By Jade Moldae
“Dealers are the marketing and advertising arm of the manufacturers they represent.” This succinct, yet powerful observation appeared in a letter I received last year from a dealer, which encapsulates the critical role storefront dealers play in our industry’s success. Manufacturers can conceptualize, assemble and deliver products to the retail level (either directly, or indirectly through the wholesaler distribution channel, of course), but the retailer is the one on the “front lines” at the point of sale.
As local ambassadors of the shooting sports, what dealers choose to stock and then endorse carries a lot of weight — providing the critical link from the industry to the end user. If the dealer is successful in curating a sale, more than likely, it will lead to return visits for ammunition, that new red dot sight he read about in American Handgunner, an IWB holster to carry it, a self-defense training class (or several), etc.
That initial sale literally opens the door of opportunity to the entire industry. This is why Shooting Industry champions the independent storefront dealer and range operator — their triumphs impact every other segment, from manufacturing and OEM partnerships to those involved in distribution, import/export, sales rep and service capacities. We’re all in this together.
Accordingly, Shooting Industry’s primary objective is to identify trends impacting the trade, fresh approaches to marketing, the latest on promotion efforts, new dealer initiatives, research findings and, yes, even the tactics of anti-industry organizations or ripples in the political sphere — all with the aim of helping dealers/ranges increase their profitability.
It’s something we’ve done for nearly 65 years, and it will be no different in 2019. There are, however, some exciting changes coming your way this calendar year.
New Features In Store
For the first time, Shooting Industry will publish an all-women’s issue this May. It promises to be a milestone issue, highlighting woman-owned businesses and effective strategies to really market to women. Truthfully, this is long overdue, as women continue to join our industry’s ranks in staggering numbers.
Millennials and Gen Zs are hotly pursued by almost every business in existence, as their influence (both economically and socially) is on the ascent. So, Shooting Industry will provide an extended look at how the industry is engaging with this youthful segment in the June issue.
In August, there will be a quasi-mid-year update on the breakout trends of 2019. This review is aptly timed to give dealers an opportunity to look at new advancements likely to pique the interest of consumers in the upcoming fall hunting and end-of-the-year buying seasons.
These represent highlights in just three issues, but SI has insights on industry segments every month. February will zero-in on thermal optics, EDC carry sales and a spring turkey season preview.
Outside of SI’s printed editions, FMG Publications’ Video Productions team has launched a new program — Dealer Advantage. With this program, manufacturers, distributors and importers have the ability to talk directly to dealers through a custom video. Presented in a powerful “how to sell” and “why you should stock this product” format, Dealer Advantage provides information directly from manufacturers — helping dealers stay informed and be more profitable.
For more information, visit www.shootingindustry.com/digital-version and click the “Sign Up Now” button to subscribe to SI’s digital communications or subscribe to our YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/shootingindustry.
Count SI As A Partner In 2019
With all of these exciting developments taking place, you can count on Shooting Industry to be a trusted partner in 2019. It’s not lost on us there are a multitude of outlets available today, and the fact you’ve selected Shooting Industry as a trusted, dependable resource is invaluable to our team. So, thank you for letting us be a part of your 2019 business year — it promises to be an “interesting” ride, and we’ll be there every step of the way to uncover new opportunities for growth.
If you’re attending SHOT Show this month, stop by the FMG Publications booth (#16327). We would relish the opportunity to shake your hand and get your perspective on the current state of the industry. There will also be thousands of copies of Shooting Industry’s Dec. 2018 and Jan. 2019 New Business Year Editions — along with our sister publications, GUNS Magazine and American Handgunner — available at the FMG booth. Attendees will have an opportunity to browse through 264 pages of business-building editorial across SI’s New Business Year editions, including new products from over 220 companies, the Greatest Buyer’s Guide In The Universe and more.
Have an observation after reading this issue? You can contact me anytime, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s to a lively and prosperous New Business Year.