Kaufman’s to File for Bankruptcy

While many customers knew Kaufman’s was closing its doors last week, not until last night did the news appear that Lance Kaufman, the company’s owner, would file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection. Laura Gunderson broke the story in The Oregonian: “In a Groupon daily deal last month, 682 people bought $47 gift certificates for a six-hour fly-fishing class that was typically priced at $95. And, after a story in The Oregonian last week about Kaufmann’s abrupt closure, a dozen customers responded with questions about future trips they’d already paid for, hundreds of dollars worth of gift cards they’d saved in hopes of buying certain gear or fly-fishing classes they’d bought but hadn’t yet taken.”

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  • Ray Schmidt

    Kaufman’s is only the tip of the iceberg. Tough economic times and suppliers that once only sold thru stores like Kaufman’s is a good part of the problem. About 10 years ago famous brand products like Simms, Sage, Winston, Ross and the list goes on, only sold their products to stores like Kaufman’s. Today these brands are sold most everywhere including internet stores like Ebay and Amazon. Profits have tumbled and sales have dwindled to the point that retailers nation wide are re-thinking their future with once famous brands.
    Theirs enough blame to go around but a good part of it lies squarely with the big brands that abandon the specia
    lity shops.
    Ray Schmidt

    • http://www.midcurrent.com Marshall Cutchin

      Any thoughts on what the specialty shop of the future looks like, Ray? What they’re selling, how they’re selling it?

      • Ray

        Specialty fly shops of the future must not rely on branded product that is sold in every Tom, Dick and Harry retail location. Products that are unique to a region or even smaller is a must. Custom fly patterns, gear for unique techniques and special programs that attract fly anglers from far and wide are an absolute must.

        My gut tells me that big stores like Cabelas and Bass Pro will tire of the relatively small sales volume generated by fly tackle and will drop most of the big brands in favor of their own for higher profits and no controls by branded products companies.

        As I write this, the largest sporting goods buying group in America is forming a Special Fly Shop Group within it’s confines. I believe that if they are successful in recruiting 50 or more fly shops it will change the current course of the dying fly shop. Time will tell.