Subscription services are an interesting concept. I’m not talking about something like getting a print magazine each month or paying a monthly fee for your Netflix access. No, I’m talking about those subscriptions where you get sent a box full of stuff each month. I’ve never really been into those–I have too much crap as it is–but it looks like an interesting concept. Now, Vista Outdoor is getting into it.
Vista Outdoor owns a number of ammunition brands and with ammo being in short supply, they’re offering people a new way to get the rounds they need for range day.
Vista Outdoor, the leading U.S. manufacturer of ammunition, announced plans to launch ammunition subscriptions in the fall, as Americans continue to stockpile guns and ammo, driving quarterly sales and profit to new heights.
“We’ll be the first to launch the new subscription program,” said Chief Executive Officer Chris Metz in an interview with me, though he wouldn’t detail costs and calibers for the monthly program. He said determining the calibers will be a “game time decision” based on availability, though he intends to include hunting loads and “funky calibers” that can be difficult to find.
The subscription rollout comes amid a multibillion dollar order backlog.
Vista Outdoor reported on Thursday an increase of 38% in sales to $663 million during the quarter ended June 27 compared to the year-ago quarter, while net income more than doubled to $102 million. Inflation played a role, the company said.
Metz said that consumer demand accelerated during the summer. “We cannot meet the current level of consumer demand,” he said in an earnings call with analysts.
Metz also said the company will be launching the ammunition subscriptions as part of a customer loyalty program. This is an unusual strategy for an ammunition maker, especially considering the extreme international demand for copper, a basic ingredient in bullets.
Other ammunition companies have also experienced a surge in demand. Olin Corp. OLN +4%, a maker of industrial epoxies and adhesives that also produces the Winchester ammunition brand, reported on July 27 that Winchester sales more than doubled last quarter, compared to the year-ago quarter.
You know, this is an interesting idea.
With ammunition supplies sketchy at best, wouldn’t you pay just a bit more to know a couple hundred rounds would be coming to your house each and every month? Vista Outdoor can then prioritize sending ammo to subscribers and possibly build up enough money to expand production without taking out loans.
OK, maybe not, but it’s still an interesting idea.
It wouldn’t mean Vista Outdoor brands wouldn’t be putting ammo on the shelf of your local gun store necessarily, only that they would prioritize subscription customers. That’s especially useful if you have some odd caliber firearms that are hard to feed at the best of times. Since this ain’t the best of times, this could be a great way to get your grubby little paws on those strange ammo types.
Of course, since this is just an announcement, it’s really hard to do more than comment on the concept, but I’m intrigued.
After all, even if everything settles out with the copper supply, such a subscription might still be of significant benefit. Assuming, of course, the prices are reasonable and you have some options as to what you get.
I can’t wait to see what we’re looking at when the time comes.