Assortment, Brand Marks & Distribution

Upon arriving at Colt, Spitale found numerous things needing to be addressed, but three took priority.

“First was the assortment,” Spitale explained. “Bringing back guns shooters wanted was first and foremost. At the time, many of our 1911s didn’t cover what today’s shooters were looking for. We had some products with poor ergonomics and we had some aspirational guns that weren’t very well appointed. All of that has been re-tuned. We’ve reengineered every single pistol in our line in the past four-and-a-half years.”

The second was the brand marks.

“We had various levels of how the company was being marketed. We decided on one theme, ‘Built one at a time. Proven every round.’ We felt we could say that with more authority than anybody else in the industry,” Spitale continued.

Distribution was the third area of focus.

“Many of our retail partners felt disenfranchised,” Spitale acknowledged. “They could get guns, but they didn’t really stock our guns. In 2015 we probably only had about 250 dealers who actually carried and stocked Colt products. So, we restructured our stocking dealer program, eliminating heavy requirements and we grew to over 3,000 by Year Two and today we top out at just over 4,000 stocking dealers. I would say 95% of our business comes from small specialty shops and it’s where we shine. That’s where Colt has its most advocacy.”