Industry Looks Forward To A Great Year

Optimism has engulfed the industry as it heads into the new business year. The biggest challenge may be in finding a company official who isn’t optimistic about business in 2012.

When asked about the prospects for next year, given the weak economy and national elections, the occasional cautious comment from company officials is usually followed by projection for continued good, if not robust, sales. (See “New Business Year,” page 38.)
Personal-defense products continue to top sales in the industry, and that trend will continue into 2012. Why does the industry generally do well when the economy is bad?

“I think it’s the uncertainty. That’s the single biggest thing. People don’t know who is going to get elected, they’re concerned about future legislation, and I think there’s an attitude of, ‘Let me buy it while I can,’” said Brian Herrick, Savage Arms vice president of marketing and sales. “That’s why you generally see it affecting (positively) ammunition, handguns, self-defense rifles or security shotguns. When it comes to our type of goods, which is traditional long guns, these conditions generally have a negative impact.”

But, Herrick says, Savage has defied the trend.

“Things have been off the charts for us. We just finished up a record-setting year and it was across the board. It was centerfire and rimfire; they all performed exceptionally well. Very honestly, it’s not that the category is growing — we’re simply taking market share,” Herrick said.

Savage’s impressive performance in the market is driven by changes the company made to its product line, Herrick says.

“Certainly, last year when we introduced the Axis rifle, that has been a primary driver for us, producing huge volumes,” Herrick said. “I think more dealers are handling the Axis, they’re happy with what they see and they’re bringing in more Savage guns.”

Herrick reports that Savage, as of early November, sold 170,000 rimfire rifles in 2011.

“That’s a significant number and it’s a good part of our business. Certainly putting the AccuTrigger into the bolt-action rimfires a number of years gave it a big boost. Today, we’re the largest rimfire producer in the world,” Herrick said.

Savage will introduce four “volume drivers” for 2012, Herrick reports.

“We’re bringing out a left-handed Axis rifle — no one else has an entry-level price-point, left-handed gun,” Herrick said. “Another real volume driver is a scaled-down rimfire, bolt-action single-shot called the Rascal. We’ve also teamed up with Nikon and have three package guns, with 3-9×40 scopes with BDC reticles. The fourth volume driver is a pump gun from China. Last year, we brought in a model that was a bit heavy. This version has an alloy frame that is going to be very competitively priced.”

Herrick says the nation’s poor economy will not challenge the industry.

“If the economy was going to impact the industry, it would have done that already. While it’s going to go up and down and have gyrations, I think it’s going to have an overall trend upward. All in all, we’re looking for a great year,” Herrick said.

In the January issue, dealers will share their views on 2012, along with their recommendations for success in the new business year.

Use Shooting Industry To Help Get Your Ducks In A Row

Yes, the new business year is shaping up to be a good one for the industry. With that, of course, comes the challenge of maximizing the opportunity. That’s where Shooting Industry comes in.

For dealers, we feature articles with “golden nuggets,” those tips that help increase sales in the major segments of the market. For our advertisers, we put your products in front of consumer-selected gun dealers — real dealers who conduct real business with consumers.

These are the major components of our business model. By providing dealers with articles they find have value, they are exposed to advertisers’ messages, which provides a strong ROI for all concerned. Yes, that includes us. But first, we must help dealers succeed.

We provide numerous tools for success, starting with our printed editions of Shooting Industry and our all-digital issues, along with our presence on Facebook and YouTube.

And you can start the new business year off right by ensuring you’re getting your own personalized, engraved copy of Shooting Industry magazine. OK, it really won’t be personalized or engraved — but it will be your own copy. No more trying to find the one that was “sitting right there this morning!” While we can’t ship dozen of copies of SI to your company or dealership, we can deliver a copy each month to your email inbox.

A subscription to SI Digital is free. All the articles and advertisements that are in the printed version are in the all-digital edition — plus, you get features not in the printed magazine. There are hundreds of hotlinks in every digital edition, giving you click-of-the-mouse access to company websites and, through our Product Index feature, hundreds of articles on products published in all the magazines of FMG Publications.

Here’s another value-added feature: our all-digital editions are ageless — readers continue to read the Internet-based publication year after year. This provides a valuable resource for dealers and bonus exposure for our advertisers.
Subscribing to our all-digital magazine is easy. Visit and click “Digital Editions.”

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