Remington Outdoor Co. (ROC) Chairman and CEO Anthony Acitelli has reinvigorated the company following
its emergence from bankruptcy earlier this year. With new programs in place to attract buying groups and
independent dealers, ROC is primed to make an impact on the consumer market in 2019. .
Remington Chairman: “Our Focus Is Squarely On The Independent.”
By Jade Moldae
In May, Remington Outdoor Co. (ROC) announced it had successfully emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy, turning more than $775 million in debt into equity. “It is morning in Remington country,” said Remington CEO Anthony Acitelli in the published release. Shooting Industry had an opportunity to sit down with Acitelli, who was named ROC chairman in June, for an update on how a revitalized Remington will impact the industry and storefront dealers in both the short and long term.
Acitelli was forthright while addressing the company’s shortcomings in recent years.
“If you look at our business going into bankruptcy, we had some key accounts that were trying to drive the business but in this downturn couldn’t do it,” he stated. “During the Obama years, we got into a mode of narrowing our SKU count and mothballing brands like Para and H&R and only focusing on the ‘deep runners’ like 9mm handguns and .223-caliber MSRs. When you sell everything you make, you seem really smart and strategies are confirmed, but when the market takes a downturn you’ve narrowed your customer base.”
Acitelli affirmed his primary goal is reclaiming the trust of customers.
“For 2018, the battle cry has been ‘Getting Our Customers Back’ — get them back and then repopulate the factories to get things moving again,” he lends. “We’re going to get our customers back, focusing on those whom maybe we walked away from and we’re doing this the best way we can to repair relationships. That’s been Job One in the 10 months I’ve been here. We’re starting to see it pay off.”
Impact On Remington Brands
With a clean slate, Acitelli shared some exciting news for ROC’s brands: “We’re going to be doing some new things with Marlin, and we’re bringing back Para and H&R. Those are all areas we didn’t look closely at in the boom times.”
The reemergence of the Para and H&R brands will be a welcome development in the consumer market.
“The handgun market is an area where we’d like to play. Certainly Remington has a handgun line, but Para allows us to do — from a branding point of view — some things we might not be able to do with the Remington line,” Acitelli said. “If you look at the H&R business, dealers told us they wanted to see it come back.”
Marlin and Barnes are two brands Acitelli earmarked for a renewal moving forward.
“Marlin is on the upside for us. We plan on filling out the brand with several new products; we have SKUs people want to see and will continue developing them,” he said. “The lever-action market, for us, is very strong — but we’re going to miss sales this year simply because we can’t make enough Marlins.”
Barnes will also be taking a fresh approach to doing business, according to Acitelli.
“Barnes has always been a solid performer for us, even through all the different changes [at the corporate level] over the years,” Acitelli said. “Coming from a brand like Federal Premium [Acitelli served at ATK from 2002–2013], where they have the best of all bullets incorporated in their product line, I’d like to see Barnes with premium ammunition products with the competitors across the board. It’s such a good product and fills a good need in the copper arena; our plan is to expand it to other manufacturers and have more OEM product out there.”
Further, Acitelli shared Barnes will continue to broaden its scope to incorporate other shooting opportunities — such as target and competitive shooting. This move will complement Barnes’ established hunting offerings.
The current state of the MSR market has presented challenges for the DPMS and Bushmaster brands.
“We have to find a way to stabilize the market in the recent downturn, as the pricing for those products has really made it an unprofitable business,” Acitelli observed. “We’re going to introduce new products and upgrade them so we can play in a different space. A lot of the small competitors will probably fall away during this downturn.”
Restoring A Dealer-Centric Stance
Since joining ROC in Oct. 2017, Acitelli has assembled a new management team with extensive experience in the industry.
“We have industry veterans at the helm who understand the products and segments. They look at it through a different lens — not just from a spreadsheet point of view and numbers — but at the bigger picture in the industry. All major leaders here have come up through the industry and understand what happened to Remington over the years. We understand it and are trying to fix it.”
With a new team in place, Acitelli emphasized dealers stand to benefit.
