PA: Fishing & Outdoor World’s New Super Store


THE NEW, BIG FISHING AND OUTDOOR WORLD Everyone has a dream; some people have the courage to back themselves to make dreams happen. So it is with Darwin's Fishing and Outdoor World store, which this year has opened a new chapter in its history. In 1972, two young men, George Voukolos and Col Stringer, left the relative security of their steady jobs to go into partnership and start up the first specialised fishing and hunting store in the Northern Territory. In hindsight it seems like a no brainer considering the frontier town nature of Darwin back in the early ‘70s. Fishing and Outdoor World version one began, and then on Christmas eve 1974, Darwin was ripped apart by Cyclone Tracy. No one knew if Darwin would ever survive or be rebuilt. Colin and George opened the doors and basically gave away all the camping gear, eskies, stoves, gas bottles, anything that might help people get by. Just gave it away. Darwin was rebuilt, and those involved in its reconstruction bought lots of fishing gear. The 1975 run-off was a ripper for obvious reasons and Fishing and Outdoor World never looked back. Col left the business in 1978 while George continued. The boom in fishing tackle through the ‘80s saw the need for bigger premises, and with the RSL expanding and creating shopfRonaldts out of the walkway through to the carpark, Fishing and Outdoor World moved to 27 Cavenagh St. Nowadays, George's son Ronald handles most of the business: “He’s been working in the shop since he was seven years old, and he knows the business inside and out," George said. Fast forward to the present day, and Ronald said: "We had to take a punt and expand. We have been a little cramped over there at 27 Cavenagh St for at least the last 10 years." Version three of Fishing and Outdoor World, over the road from 27 Cavenagh St, features 600 square metres of floor space, 400sq.m of warehouse. And instead of a 25-pounder field artillery piece, the new shop features a pair of big barra fronting the awning facia. Speaking at the opening of the new store, Ronald said his father had always wanted to give Fishing and Outdoor World a permanent home, and had long had an eye on this location. One thing that George and Ronald are determined not to change with the new “super” store is the price of tackle. George said: “We believe we can continue to offer the cheapest prices that you’ll find anywhere in Australia.” "When the option to buy came up, he moved heaven and Earth to get this," Ronald said. "Financially, this is a big gamble. But fishing and hunting continues to grow in popularity, and we are lucky to have governments committed to sustaining and improving the quality of recreational fishing. "I don’t think anyone could argue that there is a better place to start Fishing and Outdoor World version three." Ronald said the new premises would allow the business to grow and branch out into some other areas, expanding the range by adding new product without worrying about where it would be put. "It will mean a more pleasant shopping experience," he said, adding: "Customers no longer have to walk sideways down the aisles with less stuff (on the floor) to trip over." "The amazing thing is we nearly filled this floor space with what we had crammed in over the road," Ronald said. "That shop really was the Tardis (a reference to the time machine in Dr Who)." One thing that George and Ronald are determined not to change with the new “super” store is the price of tackle. George said: “We believe we can continue to offer the cheapest prices that you’ll find anywhere in Australia. While the shop may be bigger, Ronald said they would try their hardest to maintain the intimate family business feel: a place where every customer feels welcomed, just as they have for the past 44 years.

THE PLACE FOR EVERYTHING FISHING, CAMPING & OUTDOOR.

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