You can’t work at Gerry’s unless you fish”.
Reassuring words from Gerry Foote, owner of Gerry’s Fishing on Morecambe Promenade.
If you do end up working, or shopping, at Gerry’s, you’ll also be able to enjoy “the best view in the country” according to the 60-year-old owner who has recently taken a back seat in the business, leaving his son Chris at the helm.
Gerry moved his 35-year-old company to the ground floor of the old Alhambra Theatre, in Marine Road Central, in March this year.
Originally based in Fairfield Road in 1980, the business moved to Heysham Road and then Parliament Street in 1995.
“The move was definitely the right thing to do,” says the keen angler, who moved to Morecambe after meeting his childhood sweetheart and now wife of 34 years, Barbara.
“We’ve believed in Morecambe all these years, and we’ve now taken on an iconic building. We’ve spent tens of thousands of pounds turning it into the condition it’s in now. It’s a destination site, we have people come from all over the country because it’s the biggest of its kind in the North West.”
Gerry said the Heysham M6 Link Road had played a big part in his decision to expand.
“I believe it will be responsible for the rejuvination of Morecambe, I really do,” he said.
“Maybe not immediately but within the next 10 years. It was the last tick in the box that convinced us to move premises.”
Location wise, Gerry’s Fishing Tackle, which employs 13 members of staff, is a “wet site” by the sea, and customers visit for that reason too.
“We have a big online presence, we’ve traded online for 25 years, but people also want to be able pick something up, shake it, fiddle with it, and they will travel to us so they can do that.”
At a hefty 12,000sqft the shop is divided up into aisles and specialisms.
It has a “pole aisle”, where customers can browse a huge selection of poles with prices ranging up to £5,000.
“We’re a very specialist store, especially in the sea fishing world.
“People come to use because we’re very good at what we do, and we’re continually looking to improve all parts of our business.
“Chris for instance is very good on the social media side of things.
“You can’t work at Gerry’s unless you fish, and we have someone from every discipline of the sport, so we know how to give our customers the information and instructions they need.
Gerry added: “Morecambe is going to have a great future, and the road will be the making of it.
“We now have a shop with the best view in the country and things are going great.
“There’s definitely interest from the next generation, there’s continued interest from young people in the sport.
“Chris is now running the business day to day and I work three days a week, leaving plenty of time for fishing.”