View Full Version : Anyone own or run a saddlery?

14-06-11, 11:38 PM
Didn't someone on here recently open the Saddleworld at Mittagong? Blackpanther maybe?

Anyone else purchased a franchise (Horseland or Saddleworld) or opened an independant saddlery?

15-06-11, 08:57 AM
Yes it is Black_Panther. I know she has been flat stick with the business lately so might not see this. I can send her a text and let her know you are asking about saddleries etc if you want.

15-06-11, 09:00 AM
What questions do you need answered? I might be able to help answer some.

15-06-11, 09:12 AM
Oh and she's just gotten the NSW distributorship for County Saddles as well... so spread the word if you're in the market for a county! :D

**apoligies for the blatant advertisement**

15-06-11, 10:43 AM
we have a friend whos just chucked hers in, was the one on mulgoa road penrith, worked out she made far far more doing lessons than sitting getting burnt by the afternoon sun. the new renters are building supply n thinking to put either an awning or stuff on the windows

15-06-11, 10:54 AM
I worked at Saddleworld Canberra, and pretty much ran it for the last 18 months. SW head office are great to work with, and being an inderpendant franchise you are able to stock what ever you like, while still taking advantage of the 'group' buying power.
i know horseland are slowly coming around to this but are still very strict on what they are allowed to purchase outside their standard range.

15-06-11, 11:17 AM
Thanks for your replies, my husband and I have been looking into buying a franchise but the numbers just aren't making it seem worthwhile. Just wondering about the financial state of other saddleries when people purchased them - was it running a serious loss when you purchased it and you turned it around in a reasonable time frame? Or was it in a reasonable state and easy to make a smooth transition?
Initial costs -cheaper but more work/less support to open independantly?
Benefits of Saddleworld over Horseland and vice versa?
Great to hear that blackpanthers business is doing so well gng! If we start to look at the saddleworld option I will chase you for her contacts.

15-06-11, 11:47 AM
Are you crazy?

Retail is going to be very, very tough in Australia for the short term at least.

Opening yet another chain store selling pretty coloured mass produced tatt would be a tough way to make a living in my opinion.

If you are going to be an independent selling quality goods and a deeper range, how will you compete with the overseas stores that can get my goods to me in 5 working days for 1/2 the price you will sell them to me for? The strong Aussie $$ is part of this but the superior customer service I am receiving is sending my equestrian spending overseas.

Every week I receive in my letterbox a flyer or brochure from Goodwoods, Sydney Equestrian Supplies, Saddleworld, Brightons, Horseland on this weeks sale. I no longer take their pricing seriously as next week there will be sale at one of them and I can buy anything at a discounted rate if I have to.

Colarado, Jag and some of the balance of the Fusion stores will close next week. Borders will close. These were good stores run by individuals within the stores with deep traditional retail experience. The writing is on the wall for Australian retail. It is tough now and will become tougher as our Global competitors reach out and take every available dollar from their Australian customers.

There would be easier ways to make a living.

15-06-11, 01:39 PM
There are three saddleries here in Tamworth: Horseland, Hiscocks (a branch of Marsh Carney in Scone, and also a Saddleworld store, but Hiscocks is more western/ASH orientated) and More4Horses. There was another one, Everything Equine, but it recently closed down. It was an independent, but one of a group, because they had sale brochures that were obviously done for a group of independents. Sadly, they were going broke fast.

Then we also have places that are primarily rural suppliers and feed merchants, like Tamworth Rural (city branch and also one at Moonbi, about 28km away), Furneys, and Valley Produce.... all of which have varying quantities of horse gear, farriers' equipment and clothing, along with the feed, suppliment & produce side.

While there are certainly "holes" in the market, re items one can buy over the counter in Tamworth, the area can't support another saddlery. People either get the existing saddleries to order in what they want (provided the stores deal with the relevant supplier), or else they travel or go online to buy. Or buy at trade stands at big events.

I think it's very sad about the Fusion group closing down, and also something huge like Borders.... but in tight financial situations, people are going to do their homework and shop where they get the best "bang for their buck".

Just a thought on trade stands too.... with the frequent big national shows at Tamworth's AELEC complex, a good 50% of these events have trade stands, so local people, and those competing there, are getting hands-on access to new stores and businesses they might not know about, or have only seen online. Being able to touch, feel and ask questions is getting these businesses more custom. Which is good for them, because it's pretty expensive to take out a trade stand at most big shows.

15-06-11, 02:14 PM
Cannondale summed up my thoughts really well. I think there is a lot of risk taking on any retail business with the incredible amount of products available to consumers online at really competitive prices.

As much as I want to support local businesses, I do the majority of my shopping online now. I simply cant afford to pay retail prices for goods that I can get online for at least half price, and choose from a much bigger range. I just ordered 2 bridles from the UK for significantly less than I would pay for 1 here. I generally only buy consumables such as shampoo and vet supplies etc from saddleries now, and even then I often buy them online if Im organised enough to think about it before I run out!

16-06-11, 12:35 AM
Hi Everyone
Yes its hard yakka having your own business let alone in this day and age. But I can tell you if you put in the hard yard, are passionate and give customers what they want, we have found them to be very happy and they do return. Our aim is to supply all our customers with the products they require and we do our very best to fulfill that.
Chestnuts, I have found most people like to touch/see the products they buy and have rugs that will fit. If they need to return they can.. unlike alot of online stores where you dont always know what youre going to get.
Saddleworld are a great company and you own it. We have a lot of different products and get to choose to suit your store. We researched a lot beforehand so we knew where we were going.
GnG & Caille youre such good friends and have been there from the start.:)thank you.
If any of you CHers are coming through Mittagong call in and say hi!!

16-06-11, 06:31 PM
Dont touch Horseland. Saddleworld quite ok to deal with.

16-06-11, 06:41 PM
We owned a Horseland Franchise and I would tell anyone that if they started with a lot of money after owning a horseland they would end up with very little, personally I would not touch a saddlery either franchise or buying group with a 10ft barge pole, must be an easier way to earn a crust, go independant if you dare.

However it is a lovely to be in the industry if you buy in the right area and have support, would I do it again no not ever, but then we feld done over by the Franchise company, the city stores seem to do ok, but not the country stores, what we found the hardest was keeping the right stock in and the right amount without over or understocking, mindyou you never seemed to have what they wanted anyway, horse people tend to invent things :) Whatever you do good luck and I hope its really successful.

If you must go with a buying group over a franchise you have more control of your future.