American Rifleman | Smith & Wesson Sales Put Perspective on Firearm Demand
by Guy J. Sagi –
Thursday 10th December 2020
In the three months ended October 31, Smith & Wesson sold more guns than ever before. The high water mark erases a record that was set only three months earlier.
“I am pleased to announce a record-breaking second quarter for our 168-year-old company today,” said Mark Smith, company president and chief executive officer, in a quarterly report released last week. “Thanks to the hard work of our employees who carefully followed our safety protocols, we have been able to continue our business safely, and in these extremely difficult times with so many of our American colleagues out of work, we succeeded in our second quarter with 287 new ones Jobs created and filled. “
Comments made during the follow-up call for results put current demand for firearms into perspective and suggest that retailer choices will remain limited for some time. Smith told attendees that the total number of units shipped by the company during the reporting period was 586,000. Despite the fact that the number represents a 93.4 percent increase, it wasn’t enough to keep up with orders. Inventories in the reported channels decreased by 208,000 over the same period.
A total of 420,000 handguns came out of the factory and were shipped in the quarter, an increase of 73.4 percent. The volume did not increase the number of retail shelves or warehouses. The units there fell by 178,000.
Pistols and revolvers aren’t the only firearms that sell quickly. The company’s long sleeve shipments rose 167.7 percent while inventories fell 30,000.
Smith stated during the conference call, “… we can estimate that in 2020 there were nearly 8 million Americans who made the decision to exercise their second amendment rights for the first time.” He later told attendees, “And all of them Evidence suggests that between a quarter and a third of those will become long-term enthusiasts. “
His answer to a question shows how long the increased demand will last well into 2021. “We expect this to stay that way for at least our third and fourth quarters, and we’ll see how it goes on,” said Smith. “But as I said, I mean, we really see this in the long term. And I think we have – as you said – a new level in terms of the consumer base. “