On January 16th Breitbart News was able to sit down with Midway USA CEO and founder Larry Potterfield at the SHOT Show. He talked about the growth of the firearm industry customer base, the overwhelming demand for firearms in 2013, and what he believes 2014 may hold for the industry.
Regarding 2013, Potterfield said:
On December 14, 2012 we were in really good shape on inventory. Following the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary the warehouse started emptying out immediately.
On January 4, we declared a “state of emergency” at Midway so we could suspend some strategic plan initiatives and find every way possible to serve our customers. Thirty minute response time on emails had gone to one hour response time and soon was backed up for six days. We had a staff to answer the 50 or 100 emails that might come in during the course of a day prior to December 14, and suddenly it was 1,000 emails.
He went on to say the volume of calls became so great that his staff went from answering 80 percent of phone calls in 20 seconds to putting people on hold “for seven or eight or ten minutes.”
Potterfield said Midway USA studied new ways to meet this demand and in mid-July instituted “87 unique things” they believed they could do “to make it easier for the customer.”
He said “a lot of new customers came into the market,” and “people who never had or wanted a gun got one in 2013.”
In the coming year, Potterfield said ammunition manufacturers will continue going “pedal to the metal” to try to catch up. He looks for manufacturing to be strong in 2014.
However, he made sure to stress the unknowns: “Our industry is heavily impacted by politics and things completely out of our control. If there’s a terrorist attack demand will go up, if there’s a shooting demand will go up, but these are things no one can control and things nobody wants to happen.”
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins.