Big Rock Sports: Industry Healthy, Growing

Outdoor sporting goods retailers are bullish on their industry, according to a recent survey conducted by Big Rock Sports. In a report of the survey’s results, Big Rock found 84 percent of retailers believe their industry will grow or remain the same in 2015. The survey also found 66 percent of outdoor retailers expect their own sales to grow in the coming months, while 52 percent anticipate an increase in female customers.

More than 300 independent outdoor sporting goods retailers from across the U.S. responded to the Big Rock Sports survey to share what they are seeing in the marketplace. The survey asked a variety of questions about the industry, customer demographics and retail trends.

Big Rock Sports published the results of the comprehensive survey in a “2015 State of the Outdoor Industry” report. The report was initially released to Big Rock’s retailers at the company’s January buying shows.

“Our priority at Big Rock is to help our customers grow their businesses. We do this by offering them a variety of tools such as the ‘State of the Industry report,’” said Ed Small, Big Rock Sports CEO. “Not only does this report confirm that our industry is healthy and growing, it helps connect outdoor retailers so they can learn from each other.”


Additional highlights of the report include:

• 48 percent of outdoor retailers saw an increase in female customers in 2014.
• 68 percent of outdoor retailers use social media to promote their store.
• 91 percent of retailers who use social media to promote their store have experienced an increase in store traffic as a result.
• 99 percent of retailers using social media to promote their stores are doing so with Facebook.

Big Rock Sports is a privately-held company headquartered in Graham, N.C. The distributor supplies more than 15,000 retailers with products from over 1,200 manufacturers, in addition to providing dealers the tools needed to navigate the complexity of today’s marketplace.
For a copy of Big Rock’s “2015 State of the Industry” report, email:

Smith & Wesson Forms Partnership For Army Handgun

Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. and General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems are partnering to pursue the U.S. Army’s Modular Handgun System (MHS) solicitation to replace the M9 standard Army sidearm.

“This partnership combines General Dynamics’ proven legacy in manufacturing military armaments with Smith & Wesson’s extensive experience in designing and manufacturing firearms for commercial applications,” said Tim McAuliffe, General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems VP and general manager of medium caliber ammunition and weapons. “General Dynamics’ extensive background in winning and managing military contracts brings proven leadership to the venture and by joining together, we will use our combined knowledge and expertise to bring this unique capability to the U.S. military to better equip the warfighter.”

The strategic partnership’s Modular Handgun System will be based on the Smith & Wesson M&P Polymer Pistol platform. The M&P pistol has been in production since 2005.

“The strategic partnership between our two companies provides us with a tremendous opportunity to support our military with a state-of-the-art sidearm, namely our M&P pistol,” said James Debney, Smith & Wesson president and CEO. “General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems brings us a wealth of experience and resource in federal government contracting and that capability is an ideal match with our knowledge in handgun manufacturing technology. We look forward to working together to pursue this exciting opportunity to support our military.”

The Army’s draft MHS solicitation identifies design and performance requirements for a new modular handgun system that can be easily adjusted to fit all hand sizes and is optimized for improved gun, ammunition and magazine performance. The Army’s stated plan is to commence the competition in January 2015, with delivery of the first new handgun systems in 2017.


Ruger Repurchases $24 Million In Stocks

Ruger announced in early January that during the fourth quarter of 2014 the company repurchased 680,800 shares of its common stock in open-market transactions at an aggregate cost of $24 million. The average price per share repurchased was $35.22.

The repurchases, which accounted for 3.5 percent of the outstanding shares of the company’s common stock as of the beginning of the fourth quarter, were funded with cash.

On Dec. 31, 2014, Ruger reports that $76 million remained authorized and available for share repurchases and 18.7 million shares of common stock remained outstanding.


LaserLyte Supports Boy Scouts

LaserLyte continued its support of the Boy Scouts of America, this time at the 2014 Boy Scout Sporting Clays Invitational, held in November at the Quail Creek Plantation in Florida.

LaserLyte donated over $50,000 in product for prizes, giveaways and raffles during this annual Boy Scout event that raises money to assist scouting programs in South Florida.

“This event is the largest of its kind that LaserLyte supports,” said Aaron Moore, LaserLyte VP. “The Boy Scouts of America is the oldest organization in America that continues to train young men in the core values of citizenship, leadership, responsibility and appreciation of the outdoors through such activities as sport shooting and hunting. We at LaserLyte are proud to support the future leaders of America through the Boy Scouts.”


Plano Synergy Reveals Acquisitions

Plano Synergy Holding Inc. has acquired Zink Calls and Avian-X, leading brands of waterfowl calls, turkey calls, A-frame blinds and hunting decoys.
“Plano Synergy’s pattern of purchasing and further developing major brands within the industry aligns with our long-term strategic growth objectives. It will be our focus to keep the brands true to their core, while taking them to the next level,” said Fred Zink, Zink Calls and Avian-X founder.

The two companies’ products will continue to be manufactured in Port Clinton, Ohio, with administrative activities relocating to Plano Synergy’s Dallas operations hub.


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