Whether one is new to sailing or looking to sharpen racing starts or navigation skills, the seventh annual Women's Sailing Conference has something for everyone as the event returns to Corinthian Yacht Club in scenic Marblehead, Massachusetts, on Saturday, June 7.
California's Department of Fish and Game’s (DFG) Hunter Education Program seeks bilingual instructors to help meet a growing demand for classes delivered in languages in addition to English.
The Calvert Marine Museum will continue First Free Fridays as part of its ongoing public programming. The first Friday of every month, the museum will be open from 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. free to the public.
Spring Landscape in Watercolor – "Near and Far" – with instructor Linda J. C. Turner, will focus on simplifying compositions of both panoramic and close-up landscapes, including the lake, foliage and flowers, during a watercolor workshop at West Virginia's Tygart Lake State Park on May 29.
Earth Day is officially set for April 22, but the Indiana DNR is holding a variety of related activities across the state at various times and locations.
Indiana's DNR Division of Forestry has released its Strategic Plan for 2008-2013, based on considerable public input.
The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds hunters to get their gear ready for the upcoming spring gobbler hunting season. The four-week season opens April 28 and closes on May 24.
Disabled hunters who meet certain medical criteria will be able to apply for a permit to hunt from a motor vehicle on select state wildlife areas as a result of legislation signed into law yesterday by Governor Ted Strickland. The new permit system allows qualifying individuals to possess a loaded firearm on or in an electric powered all-purpose vehicle (EPAPV) or motor vehicle.
Grabber Performance Group announces the acquisition of MPI Outdoors, a manufacturer and distributor of a wide range of unique personal safety, comfort and protection products for use by avid or casual outdoor enthusiasts, most notably, MPI manufacturers the Original SPACE® Brand BLANKETS, which have been a mainstay product in the outdoor market since 1964.
Sightron™, Inc.'s new SII variable power target scope gives shooters the choice of a dot, mil-dot or duplex reticle to match their personal shooting requirements. The new 6.5-20x42 scope features Sightron's low profile target knobs and 720 degree adjustable objective for incredibly fine focus from 12 yards to infinity.
Millennium Designed Muzzleloaders, Ltd. (MDM), the company that pioneered the development of the Break-Open-Action Inline-Muzzleloader is now offering preloaded, reusable speed loaders.
The agenda for the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners meeting, which is slated for April 21-22, is posted on the agency's website, and can be viewed by clicking the "Next Commissioners' Meeting" box toward the bottom of the homepage and then on the agenda link.
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources conducted a controlled burn yesterday at Hoosier Prairie Nature Preserve. The DNR conducts the burning each spring and fall in order to preserve the area’s rare prairie/savanna habitat, which requires sunny, open conditions. Without the fires, trees and plants more common to other areas eventually would crowd out and eliminate rare prairie and savanna plants and habitat.
The Chippewa Valley Chapter of the Ruffed Grouse Society will hold its 26th Annual Sportsmen’s Banquet on Thursday, May 15, 2008 at the Ramada Inn Convention Center, Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
The Ruffed Grouse Society’s 21th Annual Southeastern Pennsylvania Sponsor Appreciation Dinner will be held on Wednesday, May 14, 2008 at Fish Pond, Leesport, Pennsylvania.
The United States Olympic Committee announced yesterday that USA Shooting’s Lones W. Wigger, Jr. will be part of the distinguished Class of 2008 that will be inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame. Seventy-year-old Wigger (Colorado Springs, Colorado), a rifle shooter, whose career spanned 25 years, is a three-time Olympian.
The U.S. Shooting team earned two more medals Tuesday at the "Good Luck Beijing" 2008 ISSF World Cup, which is the test event for the 2008 Olympic Games. Glenn Eller (Katy, Texas) captured the silver medal in Men’s Double Trap, while Daryl Szarenski (Saginaw, Michigan) claimed the bronze in the Men’s 50m Pistol event.
More than 300 shooters are expected to compete in the Area 6 USPSA Championships at the South River Gun Club in Covington, Georgia Friday, April 18 through Sunday April 20, competing for titles in USPSA's Open, Limited, Limited-10, Production, Revolver and Single Stack Divisions.
Outdoor Channel, America's Leader in Outdoor TV, announces the renewal of its distribution agreement with Charter Communications, Inc., the third-largest publicly traded cable operator in the United States.
This week on “American Rifleman Television,” National Firearms Museum Senior Curator Phil Schreier is on assignment in Ohio at Camp Perry, the legendary site of the NRA National Matches. You will not want to miss “Camp Perry—100 Years,” with historic match footage and photos that you can see only on ARTV, only on the Outdoor Channel.
It's the championship that started world-wide competition, the Bianchi Cup on this week's edition of Shooting USA on the Outdoor Channel, followed by the restoration of an abused rifle to tack driver status on Sighting In with Shooting USA.
Drivers need to be alert and cautious because moose are on the move, according to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. Moose are more likely to be crossing roadways at this time, especially after dark or early in the morning as they move from wintering areas to spring feeding locations.
Georgia’s State Wildlife Action Plan earns top ratings for its consideration of rare plant conservation, according to a recent report by NatureServe, an international conservation organization. “Hidden in Plain Sight: The Role of Plants in State Wildlife Action Plans” lists Georgia as the only state that has a full species technical team to review the status of rare plants and identify critical habitats, research needs and conservation priorities.
The top male and female high school student archers who participated March 29 in the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) National Archery In The Schools Program (NASP) state tournament each received their choice of a lifetime hunting or fishing license. Chantelle Skarda of North Campus High School in White Bear Lake and Ryan Dumm of Grand Rapids High School finished first in the individual high school competition. In addition to the lifetime licenses, Skarda and Dumm also received Genesis bows.
