What a great time of year autumn is for outdoorsmen and women. The leaves are colorful, the mornings are crisp and the afternoons are ideal for a few last outdoor lunches. In the woods, while archers are looking to harvest whitetail deer they can hear the shotgun fire from early season waterfowlers. At the range, fall shotgun sport leagues are forming and the sound of plinking steel can be heard from rimfire events, while pistol competitors are practicing on indoor ranges in anticipation of upcoming winter matches. Across the nation it’s a busy time of year for hunters, shooters and the firearms and ammunition market. Many retailers are in full swing servicing customers of all types. It’s also the time manufacturers are ramping up new product lines for introduction at January’s SHOT Show and throughout 2016. Understanding trends and numbers are part of any business plan, whether it’s having inventory on hand to best serve a consumer or predicting what the next big trend is from the manufacturing side. But just how do you do that? What are today’s customers buying?
Several of NSSF’s many research reports can help answer those questions. Our first pick is “A Profile of Today’s Hunter.” This should be essential reading for any retailer gearing up for a busy fourth quarter, as well as for manufacturers looking to get ahead of the curve with their 2016 new product introductions. We’ve recently updated this important report with the latest data on hunting license sales and Firearms and Ammunition Excise Tax (FAET) data. We’ve expanded the report to included data from NSSF’s proprietary Hunting License Sales Index, which compiles data on hunting license sales from several states and provides a more timely view of hunting license sales than has been available in the past.
Several other reports can also provide insight into today’s firearms market. Our Intelligence Report “Firearms Production in the United States” has been updated to include the most recent firearm production and importation data, while the “Hunting and Target Shooting Participation” Intelligence report includes trend data by gender and reports on nine different shooting sports.
A final report that all our members will find valuable is the report “Firearms-Related Injury Statistics,” now updated with 2015 information. This report derives its statistics from National Safety Council and Center for Disease Control data, making this report and its findings comparable to those outside our industry. It’s a valuable reference for anyone talking with media or speaking about gun safety at functions, as well as for gun clubs and shooting ranges working on recruitment efforts. But it’s particularly useful for our retailing members during this fourth quarter. Why? Because this is gift-buying season, and retailers often see an influx of new customers who are not shooters visiting their stores and websites seeking gifts for family members and friends who are avid shooters and hunters. These customers often have lots of questions about hunting, the shooting sports and, especially, firearms safety. This is an excellent opportunity for retailers to turn these often one-time customers into repeat clients by answering their questions. It’s a great time to demonstrate just how safe our sports are.
All of NSSF’s Industry Intelligence Reports are posted at www.nssf.org/research/IIR/.
Yet these are just a few of the many research reports available to NSSF members and non-members. Many are available at no-cost, and those that require purchase are steeply discounted for our members. For more information, visit, www.nssf.org and click on the “Research” tab at the top of the page. Members can then log in and add the reports they need to their shopping cart. Non-members wishing to purchase NSSF reports should click the “order now” button for each report they wish to obtain and complete the purchase online. Need to join NSSF? Click here.