Jack Alvey with an enormous tailor and an Alvey reel inset.

Alvey closes after 102 years

Iconic Australian brand Alvey Reels will close after more than 102 years in business creating its signature fishing reels.

Announcing the shutdown in emails to shoppers and on social media, the company said “drastic cost increases” in raw materials as well as global supply chain issues were proving to be too expensive to remain in business.

Alvey will cease production at its Carole Park facility in Queensland on June 30, where it has been since 1978.

Major shareholder Con Athans said, “After announcing in 2019 that Alvey Reels was going into its centenary year of 2020 with a bright outlook and emerging global markets, Alvey Reels has seen significant export market growth, product innovation and expansion.”

“The ability to source raw materials together with drastic cost increases, significant and increasing domestic and global supply chain logistics issues, and coupled with COVID-19 disruptive staff shortages, Alvey Reels has made the difficult decision that production at the Carole Park facility is no longer sustainable and to cease manufacturing.”

The business said it was sitting on “significant supplies” of stock, which it will sell the entirety of.

Phones at its Carole Park facility will be diverted to an answering service while warehouse, dispatch and administration staff will remain on roster until early 2023 to help fulfil the business’ final sales.

In a statement, Alvey said, “We at Alvey Reels deeply regret this difficult decision, and while we commit to supplying as many of our products as we can for as long as we can, our immediate priorities are our loyal staff, our dedicated retailers and passionate supporters and customers.”

“On behalf of the Alvey Team, we thank you all for your 102 years of support.”

The demise of Alvey comes almost five years after the business was saved from the brink of collapse.

In July 2017, Bruce Alvey – a direct descendant of Charles who founded the business in 1920 – announced that Alvey Reels would be closing down due to low sales.

An outpouring of nostalgia and support following the announcement filled enough orders to keep the business alive for another 12 months.

When the company came near to collapsing in 2017, many theorised that because the original reels were built so well, customers never needed to buy another.

It then attracted investment from businessman Con Athans, who revived the business and expanded its product line to include different types of fishing reels and high-end apparel.

A uniquely Australian product, the iconic side-cast reels produced by Alvey – occasionally dubbed the ‘dog’s dish’ or ‘knuckle buster’ – were renowned for their durability and longevity.

Unlike high-end spin and overhead reels, Alveys could be dropped in sand and water without affecting their operation, proving popular with beach and rock anglers.

If fishos were unlucky enough to break their Alvey, a call to the business would often be received by a descendant of Charles Alvey himself.

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