SEALINE - South African Angling and Boating Community > General Angling Topics > Fishing news > Goodbye Alvey
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|Goodbye Alvey|| Rate Topic
|Posted: Wed Jul 19th, 2017 09:44 pm||
|QUEENSLAND manufacturing icon Alvey Reels, which once boasted its fishing equipment was so strong it never needed replacing, is shutting its doors after almost a century in business.
Alvey, based at Carole Park in Ipswich and founded by Charles Alvey in 1920, announced on Wednesday that sales of its reels were now so low that they could not generate the income required to keep the business growing.
Alvey, owned by Charles’s great grandsons Bruce and Glenn Alvey, had been hit by growing sales of cheap imports in recent years.
“Our loyal and skilled staff have kept the quality of our products very high and we are proud of this reputation as being the toughest reel on the market,” Bruce said on the company’s Facebook page.
“So I would like to sincerely thank all our staff, many who are very long-term employees, for their support even now during this very sad time as we wind the business down.”
"To our wonderful customers over many, many years. It is with great sadness I have to announce that Alvey Reels Australia will be closing down.
Our manufacturing facility at Carole Park has served us well since 1978 but sales of our reels are now so low they can not generate the income required to keep the business going.
Our loyal and skilled staff have kept the quality of our products very high and we are proud of this reputation as being the toughest reel on the market.
So I would like to sincerely thank all our staff, many who are very long term employees for their support even now during this very sad time as we wind the business down.
We still have substantial stocks to be distributed to retailers and we will endeavour to support warranties and spare parts for our products as long as we can.
Thank you again for your support as an Alvey user, it is you that has kept us in business for the past 97 years".
The Queensland National Trust has listed Alvey as an icon of the state along with the Four X man and the Esky.
Operating from a small workshop at St Lucia, Charles Alvey originally produced about 20 reels a week and would catch the tram into Brisbane to deliver them to the warehouse.
Charles brought his son, Ken, into the business in the 1920s as custom grew.
Ken, a qualified pattern maker and draftsman, helped the business ramp up production and marketing efforts.
When Charles died in 1945 aged 80, his grandson Jack joined the company.
Some of the original equipment used in Charles Alvey’s day is still used in the factory, which employs 26 people.
Bruce Alvey noted in a 2015 interview with The Courier-Mail that the company is so old that its original advertising slogan “It’s the Alvey reel that fills the creel” is not readily understood today by modern anglers. A creel is a wicker basket used to hold fish.
But despite its iconic status, times had become increasingly tough for Alvey.
It faced a variety of headwinds, including cheap imports from Asia, rising manufacturing costs, the economic downturn and restrictions on recreational fishing.
“This is probably the toughest time we have ever experienced as we face the rising costs of manufacturing, labour and rates,” Bruce Alvey told The Courier-Mail in 2015.
Alvey credited the longevity of the family-run company to the quality of its products, with everything from the smallest nut to the largest component still manufactured in-house.
The design of fishing reels has not changed as much as the materials. The original Alvey reels were made of timber rather than steel or plastic.
But Mr Alvey noted that the obsession with quality may have come back to haunt the company. Unlike most modern products, Alvey reels tend not to have an in-built obsolescence.
“We have probably made our reels too well over the years,” Alvey said.
“We have people using the same reel that their grandfather used. We really want them to buy a new one.”
Ken Alvey was brought into the business in the 1920s.
Readers expressed sadness over the announcement, with many customers praising the products.
“A very sad day indeed when a product is too good and doesn’t need replacing for generations. All the best guys,” one reader said.
“That’s sad news I still have heaps of em they are great reels. Thanks for providing a great product,” wrote another.
Another customer said: “Your product was so good I have never had to replace one. A really bad irony. I still love your reels and thanks for making them for us.”
Another customer said they still had an Alvey reel from 50 years ago.
“I have bought these Reels for 50 years, still have the first one and it is still working extremely well. They are the best reels for our conditions. Very sad,” they wrote
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