this topic, but I feel that I need to put my two cents in. First of all I will say that I bought my first serious outfit from Scott in 1995. I was very impressed by the gentleman working the store at the time and I spent quite a bit of money up until about the millennium change. I gradually moved over to the internet and LRO. I have to say that like UofMontanalum I'm not surprised. I'm not going to stand here on a competitors board and trash somebody else but I'm with the critics. I'm not surprised that The Creel is folding. I don't necessarily believe it is the faults of Bass Pro or the internet either. I have experience from the Creel which explains exactly why he couldn't make it. I'm don't want to put it out here on the board but I know of many people who would have supported The Creel if they had the sales skills and friendliness of the LRO staff and especially Daniel Drake.

    I believe fully that the reason LRO makes it so far is the staff. It's not the price of their goods. It' not the inventory it's just their willingness to make you feel welcome. It' s the fact that you can walk in there and spend $5 dollars or $500 and you feel as welcome in either case. If you don't understand that the guy who spends five dollars today might spend five hundred tomorrow, is as important as the big spender up front then you are doomed.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Covington, Louisiana/Cosby, TN
    Posts
    938

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    There is quite a discussion about this particular fly shop closing, and the economics of small shops versus big-box in general, out in the ether. On one blog, I used the example of Wal-Mart and groceries. When Wallyworld entered the grocery business, a lot of the established supermarket chains couldn't handle it. Around here, one local chain and one regional chain went under, and another (Winn-Dixie) is in sad shape. However, at the same time, a lot of single, neighborhood-type stores started to flourish as well - they could provide the local items (like good seafood, local vegetables, etc) that are so much a part of the culture down here, and that Wal-Mart could never deliver. The key is that these local stores have products and service that enable them to more than hold their own against the big boxes (plus, have you ever bought meat from Wal-Mart? Tougher than a truck stop waitress). Anyway, I believe it is a similar situation with the fly-fishing business, although it's probably the service that is the difference - after all, everyone is selling the same gear now, at the same prices. The presence on the web makes a huge difference for someone like me, who loves going after the wild trout but who lives a long way from any trout water. I probably buy 90% of my gear online - the other 10% I buy on site at LRO when I'm up in the mountains

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    888

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    Folks, no matter how you look at it, everytime you order from a BOX, you push the knife in a lil deeper, it's just that simple.
    Some shops appeal to some, other's hate them, i haven't been in one local shop yet that i couldn't find something to like, BOX stores, i found some Lodge cookware once

    Grumpy

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    1,141

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    Grumpy!

    I look at it from another point of view. My dad was a businessman his whole life. He always had to fight the big "guys" and he had many sleepless nights over it. He managed to survive though. He didn't do it by competing with prices but with service and knowledge and sometimes luck. I think he became a better businessman due to the competition. My point is that if you are able to charge anything you want and don't have to be friendly and knowledgeable and treat your customers like they are not worthy of being in your store , then you don't deserve my money. I have seen many fly shops like that. I don't believe in the notion that just becasue they sell fly gear, they are automatically supposed to get a "free pass". I'm not saying The Creel was the worst out there but I didn't recommend them after about the year 2000. I have my reasons and I won't go in to it here.

    LRO will not have this problem because they treat everyone the same. It is not more complicated than that. I used to be on the anti Wal-Mart bandwagon but not anymore. Supply and demand is the game. I have been to countless independent stores of all types and many of them won't even have a clerk looking at you. Why would I then shop there and pay more than Wal-Mart. If you own an indpendent store you need to set your self apart from the big guys. LRO has done that and therefore will be around for a long time.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Townsend, Tennessee
    Posts
    1,034

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    As the English poet, John Milton said, "Luck is a residue of design."

    We aren't counting on luck...we are working on the design part.

    Paula

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    215

    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by tennswede View Post
    LRO will not have this problem because they treat everyone the same. It is not more complicated than that. I used to be on the anti Wal-Mart bandwagon but not anymore. Supply and demand is the game. I have been to countless independent stores of all types and many of them won't even have a clerk looking at you. Why would I then shop there and pay more than Wal-Mart. If you own an indpendent store you need to set your self apart from the big guys. LRO has done that and therefore will be around for a long time.
    You're right, Hans...

    In this under-appreciated concept of a "free and open market place" the consumer ultimately decides which stores stay open. Thank you
    http://www.troutanon.com rrainshaker at comcast dot netrainshaker at comcast dot net

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    888

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    Hans

    A poorly run business will eventually shut it's doors, buying from a BOX is still pushing the knife into other shops that are on par, one purchase at a time it, even affect's LRO.

    Grumpy

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