Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Review: Carp Scene, Derbyshire. A new blueprint for specialist retail.

The new Carp Scene Superstore.

Some of you may be surprised by this, considering that most of my posts are usually travel or mountainbike related, but my real passion in life is Carp Fishing!

Carp Scene is a new angling superstore. It started life around 40 years as The Tackle Box in Somercotes, Derbyshire (my local shop). Around 15 years ago Mark Goodwin took it over from, the retiring, Terry Marriot and it started to morph, away from general fishing, in to a carp fishing store.
Then, a couple of years ago, along came Mick Hancox; who bought a share of the business from Mark and they started to up the ante. Mick was formerly a partner in the then uber-cool and successful Planet Carp in Nottingham (sadly no longer the store it was in those days) and he brought serious specialist retail knowledge to the table; along with the drive to develop the shop in to a big hitter. With a recent third partner, Nick Rhodes, joining the gruesome twosome, the investment was in place to make the next step. and so they did. And it is a BIG step.
What you might call a "game changer".

It is not only the biggest specialist carp angling store in the UK, but a new blueprint for specialist retail; it's a statement of intent, a wake up call to an industry full of cramped retail outlets with poor displays and a stuffy customer experience. Alan Blair from Nash Tackle thinks it is probably the best in Europe; that's a serious compliment from a man who has undoubtedly visited most of them!

Nash Tackle's Alan Blair giving rig demonstrations on opening day.

The floor space (5000sq/ft), and attention to detail in the product displays are immediately impressive, but it's also the little touches that go largely unnoticed that make it an interesting space. LED lights throughout, for example, give it a much nicer ambience than the yellow flickering of fluorescent lighting. The well thought out clothing boutique, the raised mezzanine that allows a full range of bivvies to be displayed (currently thirteen bivvies on show!), a proper changing room, manufacturer branding above the individual displays, the list goes on.

Lots of choice in the well appointed clothing boutique.

Up to 72 rods on display at any time.

The mezzanine that currently displays 13 fully erected bivvies!

And then there's the stock levels... if you can see it they've got it.
And you can still get a cup of tea and have a chin-wag; size isn't everything, it is still a fishing tackle shop not some corporate cash-cow; that's important. Anglers still want feel like they are going in a local shop, hopefully in the long term it won't lose that local feel.
All the lads are local and all have good local knowledge. They can offer sound advice on products, and sound advice on waters, rigs, bait, or anything else you might need.

A massive range of end-tackles; and the stock to back it up.

In the long-term, once the initial boom of the shop settles down, they intend to launch the website and mail order service. In the short-term however the focus is firmly set on establishing the shop, and ensuring smooth do-to-day running. A smart business decision.
Mick and Mark are on the shop floor with one other full-time member of staff, Dave "Norris" Seal, and one or two part-time staff for the busier periods. 

Mark Goodwin managing the checkout.

The range of products on display is impressive and, importantly, accessible.
Major displays from Aqua Products, Nash, Fox, Korda, Trakker, JRC, ESP, Avid, and more, a huge range of bait including Nash, Mainline, Dynamite, DT, Essential, Urban, Sticky, Solar, Sonubaits, Bait-Tech, etc.; and a 72-rod rack with weapons from Century, Harrison, Fox, Nash, JRC, ESP, Daiwa, Shimano, Sonik, and others! 

Shimano, Angling Technics, Custom Angling Solutions, Ocean, Vass, Cygnet, Jag, Century-Neville, Drennan, Primus, Enterprise, Penn, Skeetex, Gardner, Petzl, Reuben Heaton, Wychwood, Fortis Eyewear, Cutting Edge, Korum, Spomb, Muddy Waters, Thinking Anglers, Berkley...
Virtually every major manufacturer is there somewhere in store.

Virtually a whole wall of luggage!

The store is open 7 days a week with a very useful late-night on Thursdays until 8pm and 10.00-16.00 on Sundays.

The other real bonus is the stores accessibility: situated just off the A38 less than 10 minutes from Junction 28 of the M1 motorway (15 mins junction 26). Excellent from all directions with direct links from the A38 to the A50, M1, and M6. It's easy to find and has private car parking to the rear of the shop plus lots of adjacent on-road parking in the immediate area.
And then there's the mural!... A striking "street-art" creation welcomes you to Carp Scene! That in itself is impressive enough.
It's a Five-Star shop in every way possible. If they install a Costa Coffee franchise I might just move in and take up residence in one of their bivvies! Go there soon.

 Opening times are currently:

Monday 09.00-18.00
Tuesday 09.00-1800
Wednesday 09.00-18.00
Thursday - Late Night - 09.00-20.00
Friday 09.00-18.00
Saturday 09.00-17.30
Sunday 10.00-16.00

Find them at:
Carp Scene. 205 Nottingham Road, Somercotes, Alfreton, Derbyshire, DE55 4JG 
Telephone: 01773-609772
Follow Carp Scene here:

You can also follow Chase the Rainbow here:

Check out the images below to see the transformation of the new store from the old office furniture warehouse!

From this...

Clearing out the old store...

The painters moved in as the old stock was moving out!

The old shop front starting its transformation.

Almost cleared out.

In comes the carpet.

Nick's son, Connor Rhodes, boxing in the old stairwell. this... 

Almost there. Final stockings taking place before opening day.

Mick Hancox taking Health & Safety very seriously during the transformation process!

...To This!

The mural that welcomes you to the store.

Thank you for looking. See you soon :)

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