Doncaster firm expands into the south

Fishing Republic's  chief executive officer Steve Gross is keen to expand the chain into the south.
Fishing Republic's chief executive officer Steve Gross is keen to expand the chain into the south.

A fishing tackle retailer which was formed in Mexborough is to expand into the south of England with the purchase of Cotswold Angling.

Fishing Republic has raised £500,000 through a share placing to pay for the deal and to fund the opening of a new store in Crewe as it presses ahead with its national expansion plans.

Steve Gross, chief executive of Fishing Republic, said the acquisition of Cotswold Angling would establish a presence in the south of England and the new shop would complement the existing outlets in the north.

Both moves are part of a strategy to expand through acquisition and organic growth.

Mr Gross said: “Both outlets readily fit our ‘destination store’ model, which is designed to attract fishermen from a wide area.

“Our aim is to build a substantial presence in a market which is highly fragmented, and we will continue to look for opportunities to expand our footprint whilst building our online offering.”

The deals follow the firm opening a store in South Birmingham, and its Hull outlet moving to larger premises.

Mr Gross established the company in Mexborough when aged just 13 and specialised in the tying of flies and fly tying materials for fishing tackle wholesalers.

The firm opened its first retail outlet in 1999 and in 2005 launched its first Fishing Republic store in Barnsley, followed a year later by Manchester and Hull. It now has five stores in Yorkshire.