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article imageU.S. firearms distributor files bankruptcy as gun sales fall

By Karen Graham     Jun 10, 2019 in Business
Chapin - United Sporting Companies, a large firearms distributor whose roots date to the Great Depression, filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday and said it plans to liquidate, hurt by falling sales due to a number of issues.
Based in Chapin, South Carolina, the company, which includes Ellett brothers, serve 20,000 retailers in all 50 states.
The company serves independent retail customers across all states through sales offices and distribution centers in Chapin and Newberry, South Carolina; Pittston, Downingtown, and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Dayton, Ohio; Spring Hill, Kansas; Dallas, Texas; and Sacramento, California.
In its Chapter 11 filing, the company cited too much debt and discounting caused by excess inventory. Also mentioned were "significant” disruptions to their outdoor retailing, such as Bass Pro Shops' 2017 purchase of Cabela's and Gander Mountain's bankruptcy.
However, Gander Mountain was purchased in 2018 by Marcus Lemonis, the chairman of Camping World and in 2019, reopened as Gander Outdoors.
United Sporting Companies cited the recent hurricanes in the southeast United States, claiming the region generates a large portion of their sales. But they have encountered reduced demand. The company carries a number of brands, including Glock, Remington, Ruger and Smith & Wesson.
Additionally, they put some blame for their bankruptcy filing on Trump's 2016 election win. This caused an easing of gun control fears, reports Reuters. Actually, Trump's election has been overshadowed by the number of mass shootings across the country and the call for tighter gun control.
In a court filing, Chief Executive Officer Bradley Johnson said USC increased its inventory, thinking a Democrat would win the 2016 election. Instead, Republican Trump’s unexpected win over Democrat Hillary Clinton was a factor in net sales falling to $557 million in 2018 from an average $885.3 million from 2012 to 2016,
The company expects to keep operating during the wind-down.
More about Bankruptcy, Gun sales, too much debt, mass shootings, united sporting companies
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