Hunting Retailer News: Company Promotions, Conservation Funding, and Coronavirus-Related Industry Updates

Plano Synergy Announces Promotion of Joe Snatchko; Sportsmen and Sportswomen Generate Nearly $1 Billion in Conservation Funding; Otis Technology Joins the Fight Against COVID-19; Distribution Shipments Spike in Response to COVID-19; and Rocky Brands Deemed Essential Business in Ohio.

Hunting Retailer News: Company Promotions, Conservation Funding, and Coronavirus-Related Industry Updates

Otis Technology has partnered with Saint Lawrence Spirits to make, bottle and distribute hand sanitizer to COVID-19 first responders.

Plano Synergy Announces Promotion of Joe Snatchko

Plano Synergy has promoted Joe Snatchko to vice president of sales — outdoors. He joined Plano Synergy as senior director of brand — archery, last year. In his new role, Snatchko will help drive sales for all brands.

"We're very excited to have Joe as our new VP of sales. His wide-ranging experience in sales and leadership will help position and propel our brands to even greater success," said Ryan Busbice, president. "Joe continues to be a valuable asset for Plano Synergy, and I look forward to him continuing that success in his new role."

Before joining the Plano Synergy team, Snatchko worked at Outtech Sales Agency. He served as general manager and VP of sales for seven years.

Joe Snatchko is Plano Synergy’s new vice president of sales — outdoors.
Joe Snatchko is Plano Synergy’s new vice president of sales — outdoors.

"I am honored to move into this new role with Plano Synergy," said Snatchko. "I look forward to the challenge this position brings and to working with such a talented team that is driven to make an immediate impact."

Rocky Brands Deemed Essential Business in Ohio

Rocky Brands, Inc. will continue operations and shipments from its distribution center in Logan, Ohio, following Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and the Ohio Department of Health issuing a “Stay at Home” order for all nonessential businesses from March 24 through April 6, 2020.

The Company’s 200,000-square-foot distribution center, based on review of the order, has been deemed as an essential infrastructure business operation. The distribution center currently has approximately 1.3 million pairs of footwear in inventory and stands ready to ship the company’s work, duty and outdoor footwear to customers throughout the country.

Rocky Brands’ manufacturing facilities in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic are under government orders to not operate for the next 14 days.

“We understand and appreciate Gov. DeWine’s efforts to flatten the COVID-19 curve and urge our fellow Ohioans to follow the order and take precautions for themselves and others around them,” said Jason Brooks, Rocky Brands CEO. “However, we agree with Ohio’s approach to permit distribution centers to continue to operate. This is especially important at this time for our distribution center to operate as our footwear products are utilized by our country’s critical infrastructure businesses which need to be maintained during this crisis.

“This includes the military, police and fire and other first responders, farmers and ranchers, food and drug manufacturers, hospital workers, electric, gas and water utility companies, oil and gas producers, transportation and logistics businesses, and public works,” he added. “The Ohio order recognizes we need workers in these types of businesses to remain on the job to enable us to fight the virus and protect our citizens at the same time.”


Otis Technology Joins the Fight Against COVID-19

Otis Technology has partnered with Saint Lawrence Spirits to make, bottle and distribute hand sanitizer to first responders in desperate need during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, Otis Technology began using its facilities — that normally manufacture firearms maintenance equipment for military, law enforcement and civilians — to immediately begin manufacturing personal protective equipment (PPE). Otis Technology CEO Larry Williams said, “We also began immediately asking ourselves ‘how can we help?’ Otis is a state-of-the art facility built on innovation. We have a dedicated research and development facility that can investigate and tackle new projects and they took the task of PPE by storm. I applaud my entire team’s efforts – working around the clock to get up and running.” To date, Otis Technology has donated hand sanitizer and eye shields to several localities in need – namely Crouse Hospital (Syracuse, New York) and Lewis County Emergency Management, and a donation to Oswego County Emergency Management is pending. These initial donations are in close proximity to Otis’ headquarters and research and development facilities.

In working with authorities and customers alike, Otis Technology is monitoring requests for various needed items and assessing its ability to manufacture needed items. Thus far, Otis Technology has manufactured or procured face shields, facemasks, shoe covers and the aforementioned hand sanitizer in conjunction with Saint Lawrence Spirits. Otis will continue to work diligently to expand its offering of these essential items as long as necessary in order to keep those on the front lines of this pandemic safe.


Distribution Shipments Spike in Response to COVID-19

The National Association of Sporting Goods Wholesalers (NASGW) SCOPE data platform reported a 168 percent spike in ammunition shipments for the week ending March 14. COVID-19 continues to drive firearms sales as well, while optics fell below the three-year average.

NASGW SCOPE is a data analytics platform built in partnership with shooting sports manufacturers, distributors and retailers. SCOPE DLX collects weekly shipment data from 20 leading distributors that represent demand from thousands of FFLs across the United States.

In some states, SCOPE DLX shows up to a 600 percent growth in ammunition shipments. Overall, ammunition shipments are up 21 percent year-to-date. Despite the spike, year-to-date for firearms are still behind nearly 4 percent.

While firearms and ammunition have grown, optics and optics parts haven't felt the COVID-19 bump. Distributors shipments fell 7 percent below the 3YR AVG for the same week but are still up 5 percent YTD.

"The COVID-19 virus is having an overwhelmingly negative impact on the entire country, but if there is any silver lining, it is the boost it provided to our industry," said NASGW President Kenyon Gleason.


Sportsmen and Sportswomen Generate Nearly $1 Billion in Conservation Funding

America’s sportsmen and sportswomen generated nearly $1 billion in excise taxes last year to support state conservation programs. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt recently announced the disbursement of these funds, generated through excise taxes on hunting, shooting and fishing equipment and boat fuel to all 50 states and U.S. territories by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

 “Our conservation model is funded and supported by America’s hunters, shooters, anglers, boaters and other outdoor enthusiasts. These stewards of conservation generated nearly a billion dollars last year alone and make our country's conservation legacy the envy of the world,” said Bernhardt.

Authorized by Congress through the Pittman-Robertson Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act and Dingell-Johnson/Wallop-Breaux Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act, these funds support critical state conservation and outdoor recreation projects. The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration (WSFR) program, which the Service administers, has long been considered the foundation of fish and wildlife conservation in the United States.

State-by-state listings of the Service’s final apportionments of Wildlife RestorationSport Fish Restoration and State Wildlife Grant funds for the Fiscal Year 2020 and more information about the WSFR program are online.


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