Young skeet shooters from across Arizona earned state titles—with many qualifying to represent Arizona at upcoming national championships—at last weekend’s Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP) Arizona Commissioner’s Cup Skeet State Championship.
Wal-Mart Decision Angers, Concerns Industry
Across the shooting industry, a universal expression of shock, anger and surprise at Wal-Mart’s announcement yesterday that it had agreed to a 10-point code of business conduct called the Responsible Firearms Retailer Partnership.
The responsible-sounding Partnership is a creation of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns organization, the group founded and co-chaired by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
In signing the document, Wal-Mart has dealt the firearms industry – and the company’s various firearms-related suppliers – a blow that has taken everyone by surprise. Tommy Millner, CEO of Remington Firearms, Wal-Mart’s largest supplier of firearms and ammunition, told The Outdoor Wire Remington was both “surprised” and “disappointed” by the unilateral announcement.
Across the firearms industry yesterday, the responses were the same.
Wal-Mart officials appear to have reached their decision with no input from either their suppliers or firearms industry officials. For the world’s largest retailer, that’s apparently a departure from their normal business practices. Across the retail industry, Wal-Mart is regarded as one of the companies that routinely consults suppliers in significant business decisions.
This decision, however, seems to have taken everyone – including some Wal-Mart executives – by surprise. In recent supplier meetings, Wal-Mart reportedly reiterated a commitment to the firearms category, although sources say the company told attendees that firearms ROIs were “not quite where they needed to be.”
Despite being characterized as a “blindside” to the firearms industry, Wall Street retail observers tell The Outdoor Wire the decision appears to be yet another part of a concerted effort by the retailing giant to stem gains by rival Target. An effort one observer says is so frantic that “Wal-Mart appears blind to almost anything else.”
That emphasis, we’re told, has led Wal-Mart to a trifurcated business strategy; dividing stores into three categories: rural, suburban and inner city.
The rural stores – where Wal-Mart first achieved retail dominance – reflected the products and philosophies of founder Sam Walton. Today some on the management team feel the “rural” marketplace is fully matured.
Consequently, they appear to be busily (some would say frantically) trying to reposition product mixes to better fit with the suburban and inner-city desires. Those changes, retail observers say, are obvious in the mix high-end electronics from Apple iPods to high definition televisions.
No coincidentally, they say, key members of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns have inner city markets where Wal-Mart has either failed to have any success, or been denied entry entirely.
Last month, Wal-Mart reportedly summoned some fishing suppliers to Bentonville. They were told their products were squarely in the sights of Wal-Mart execs who felt, frankly, the fishing and “other outdoor categories” might be on the way out. “Out “as in reduced to seasonal categories or removed entirely. Like fabrics and other “rural products” the suppliers were told; fishing products were among those “new thinking” in Bentonville felt were no longer relevant to the company’s long-term goals.
For the world’s largest retailer to decide on a course of action as significant as being the first company to sign onto the “Responsible Retailers” code isn’t something that can be achieved by a mid-level manager. The had to be approved by the highest levels of the company.
For consumers, it may signal the commencement of an exit strategy from firearms and possibly the entire outdoor equipment category. When the extensive computer and video recording systems agreed to in the “Retail Partnership” are created and put in place, those associated costs may be tagged directly onto the products that were the reason behind the system’s creation –firearms and ammunition.
In a category where suppliers have already been told the ROIs are not where the company would like them, the additional costs could either be apportioned to suppliers – or tacked on to consumer prices. As Wal-Mart senior vice president and chief compliance officer J.P. Suarez said yesterday, “all decisions are not pain-free.”
Should that “pain” be assigned to suppliers, it could mean fewer companies selling to the retailing giant. That would reduce firearm and accessory selections.
Assigned to consumers, it might be the tipping point that sends them to other retailers.
Either action might drive down sales, providing a business-based reasoning that could be used by Wal-Mart to exit the category altogether.
As one industry executive told The Outdoor Wire yesterday, “yes, it’s a blindside, but it’s a sign that the worst may be yet to come.”
Today, Wal-Mart sells firearms and ammunition in approximately 1,100 locations across the United States. For Browning, Ruger, Savage, Remington, Henry, C-Z USA, Weatherby, H &R and Thompson/Center those stores along with the Wal-Mart online and catalog business, represent segments of their selling mix. For some, they are only a small segment, for others, including Winchester, Federal, and Remington ammunition, they represent significant annual sales numbers.
Whether this decision by Wal-Mart represents a business blunder (even Wal-Mart is not immune to bad decisions) or a calculated move to help accelerate an exit strategy from firearms altogether, it’s a negative for the firearms industry.
Should fishing also be on the bubble in Bentonville, it could be damaging to the overall outdoor category.
We’ve been told by officials across the fishing industry that “Wal-Mart has assured us they’re committed to fishing”. Based on their current involvement with fishing at a variety of levels, that seems to be a safe position. Only a very few weeks ago, however, Wal-Mart execs assured the firearms industry their support was solid as well. Today, that support seems to be conditional – at best.
That having been said, it is only fair to remember that Wal-Mart is, and has always been, a general retailer.
In a general store – even the one that finds itself to be the world’s largest retailer – the key is to keep products that sell and discard those that don’t.
No one has ever questioned Wal-Mart’s expertise at general retail.
And as always, we’ll keep you posted.
EDITOR’S NOTE: If you’d like to see the ten points of the
Responsible Firearms Retailer Partnership, click here.
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