For some time now, GLOCK’s Blue Label Program has been available to selected dealers. According to GLOCK, the purpose of this program is “to support those who protect and serve communities across the U.S. and around the world.” Those who qualify are able to receive a discount on any GLOCK pistol of their choice. Some of the advantages for participating dealers in this program aren’t obvious, so let’s explore some of the benefits of being a Blue Label dealer.
To be eligible for this program, your establishment has to already be a GLOCK Stocking Dealer. There’s no specific minimum or maximum number of GLOCKs that can be ordered under the Blue Label program. Blue Label dealer status is determined in part by whether or not your area is already serviced in this respect. Blue Label pistols are the same as ordinary GLOCKs — all models and calibers allowed in the U.S. — with the program named after the distinctively colored box sticker, which marks the given pistol as designated for this program.
The public safety professionals listed below can purchase two GLOCKs at Blue Label pricing per calendar year — typically $75 to $100 off the retail price, depending on the model. In addition, private citizens who belong to the GLOCK Sport Shooting Foundation (GSSF) can purchase one gun a year at the same price. To be eligible, a GSSF member has to sign up for a two-year membership; new members receive one coupon per year.
Professionals Eligible For Blue Label Pricing (Courtesy of GLOCK)
• Sworn L.E. officers, including Federal, State, County and City*
• EMTs, firefighters, volunteer firefighters and paramedics
• Military personnel, including reservists and National Guard with I.D.*
• Corrections officers, including parole and probation officers
• State licensed security companies (Loomis, RAM, etc.), state-licensed armed security officers are also included
• Court judges, district attorneys and deputy district attorneys
• L.E. academy cadets with enrollment documentation from the academy
*Includes L.E./Military personnel with “retired” credentials
Discount Rates And Profit Factors
I recently sat down with Bob Radecki, GLOCK national sales manager, and Chris Edwards, GLOCK range manager/instructor, to get more information on the program.
“Blue Label is a sub-distribution program. It’s mainly offered as a courtesy to our law enforcement customer base, and to all others who serve as emergency first responders. It’s also a benefit for members of the GSSF,” Radecki explains.
Eligible customers get a significant discount thanks to this program.
“A normal Gen4 GLOCK 17 would carry a suggested retail price of $639. The retail price for the same pistol in the Blue Label Program would be $425. Wholesale cost to an FFL dealer for the same gun would be $475 for commercial sale, and $385 for a gun to sell to police,” Radecki added.
Some dealers have declined to explore the Blue Label program because of the lower margins. Using the figures above, gross profit on a standard purchase GLOCK sold at retail would be $164, and only $40 on a gun bought and sold through the Blue Label program. Not exactly appetizing, especially during times when you can easily sell every GLOCK you can get into your shop at MSRP.
However, there are also those times when gun sales lag. There’s also the fact probably every local dealer you’re competing with can buy GLOCKs at wholesale. If you’re the only dealer in your area giving the Blue Label discount, this means you — instead of your competitors — will be selling and making a profit on guns to the Blue Label market. Suddenly, this makes the Blue Label option more attractive, and of course, it comes with the goodwill generated among the public safety market.
GLOCK offers its Blue Label program for sales to police, military,
other first responder professions and GSSF members.
Benefits Of Blue Label From Dealer’s Experiences
At The Gun Store in Conway, S.C., co-owner David Floyd says his store has been a part of the Blue Label Program for the past three years, with good results.
“My business partner Jason Wallace and I entered the industry five years ago from military and L.E. backgrounds, and thought this program would be a natural fit. It’s a pretty small percentage of our business, less than 10 percent of handgun sales. For us, Blue Label isn’t mentioned in our ads and they’re not on display with the other firearms. Frankly, I’m not sure whether they’re supposed to be,” he said.
Floyd said his store uses the Blue Label Program as a way to honor local public service professionals.
“We have it as a perk for L.E., military, fire and EMS. Our only advertising for Blue Label is through word of mouth locally with all the departments. It’s grown from where we started, from three to five guns a month to now over 20 sometimes. The margin is really low. I tell my sales guys to offer it to known ‘guardians,’ but to not ask everyone what they do. We worry someone who doesn’t qualify may ask his eligible buddy up the street to buy it for him, and generate a straw purchase,” he said.
Dave Floyd says he would recommend Blue Label to other dealers who can get approval. “It’s kind of like selling hunting licenses: In our state you only make a couple of percentage points — and it’s a wash on credit cards — but you’re hoping the guy will buy something while getting the license. With Blue Label, we’re hoping the customer will shoot at our indoor range or buy some ammo for his new GLOCK.”
Marsha Rath, manager at Midwest Sporting Goods in the Chicago suburb of Lyons, Ill., said she’s had Blue Label for three or four years.
“It’s working pretty good so far,” she said. “In order: L.E., security and some military are our largest buyer groups eligible for the Blue Label program. We also get occasional TSA, EMTs and firefighters. GSSF customers make up a small percentage of Blue Label sales. We think it has brought in customers we might not have had otherwise. Many are referrals; typically, a recruit will spread the word to the rest of the class.”
Occasionally, Blue Label sales rise to the level where Midwest runs out of stock and has to re-order.
“There’s no real downside to the program,” Rath said. “GLOCKs are our biggest seller in general. About 20 to 30 percent of the GLOCKs we sell are Blue Label. The G19 is probably the most popular since many departments around here make their new officers start with 9mm, and many security companies limit their armed personnel to 9mm. Some of the security companies will help them pay for the gun, taking money out of their check every week.”
In the end, while the Blue Label program may not fit every dealer’s business plan, there are obviously many who are happy with it. If you think it might fit your business model, you can look into the details at www.us.glock.com/bluelabel.
By Massad Ayoob