“For the independent dealer, there are some great things ahead. The focus of this management team is, really, to get back to our core — and that’s the dealer. Being from the industry, and the former sales lead at ATK, I know the importance of buy groups and the independent dealer,” he said. “We’re squarely focused on the independent.”
With the approach of the 2019 New Business Year, Acitelli outlined a path forward for the company.
“If you look at 2019 for us, we’ll have all the buy groups back and a full year of promotions to drive the business,” he revealed. “We’ll have an expanded footprint with all of the retailers we’ve targeted to bring back on board. When that’s in place, it will then be about filling the customers’ needs.”
The Remington Outdoor Company family of brands includes: Remington, Marlin, DPMS, Advanced Armament Corp., Bushmaster, The Parker Gun, Barnes, Nesika, Stormlake Barrels, Dakota Arms, TAPCO, TimberSmith, Para and H&R.
Crosman Forms Velocity Outdoor, Acquires Ravin
In August, Crosman Corporation, a subsidiary of Compass Diversified Holdings, announced its board of directors approved the holding company’s new name: Velocity Outdoor. According to the company news release, this corporate identity “better reflects the diverse portfolio of brands currently under the Crosman Corporation umbrella and highlights the company’s strengths in the hunting, shooting and outdoor markets.”
The name change will not impact any of the consumer brands under this umbrella, including: Crosman and Benjamin Airguns; CenterPoint Archery and Optics; LaserMax; Copperhead; and GameFace Airsoft.
“Our company’s roots have been in the airgun category for more than 90 years, and it will continue to represent an important core of our business,” said Bob Beckwith, CEO. “We have also seen significant growth in our CenterPoint Archery brand and recently acquired the LaserMax commercial business. The Velocity Outdoor name will be a strong corporate umbrella to represent a diverse product portfolio and position us for future growth.”
Sept. 4, Velocity Outdoor announced the acquisition of Superior, Wis.-based Ravin Crossbows.
“We’re thrilled to be adding Ravin’s high quality, premium performance and intellectual property to the company as a complement to our well established, market-leading CenterPoint archery business,” Beckwith said.
Blue Wonder Updates Brand
Blue Wonder Gun Care Products recently received a branding facelift. Bolt Strategies, the company’s marketing and sales partner, designed a new logo and launched a branding update for the gun-care line.
Blue Wonder products are unique in the marketplace because of their micro-penetrating technology.
“The lubricants penetrate so well consumers can enjoy an, ‘I just picked up my gun from the gunsmith’ feel when using them,” said Mike Thomas, BOLT Strategies managing partner.
The products are environmentally friendly, too.
“A brand like Blue Wonder, with its mostly biodegradable line of well-engineered products, is prepared to step up and remind shooters they don’t have to poison themselves and their families when they clean their guns,” Thomas added.
The new Blue Wonder logo was designed to reflect both key features of the products.
“We have always known we have the best gun-care products on the market, and our customers have consistently said our products do exactly what we say they will do,” said Ken Gibbs, Blue Wonder CEO. “Our partnership with BOLT Strategies will enable us to expand opportunities for resellers and increase our current high levels of consumer satisfaction.”
Champion Awards Tom Knapp Memorial Scholarships
One of two 2018 Tom Knapp Memorial Scholarship winners, Ryli Jetton (right) of Ashland, Mo., was honored
during a ceremony at the National 4-H Shooting Sports Championships in Grand Island, Neb. Champion’s
Jon Zinnel (left), said: “We’re thrilled these young people are interested in carrying on the tradition
of the shooting sports in Mr. Knapp’s memory.”
Champion Range and Target, makers of interactive and challenging target systems, announced its 2018 Tom Knapp Memorial Scholarship winners.
Nicholas Bohannon of Tekamah, Neb., and Ryli Jetton of Ashland, Mo., this year’s award recipients, were honored at the recent National 4-H Shooting Sports Championships in Nebraska. Each received $2,500 scholarships.
“We are thrilled these young people are interested in carrying on the tradition of the shooting sports in Mr. Knapp’s memory. We look forward to following Nicholas and Ryli, and watching the future impact they will have on this industry,” said Jon Zinnel of Champion Range and Target’s education and conservation outreach department.
