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09/07/2022

Karl’s Fishing & Outdoors parent deploys store-based AI analytics

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Karl’s Fishing & Outdoors is carefully analyzing store activity.

The new Karl’s Fishing & Outdoors store is gathering and analyzing key customer metrics with artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) technology.

Catch Co., operator of two e-commerce brands: Mystery Tackle Box, a monthly subscription box of lures and tackle, and Karl's Bait & Tackle, a membership-based e-commerce platform, recently opened its first brick-and-mortar store, in Ft. Worth, Texas. The company is deploying in-store solutions from brick-and-mortar data analysis technology provider RetailNext to optimize store operations in real time.

By integrating two RetailNext AI-powered systems, Traffic 2.0 and Aurora, Catch Co. is obtaining access to actionable behavioral insights in the store. Utilizing Aurora, an IoT sensor that combines human activity recognition with deep learning capabilities, Karl's Fishing & Outdoors managers can seamlessly gather and analyze key customer metrics such as visit duration, unique traffic, and visit frequency.

Equipped with this information, Catch Co. management seeks to create a data-driven store experience that feels individually personalized to each shopper. And by leveraging the Traffic 2.0 solution, store managers gain full visibility into footfall, enabling more efficient staff scheduling.

With a better understanding of shopper traffic and direction of travel upon entrance, Catch Co. also seeks to improve merchandising decisions and enhance in-store marketing campaigns for optimal customer experience and profitability. So far, Catch Co. reports it was able to beat initial sales targets by 200% within one week of opening the Karl's Fishing & Outdoors store. 

The design of the 2,500-sq.-ft. Karl's Fishing & Outdoors store features interactive, tech-enabled experiences that demonstrate how products are used to catch fish, including displays that let customers touch and feel baits and see how the items act underwater. The product assortment includes rods, reels, tackle, kits, tools, fly fishing gear, kayaks, apparel and outdoor lifestyle items. It will also host fishing lessons and meetups, including philanthropic events and entertainment.

The store is located at WestBend, a 278,000-sq.-ft. retail, office and dining destination in Fort Wort’s University District. A second Karl's Bait & Tackle location will soon launch at the Mall of America in Minneapolis.

“We want fishing to be enjoyed by everyone, and we’re committed to building a community around the Catch Co. brand and forging ever-closer connections with our customers,” said Teeg Stoufer, Catch Co. director of retail experience. “Bringing that mission into the real world with brick-and-mortar stores was the logical next step, and RetailNext’s technologies are helping us to realize that ambition, using data-driven insights to create the most fulfilling, inclusive, and interactive shopping experiences possible.”

“As one of America’s most beloved fishing brands, Catch Co. is pushing the envelope when it comes to experiential shopping,” said Sergio Gutierrez, RetailNext head of revenue. “We’re delighted to be supporting them on this journey. By providing the insights store leaders need to better understand customer behavior they are better equipped to react and design incredible experiences that shoppers will want to return to time and again.”