Archery specialist to focus on wholesaling

Melbourne archery and gun specialist Alcock & Pierce is closing its Elizabeth Street retail store and focussing on its wholesale operation.

After 105 years, there will no longer be a CBD retail operation bearing the founders names, but all is not lost for archery consumers as team member Bruce Perrin is opening an archery outlet in nearby Carlton.

Alcock & Pierce’s head office will now be located at the warehouse in Bayswater, saving chief executive Robert Brewer and national manager Tim Brewer many hours on the road.

Business has never been better, says Robert Brewer. “The specialist retail archery side of the business is trading very well but the wholesale side is growing at a much faster rate , needing all the warehouse space and full concentration of staff time.

“A break had to be made, he says. “It is ironic that the impression given by ‘closing down sale’ plastered over the showroom window leads the passer-by to believe that things are grim — the contrary is the truth.

“The company is trading better than at any time in its long history and revenue of Alcock and Pierce places it in the top seven percent of Australia’s one million small businesses.”

As a sport archery is growing fast, says Tim Brewer, through schools and specialist clubs and as a family activity. There is always a spike in interest in an Olympic Games year.

Alcock & Pierce was established in 1903, when two men who worked together at McEwans Hardware formed a partnership - Manager of the firearms section (Alfred Alcock) and manager of the cutlery section (James Pierce) opened their general sports store in Little Collins Street, retailing and handling several agencies, including the new Belgian company which established itself the same year, the FN Browning sporting arms company.

In the 1940s the founders sold out to tennis racquet manufacturer Albert Brewer who needed a retail outlet as a cartel of manufacturers had locked the Brewer racquets out of sporting retail outlets.

Says Robert Brewer, ”My father would not sign a price fixing agreement — which was legal in those days. I took over the management of the business in 1970 and now my son Tim will take over management this year.”

Says Robert Brewer, “Alcock & Pierce is Australia’s largest importer of archery equipment” and prides itself on the substantial collection of brands, range of product and service to retailers. sl

Last days of retail: (pictured from left) Bruce Perrin, Tim Brewer, Robert Brewer and Stuart Harris
Read more from: Industry/Business News
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