The Tom Knapp Memorial Scholarship program is named for the late exhibition shooter Tom Knapp, longtime ambassador for Champion. With the support of Knapp’s widow, Colleen, Champion extended his licensed products program to fund the endowed scholarship awards that go to two National 4-H Ambassadors each year.
Applicants for the scholarships must be 4-H Shooting Sports Ambassadors with a 3.0 or higher GPA, and enrolled in an accredited college or university.
GLOCK 19X Achieves Six-Month Production Milestone
GLOCK Inc. announced landmark sales of its 19X, the company’s commercial version of the pistol it developed for the U.S. Army MHS pistol solicitation. In less than six months since the release of the G19X to the commercial market, GLOCK has delivered over 100,000 pistols.
GLOCK introduced the 19X to the commercial market in January at the 2018 SHOT Show in Las Vegas. The G19X has received recognition as Best New Handgun and Best Overall Shooting Sports new item at various distributor shows.
“The GLOCK 19X has helped reinvigorate the polymer pistol market. Its demand and popularity have exceeded our expectations,” said Flint Virgets, senior VP and GM of Lipsey’s, wholesale firearms distributor.
The GLOCK 19X combines the full-size frame and compact slide of the company’s most popular and trusted field-tested platforms — the G17/19 and the Gen5 — making it ideal for all conditions and situations.
“By combining the standards of high-level performance and reliability with distinctive design enhancements, this pistol offers proven results and delivers maximum efficiency,” said GLOCK VP Josh Dorsey. “These shipping numbers not only validate the earned trust our customers put in GLOCK, but also demonstrate GLOCK’s proven manufacturing and surface treatment capabilities, ensuring the company can deliver pistols in the quality and quantity our customers demand.”
Trijicon Licenses BAE Systems’ OASYS Technology
Trijicon Inc., global provider of innovative aiming solutions, announced it will license BAE Systems’ OASYS thermal imaging and aiming technology.
The licensing agreement enhances Trijicon’s product portfolio for the commercial, military and law enforcement markets, positioning the company to provide the OASYS line of compact, high-performance, thermal imaging and aiming monoculars, weapon sights and binoculars. The agreement also includes the sale of BAE Systems’ current OASYS inventory to Trijicon.
Trijicon and BAE Systems will continue to collaborate to help maintain product quality, transfer manufacturing and operations knowledge and develop a potential product roadmap.
“The addition of OASYS products to our existing thermal portfolio is a natural next step for our business. We look forward to building on the OASYS portfolio, working closely with BAE Systems to maintain quality and performance, and making the products accessible to a larger customer base,” said Trijicon President Stephen Bindon.
The OASYS electro-optic product line uses uncooled thermal technology in its imaging and aiming products. This method provides infrared thermal detection of targets and delivers heightened situational awareness to operators.
“There is strong demand and an untapped market for the OASYS products. We believe Trijicon’s business model will enable them to unlock this market potential while continuing to provide competitive, high-performance offerings to BAE Systems’ current and future OASYS customers,” said Paul Markwardt, VP and GM of survivability, targeting and sensing solutions at BAE Systems.
Holosun Technologies To Relocate, Expand Operations
Holosun Technologies Inc., an optics manufacturer based in Southern California, plans to move its operations from Walnut, Calif., to Los Angeles County. The move will allow the company to build on its growth in the optics industry, as well as attract, hire and retain exceptional talent.
Holosun, which manufactures, imports and distributes red dots sights, tactical lasers and accessories, plans to invest $7 million into the move of its headquarters to the City of Industry, Calif. The company has moved twice in the past three years in response to its business growth.
“This move will afford us the room we need to expand our operations and product offerings over the next decade. Our new facility will house our customer service, sales support and shipping/receiving departments, as well as our assembly operations. Additionally, as we continue to grow our business, we will explore manufacturing many of the components used in our products at the new facility,” said Louis Craig, Holosun business development manager.
Company officials anticipate adding positions in assembly, customer service, shipping and receiving.