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Shooting Industry June 2010 - Page 43
PROFITABLE By John Morrison GUN LEATHER rising, particularly models that fill the needs of concealed-handgun carriers, specifically holsters and accessories for the new wave of small, compact and subcompact handguns. “A new generation of shooters is discovering the value and beauty of real leather holsters and accessories,” Lowery said. “Nylon and plastic are cheap and they wear out fast, but good gun leather lasts a lifetime. Triple K offers a nice selection of other leather shooting sports accessories, but a good leather holster is as personal as it gets for the discerning shooter. Triple K has them, and at very reasonable pricing.” Lowery and other industry insiders also note that leather goods typically boast much better margins than fabric products. Also, there isn’t as much competition from hordes of virtual look-alike competitors, which can confuse potential customers. Your main leather-buying customers can be divided into two primary groups. One includes longtime shooting-product buyers who have matured, refined their tastes and are willing to pay reasonable prices for real, quality leather goods. Often, selling to this group is simply a matter of inventorying the goods, maximizing product visibility in your shop Meet Your Customers’ Practical & Aesthetic Needs N N o one can dispute that the product-development wizards at BLACKHAWK! have an impressive record of accurately reading marketplace trends and staying on the cutting edge of consumer tastes. This global giant built an empire based on stitched synthetic fabrics and polymers. So what are they bringing out in 2010? Seven new leather holsters. Take this as strong evidence of the continuing demand — and perhaps a bit of a resurgence — for leather products. Two important market forces are driving the upswing in leather products. First is the tidal wave of new gun owners in America. These consumers may be new to the world of firearms, but they already know and appreciate the appeal and durability of quality leather. Second, there is an inarguable backlash effect against a market recently dominated by holsters and other accessories constructed of synthetic materials. Simply put, many regular holster-and-accessory buyers are bored stiff with nylon-this and synthetic-that. Triple K Brand, a leading wholesaler/retailer manufacturer of 100-percent USA-made leather goods, is an excellent barometer of the market. SI spoke with Rex Lowery, Triple K director of sales, and learned overall sales and demand are definitely Defining The Market Demand Is Rising Triple K Manufacturing has been offering leather products for the shooting sports and law enforcement for more than 62 years. Visit www.shootingindustry.com/triplek.html. JUNE 2010 43 www.shootingindustry.com