Coronavirus prompts Shimano to withdraw from three major fishing shows

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The Bassmaster Classic is a major freshwater event for Shimano.

The Bassmaster Classic is a major freshwater event for Shimano.

Shimano has decided not to attend three major boat and fishing shows due to escalating concerns about the coronavirus, as well as any post-show quarantine for its teams.

The tackle company issued a statement explaining why it would sit out from the Fred Hall Long Beach Show in California, the Houston Fishing Show in Texas and the Bassmaster Classic, a major freshwater event for the company.

“After significant deliberation, Shimano has decided to not attend these shows due to escalating concerns about the coronavirus and any potential post-show quarantine for our team,” said the company in a statement.

The health and wellness of employees — and continuance of business — were cited as top priorities in the developing situation.

“For the safety of our employees, we’re grounded for the month of March,” Shimano America vice president Steve Ferrera told Trade Only Today. A couple of employees who were already in transit will work from home for two weeks after returning as part of a quarantine.

The decision to miss such major shows was not a small one, said Ferrera.

“Talking to consumers out in the marketplace is the best part of our business,” said Ferrera. “We look forward to this time of year, but this decision was for the greater good. We’ll make up for it next month and the month after.”

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