What’s that old saying – that you have to give a little to get a little?

I’ve visited a fair few Koi dealerships in my time on this magazine, and almost all of them have really impressed me. Usually it’s the commitment of the people running them that gets me the most – however large the outlet, however expensive their Koi, I’ve always been greeted with a smile and a cup of tea.

Then follows the obligatory ‘tour’, where a dealer shows off with great pride what they’ve achieved, what their philosophy is and, most importantly, what they’ve got lurking in their Koi ponds. I imagine that this sense of passion and pride is obvious to every Koi keeper that walks through a Koi keeper’s shop doors.

It’s sad, then, to hear that so many dealerships are struggling, although it’s hardly a surprise in the current climate. There have already been a few closure announcements spreading through the Koi grapevine. How many will fall by the wayside before things start to pick up? And will your favourites still be around by the time you’ve got some money to spend?

What’s that old saying – that you have to give a little to get a little? Perhaps it’s time that hobbyists rallied around their favourite dealers and started giving them a little bit back for all those years of advice and hospitality. Maybe it’s as simple as popping in two or three times a month, keeping their spirits up and spending what little you have with them (and not with some knock-off Nigel). After all, none of us want the industry to go into freefall – especially not as the spring and summer seasons are upon us.

And for any cynics out there who don’t expect to get much of a summer, I have it on good authority that this year is going to be blazing hot. Perfect for enjoying your Koi outside, perfect for visiting your local Koi dealer, and perfect for keeping this fantastic hobby afloat.