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Setting the stage for 2011: expo promotes: better together--delivering the whole sale.

As racehorse fans enjoyed the Breeder's Cup in Louisville, Ky., in early November, firearm industry manufacturers and wholesalers met to do business at the 37th Annual NASGW Meeting & Expo.

Meeting at Louisville's downtown convention center, Nov. 3-5, the National Association of Sporting Goods Wholesalers event provided manufacturers the opportunity to introduce their new products and programs to the wholesale market to launch 2011.


More than 475 NASGW members met at the association's Industry Breakfast the first day of the expo, setting the stage for three days of sales, meetings and programs.

Although the buying fever of 2009 has dissipated, most manufacturers and wholesalers at the meeting were pleased with their sales in 2010, which many described as closer to their 2008 sales. As could be predicted, those manufacturers and wholesalers with the most aggressive sales and marketing programs fared the best during 2010, as new products and creative programs sustained sales.

Overall, the consensus is the future looks bright for the shooting sports, and the November midterm election helped ease some fears of any onerous, anti-gun legislation in the near term.

Rolling Out New Products

Manufacturers credited NASGW with providing an important business forum with its annual event.

"The NASGW is vitally important to us as we kick off 2011. We've had over 30 quality meetings with key accounts from across the country. This is the only venue that gives us that opportunity at this time of the year," said Cyndi Flannigan, sales manager of Leupold & Stevens.

Leupold is planning for significant increases in 2011, driven primarily by new products and a major increase in production of the new Redfield line of products.



Tom Taylor, Mossberg's vice president of sales and marketing, also was pleased with the show.

"We greatly value our distributor partnerships, and this show allows us to serve the meat and potatoes to the core of the market as we roll out new products and programs," Taylor said.

Taylor believes the market in 2011 will be strong for Mossberg.

"We are putting much more emphasis on promotions and advertising, especially featuring our new Triple Crown Dealer Program, and we have introduced eight new product platforms," Taylor said.

It is not just established "heavy-hitters" in the industry that experienced tremendous growth in the last few years. Grovtec, a relatively new e company in the Portland, Ore., area, announced it will soon move into a new 34,000-square-foot facility. Their line of swivels, slings, holsters and gun-cleaning products has been well received in the wholesale market.

"This show is very important to our future success, and we look forward to working with key accounts here every year," said Kim Graham, Grovtec vice president of sales and marketing.

Kyle Hopp, director of ammunition sales at Nosler, was enthusiastic about 2010 sales, and looking forward to 2011 with new products and an energized workforce. Nosler is back up to full-production capacity in its facility since an explosion at their plant last year.

"We have new additions to almost every category of bullets and loaded ammunition, with a huge expansion of lead-free ballistic tip ammunition, as well as many new loads in the Nosler Match Grade line of product," Hopp said.

Nosler is also introducing the John Nosler Model 48 Legacy Rifle in honor of the company's founder, John Nosler, who passed away in October 2010.

Bob Morrison, president and CEO of Taurus and Rossi, was upbeat about 2010 sales and the annual NASGW event.

"We at Taurus are beholden to the NASGW for hosting this show and providing the opportunity to reveal our plans for the upcoming year, as well as reviewing our performance during the current year," Morrison said.

The company continues to introduce new products at a brisk pace.

"Taurus is very excited about the future, and we are pleased with the response we've received from our valued wholesalers at this show," Morrison said.

NASGW Honors Companies

NASGW presented its annual Industry Awards at the expo to the manufacturers that best demonstrate a commitment to two-step distribution and provide outstanding value and service.

Sturm, Ruger & Co. was honored as 2010 Firearms Manufacturer of the Year for the fourth year in a row.

"We appreciate that wholesalers have awarded our commitment to two-step distribution; you have confirmed that our sales model works, and it works well. We are dedicated to providing outstanding service and value to wholesalers, allowing us to remain successful in this competitive climate," said Mike Fifer, Ruger CEO.

Hornady Manufacturing was named the 2010 Ammunition Manufacturer of the Year.

"This award was made possible through the efforts of the many dedicated people who work for our company. Their contributions keep us on the cutting edge of our industry, and being selected as the NASGW Ammunition Manufacturer of the Year is the direct result of our loyal and dedicated workforce," said Steve Hornady, company president.

The 2010 Accessories Manufacturer of the Year award was presented to Birchwood Casey.

"It's really the people back at the plant who put it all together, so I proudly accept this award on their behalf," said Mike Wenner, company vice president.

The 2010 Chairman's Award for Industry Leadership was presented to Joseph Chiarello & Co., Inc., in recognition of more than 25 years of outstanding performance in providing insurance and risk management services to the firearms industry.

"This has taken me by surprise. I remember my father, who started this business in 1934, said, 'These people, your clients, depend on you. Their security depends on what you do for them. Never forget that, always be proud of what you do and for whom you do it.' Thank you very much," said Robert Chiarello, company president.

Mark Your Calendars

This year's NASGW Annual Meeting & Expo will be held Nov. 2-4, 2011, at the Grand Sierra Resort & Casino in Reno, Nev.

Visit for more information on the organization's events, services and programs.



NASGW Changing To Better Serve Industry

NASGW has undergone a number of changes, including the appointment of a new president, Maurice (Moe) Desmarais, and is conducting a number of studies on how to improve the association.

"Economics, politics and general business notwithstanding, it's a perfect time to actively participate, and I am more confident than ever that NASGW is heading in the right direction. In the process, we have become mindful of the significance underlying this year's theme, 'Better Together ... Delivering the Whole Sale,'" said Richard Lipsey, NASGW chairman.

"To better serve our vendors, we have appointed a committee, chaired by Kent Williams (Williams Shooters Supply), to examine our trade show to find ways to make it easier and more economical for our vendors to show their new products and programs to our members," Lipsey said.

Lipsey also announced that the 2011 NASGW Expo will be the last one held in Reno, Nev.

"In 2012, we will hold our event at a Marriott resort right outside of Orlando, Fla. We are looking for other venues down the road and, as I mentioned, you may see a change in the way we present the show," Lipsey said.

Lipsey also said that NASGW is "very mindful" of the vital role dealers play in the success of the industry.

"We are all aware of the importance of our retailers," Lipsey said. "We need to cater to our retailers and NASGW is pledged to do just that--to carry our message forth from our very valuable manufacturers to the dealers. We want to make sure they are well equipped, well stocked, so they can better serve the public."

Desmarais, the new NASGW president, brings 30 years of experience and knowledge to the association. He comes to the NASGW from Smith Bucklin Inc., the world's largest association management company.

"We have an economy filled with challenges, and those challenges have brought many changes to our industry. As an association, we must adapt to those changes and find solutions that work now and well into the future, in order to secure a thriving industry for many years to come," Desmarais said.
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Title Annotation:NASGW: National Association of Sporting Goods Wholesalers
Comment:Setting the stage for 2011: expo promotes: better together--delivering the whole sale.(NASGW: National Association of Sporting Goods Wholesalers)
Author:Oeltjen, Ray
Publication:Shooting Industry
Date:Feb 1, 2011
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