Company Profile – Ultimate Fishing
The French wholesaler lifts the lid on its continued success in the trade where it has been active for the last 18 years. Its strategy, structure and vision have been catalysts for its continued growth.
Ultimate Fishing is a French wholesaler based on Belle-Ile-En-Mer, an island on the French west coast, 12km away from the mainland. The company specialises in the premium and high quality lure fishing market and has strong links with quality Japanese suppliers such as Tenryu, Megabass, Duo, Decoy, Sawamura, Tackle House and 20 others.
The company was created in 2001 from the initiative of a passionate angler and investor who had knowledge of import, export and distribution of top end Japanese products dedicated to lure anglers.
It was after six years of operation that the company owner, at the dawn of retirement, decided to sell Ultimate Fishing. At that time, the company had three employees (two salesmen and a storekeeper) and targeted the French Atlantic coast and the saltwater market.
Its now-current CEO, Yannick Cordier, took an interest and spotted the company’s potential, making a buyout offer to the then-owner which was duly signed on September 12th, 2007.
Yannick has been the company’s CEO for the last 12 years and is also in extremely close contact with its suppliers. There are now 18 employees that work in a 1,000 sq m purpose0built distribution centre, including five exclusive sales representatives operating through France. There is one purely dedicated to the export market, three people provide the secretarial and accounting support, four warehouse operatives, one person looks after the after-sales service and three people work in communication, marketing and product development.
Ultimate Fishing works closely with 64 ambassadors from varying backgrounds including fishing guides, tournament anglers and other skilled and knowledgeable anglers. These guys’ jobs are to develop Ultimate Fishing’s own products and to explain people the best way to use them.
Over the past 11 years, Ultimate Fishing has experienced a strong growth rate, rising from a turnover of 1.2 to 6.4 million Euros per annum. During this phase of rapid growth the company has had to recruit staff each year, relocate and ultimately expand and build another warehouse four times the size of its original in order to keep in line.
Of course, this growth has meant that Ultimate Fishing has had to expand its distribution from the French west coast to new commercial territories around the world while at the same time targeting other angling disciplines in the freshwater market, which it had not really touched before.
The development of exclusive products in partnership with Japanese suppliers has become an important part of Ultimate’s strategy. Indeed, 48 per cent of the products sold during the last financial year are exclusive creations invented by Ultimate Fishing and manufactured by its Japanese suppliers.
Ultimate Fishing’s historical strengths are the efficiency of its products and the guarantee of a quality service, throughout all levels of the company. Availability of products is a key factor to Ultimate, which enables it to offer security and manageability to its retailer network.
Most of the products have technical assets or are made for a very particular way of use, however it’s important that Ultimate Fishing remains close to its end users – the anglers – and explains the best way to use various products.
Last year Ultimate Fishing took part in over 100 events including fishing shows, shop open days or tournaments with a view to meet and share products and know-how with anglers. Its pro-staff anglers are helpful assets as they are the guys going fishing every week and use their knowledge to help all fishermen they meet.
The internet and social media platforms are a big part of Ultimate Fishing’s strategy to connect and get closer to anglers. Currently, the company manages 25 Facebook pages and groups in different languages and also reaches out to strong and active communities on its very own YouTube channel and Instagram account. The globalisation of trade and information that flows in the field of recreational fishing underlies a strong and evolving presence on the web and a modern communication device. Following this observation, Ultimate Fishing have created a new website to share its product information: https://catalog.ultimate-fishing.net/ It is now working on an English version of this website and will incorporate special access for retailers.
Lure fishing is the sector that has experienced much growth over the last 10 years and in the next decade will experience further development across all recreational angling disciplines, according to Ultimate Fishing’s outlook.
Lure fishing has become urban, mixed, technical, reasoned and sporty. It is the sector of the sport, which historically positioned Ultimate Fishing and continues its momentum, which today constitutes close to 50 per cent of all fishing tackle sold in France.
Ultimate Fishing’s current distribution territory is 85 per cent in France and 15 per cent abroad (mainly in Europe). Today, the firm is an integral part of the French fishing landscape and is considered as a leading company in its sector. Developing its activity abroad with the same spirit is one of its main goals.
The company is looking for fast growth and is currently making strong progress in European countries. One of the main reasons for this is that its products are transferable across different territories.
Ultimate already has what it believes is the perfect range of products to deeply penetrate the European market. In line with the company’s growth strategy it is also interested to talk to other territories such as Asia, Australia or America.
Ultimate Fishing is a company driven by passion, sharing, quality and innovation. It is located on a small island territory, a sign of its entire character, its taste for challenge and commitment. By its operation, the company remains open to the world and welcomes all development in new territories.