Smith & Wesson: Promotions, not fear driving gun sales
By Christen Smith
An advertisement for a Smith & Wesson winter promotion. The gun maker’s holding company said promotions are the new normal, meaning diminished profits for the industry. (Photo: Smith & Wesson/Facebook)
The record-breaking background checks processed Black Friday proved buyers will wait for the best deal — a new equilibrium for the industry, according to American Outdoor Brand’s Chief Executive Officer James Debney.
Debney told investors Thursday the 203,000 applications submitted to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System Nov. 24 infused encouragement into a sluggish gun market — potentially upending eight years of fear-based buying in favor of promotions.
“This result reinforces arguably that firearms have moved even more strongly into the basket of Black Friday shopping goods that consumers have come to expect,” he said. “Accordingly, we believe promotions have, for the moment, replaced fair based buying as a primary driver for consumer purchases and the promotional environment for consumer firearms looks as though it will continue for the foreseeable future.”
Dealers processed 203,086 applications through NICS during Black Friday’s traditional shopping frenzy. The system serves as the gun industry’s best sales barometer — though the measurement isn’t exact.
Six of the FBI’s top 10 days fall on Black Fridays, including the most recent record of 185,713 checks set just