Dealers Weary Of “Crisis Fatigue” Heading Into ’24


In a sign of how things have changed over the years, Larry Hyatt, owner of Hyatt Guns, states, “We now have what we call ‘social unrest’ inventory.”

For those of you who have been in the industry for longer than I have — which will be 12 years next month — sudden, dramatic shifts in the market occurred only a handful of times per decade (or thereabouts).

In recent history, these events happen on what seems like a monthly basis, making long-term planning all the more challenging for everyone — especially independent dealers. In Q4 2023 alone, the start of the Israel-Hamas War and the tragic shooting in Lewiston, Maine, caused ripples in the market.

Inside the December issue of Shooting Industry, Fort Thompson Sporting Goods Owner Tom Denniston talked about the impact of these events that have caused considerable “crisis fatigue” for both dealers and customers.

“I’ve been through three of these [shortages],” he shared. “We’ve been to the well too many times.”

For a dealer to run out of product is never good, but neither is betting long on a short-term crisis.

“A couple of times I bought too much,” Denniston said. “If you get too much stuff bought and everybody catches up, the price goes down and you’re stuck with inventory you paid too much for.”

A sign of how things have changed over the years, dealers today now need what Hyatt Guns Owner Larry Hyatt describes as “social unrest” inventory.

“Everybody in the gun business needs to keep their ears on the news. Because it affects us so much, whether it’s crime or a potential gun law or international news,” he stated. “We have what we call ‘social unrest’ inventory. You better have it, because law enforcement needs it, and citizens need it. So, you have to have some ammunition stocked up.”

As we prepare for our 69th year of equipping, educating and empowering independent dealers to succeed in business, we’re enthused to partner with you in the New Business Year.

I’ll be in Las Vegas for the 2024 SHOT Show Monday–Thursday. If you have a new product, program to benefit dealers in 2024 or would like to connect during the show, contact me anytime:

Unintended Parallels In Jan. 2024 Issue

If you read through our first edition of 2024, you may notice some parallel themes — which wasn’t an intention when we put the issue together. In three places, the importance of mentorship takes center stage.

Industry News covers an all-women antelope hunt in Wyoming, showcasing how six women (four of whom were first-time big-game hunters) spent time together and out in the field — resulting in strong connections and mentorship opportunities.

In Jay Pinsky’s article, “Mentorship In The Outdoor Space” (p. 40), he highlights the ultimate goal of mentorship: “Regardless of how you choose to mentor, or be mentored, remember the final goal isn’t a trophy harvest but a trophy life. Make it your goal and at the end of the day, you’ll have more success — in and out of the deer stand — and so will the people you care about.”

Finally, Michelle Scheuermann attended the SIG Rose Retreat last October and found well-thought-out events like it create lifetime bonds between women and the brands they support. In “The Costs Of Putting On A Gun Retreat? Priceless,” she shares her experiences and how other attendees view SIG SAUER as a result of getting to receive one-on-one instruction from renowned shooter Lena Miculek.

This quote from attendee Ashley Smith, who, along with her husband, recently became the co-owner of a gun store an hour north of New York City, says it all: “I got the green light, and I got the credit card — I’m going to buy everything. I already have the P365-XL, but I need to get the .380 after shooting it with Lena here.”

That, in a nutshell, is what it’s all about!

CLICK HERE for more January 2024 FMG Inside News