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Shooting Industry January 2010 - Page 10

Industry Industry news Industry Cautious About 2010 Market By Russ Thurman he industry enters the New Year with a mixture of gratitude for a strong 2009 and uneasiness about the business climate of 2010. Last year was marked by significant sales of firearms and ammunition. The sales surge of 2009 was set in motion in November 2008, following the national elections. While not all of the industry was favored with booming sales, overall, it was a landmark year for many companies. “It’s been a very good year. It’s been a great year. Trust me,” said Gene Lumsden, president and CEO of Legacy Sports International. Ruger reported its net sales for the third quarter of 2009 were $71.2 million, an increase of 70 percent for the same quarter in 2008. And, according to Ruger CEO Mike Fifer, the company saw impressive sell through of products. “This year-over-year increase in demand of approximately 50 percent substantially exceeded the 11-percent growth in NICS background checks over the same period, suggesting the likelihood of some market share gain by the company and Money Tight? Sell Versatility — pg. 40 T some increase in inventory at the retailers,” Fifer said. Smith & Wesson reported its second quarter 2009 sales, ending Oct. 31, 2009, were $108.8 million, a 48.6-percent increase for the same period in 2008. “We continued to capitalize in our second quarter on the strong demand for products in both our firearms and perimeter security businesses to deliver a new record level of quarterly revenue,” said Mike Golden, Smith & Wesson president and CEO. Another indicator of the substantial firearm business is data from the FBI. While the NICS data does not reflect the actual number of firearms sold, it’s the most reliable up-to-date indicator of consumer activity. During 2009, through November, NICS conducted 12,626,669 background checks, setting the course for a record-setting year. Based on trends, the total number of background checks for 2009 will easily exceed 13 million, and push close to the 14-million mark. During November, NICS conducted 1,223,252 background checks, which was, not surprisingly, 20 percent fewer than the record set in November 2008. However, November 2009 was up 13 percent over November 2007. In stark contrast to 2009 is the cautious approach to the market for the New Year. “2010, it does concern me a little bit, only because we’ve been through this before when we had the huge upswing and panic buying during the Brady Bill. It took us about a year and a half to work our way out of the inventory that was sitting out there,” said Lumsden. “Now, with the black-gun sales and a lot of inventory in the market, on top of an economy that’s limping along with over 10-percent unemployment — that one we haven’t experienced yet. That one concerns me more than anything.” Lumsden, however, while expressing concern about 2010, reflected the attitude of many in the industry concerning their approach to business for the New Year. “We’re going to continue to be aggressive and keep doing what we’ve been doing. And we have a lot of new products for 2010,” Lumsden said. Cautious, But Aggressive S&W Arms Washington State Police S mith & Wesson Holding Corp. announced in October that the Washington State Patrol (WSP) has selected the M&P40 for duty use. The WSP has ordered 1,400 M&P40 pistols. The company recently completed shipments of 1,300 M&P pistols to the Washington State Department of Corrections (DOC). “Contracts from departments, such as the Washington State Patrol and other various organizations within the Washington State DOC, demonstrate the diversity of the M&P pistol series, as well as the ability of the M&P product line to meet a broad range of applications and requirements,” said Leland Nichols, Smith & Wesson’s senior vice president of sales and marketing. Divisions within the Washington DOC that have converted to the M&P pistol include the Correctional Facility, Women’s Correction Facility and the Washington State Penitentiary, along with several other state institutions. For more information, visit Taurus Helps Boy Scouts See page 13 $255,000 Glock Helps Families/Future Leaders See page 28 $200,000 Remington Model 870 Shotgun See page 64 10,000,001st Subscribe to SI Digital: 10 Read SI DIGITAL It’s Free! • SHOT SHOW EXTRA SUPER ISSUE 2010

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