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Shooting Industry July 2010 - Page 43

MARKET By Denny Fallon Foreign Manufacturers Eagerly Eye Potential In USA USA to the United States. Founded in 1977 by the husband and wife team of Oreste and Vlnea Frati in Maniago, Italy, Fox Knives designs and manufactures knives for military, law enforcement and consumer use. In January 2009, Fox Knives USA was founded in the Tacoma, Wash., suburb of Puyallup to respond to the increasing demand from the American market. “Fox Knives is a leader in the international cutlery field. The Frati family has been brilliant in its approach to serving the American market,” Hofmann said. Ledwave Tactical Lighting Systems is SI DIGITAL T he 37th annual IWA & OutdoorClassics firearms and hunting trade exhibit, presented in Nuremberg, Germany, in mid-March, reemphasized a growing trend abroad. Foreign manufacturers are eager to offer their products to the vast U.S. marketplace. During this year’s event, an average daily attendance of 33,000 international dealers feasted on the offerings of 1,141 dealers from 55 countries, reflecting the same appetite, enthusiasm and energy for innovative products that dealers experienced at the 2010 SHOT Show in Las Vegas. Badge holders associated with American distributors were prize targets for the IWA exhibitors. “Establishing an efficient method of selling products to firearms and hunting enthusiasts is a priority. International companies want to serve the American market as effectively as the brand-name companies from the USA do here in Europe,” said Klaus Gotzen, general manager of JSM, the German sporting goods manufacturer’s trade association. However, addressing the U.S. market has its challenges, says Peter Hofmann, formerly an executive with PMC Ammunition, and now a principal with Outdoor Marketing International (OMI), headquartered in Muenchener, Germany. “Many European companies have the desire to sell their high-quality products in the USA,” Hofmann said. “But many do not understand what is required to accomplish this. The American market demands a smooth, fast and reliable pipeline be established. Trust and convenience are critical to the success of European companies wanting to do business in the USA.” Hofmann literally grew up in the industry as the son of Helmut Hofmann, one of Europe’s most influential shooting sports and hunting equipment distributors. His list of the crucial ingredients for success includes offering a popular product or service, establishing an attractive price, launching an effective promotional and marketing strategy and an emphasis on communication and customer service. “Establishing distribution channels is also an absolute necessity. We invite the readers of Shooting Industry to contact us for a needs assessment,” Hofmann said. He points out that Fox Knives, an OMI client, is a sparkling example of how a European company can translate its success Hot Link Fox Knives displays its Military Division offerings at IWA. The knife maker is a “sparkling example” of a European company that has found success in the U.S. market. Visit www. JULY 2010 43

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