Angling Direct Stoke - Grand Opening

After months of hard work, planning, and organisation, the day finally arrived: we were out there, on the very ground where the latest addition to the Angling Direct family of knowledgeable local fishing stores would officially open.

Arriving at the new Angling Direct Stoke store at 6:30am, in plenty of time for the 8am start, I was amazed to see upwards of ten people already queuing to ensure they could be first in.

On entering the store, I was met by Store Manager Matt Blythe and Assistant Manager Tim Childs. Time for a very quick brew, then on to meet the rest of the staff, who were all excited to get started. At this point I have to say the store was extremely well organised, clean, and, with goody bags already prepped, we had a calm last hour or so before the doors officially opened..

A quick Facebook live video and store run through later with manager Matt, and we were ready to open. I was amazed to see a queue all the way around the back of the store, with some 200 people eager to check out the store and waiting patiently in the glorious Stoke wind and rain. The car park was rammed full, and there were still more people turning up.

John Tinsley cut the ribbon, and a procession of customers entered the impressively stocked store. Everything from coarse fishing, carp angling, match, sea, and fly fishing was available, with all customers happy to finally have such a comprehensive store in a location that’s local to them.

With the expert work and customer service of the staff, customers were helped, advised, and served, ensuring all were happy. With the amount of people in store I must say a huge well done to Kevin Hewitt, our AD Swindon Manager, who was drafted in to help, for his speedy hands on the till. Another notable helper was Jeanette Halliday from Angling Direct Beccles, who was the master of all things in the warehouse.

Within what felt like 10 minutes we reached our 100th customer of the day Tony Deacon, who won himself a £100 AD voucher. The first 200 customers had also received a free goody bag; special thanks to RidgeMonkey, Nash, Advanta, Dinsmore and Hinders for suppling the free gifts.

In store on the day was Martin Clarke, who was busy signing and selling his awesome book “Heads Down Tails Up”. He even managed to do a Facebook Live interview for us, and was a real source of information, humour, and class throughout the day.

A huge thank you to Lee “Mozza” Morris from Fox, who had made the four hour drive up to be in store. He was incredibly helpful, and despite a near constant request for selfie,s he was more than happy to help anyone and everyone. What a total gentleman.

The Nash team, consisting of James Massey, Matt Downing, and Simon Crow, were in the bivvy section of the store upstairs. They talked through their impressive new Nash pinpoint hook range (sure to be a winner upon release in late Feb 2018), and Nash Bait (including an impressive tank for testing), and also gave a great demonstration of the eagerly anticipated and epic new Nash Titan Hide bivvy. The Nash boys were always happy to help and an absolute fountain of knowledge; it was a pleasure to have them in store with us. I had to admit being star struck by the carping legend that is Simon Crow!

Throughout the day the crowds remained, with seemingly everyone from Stoke coming to see what all the fuss was about. The staff did an incredible job, and the feedback from all customers was exceptionally positive.

As the day drew to a close, the shop still looked incredible, and ready for the same again on Sunday, and for the future. Check out both Angling Direct and Angling Direct Stoke’s Facebook pages for the live video coverage of the day.

A massive well done and thank you to all those involved, not only in the grand opening on Saturday 27th January 2018, but also in getting the store ready; these include Lee Tomlinson,. Roy Allen, Chris Elmney, Matt Blythe and Tim Childs. A job thoroughly well done!

Lastly, a massive thank you to our special guests on the day and for the people of Stoke for such an incredibly warm welcome. Next time you are in the area, call in and check it out for yourself.

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