Virtual SHOT Show Doesn’t Stop Camillus
The SHOT Show, the largest event for shooting, hunting and outdoor recreation, which usually takes place late January, was this year cancelled due to COVID-19. As a result, sales people from Camillus Knives, one of Acme United’s (US: ACU – $31.36) brands, switched to giving virtual presentations to key customers.
Camillus has been gaining market share the past several years. On top of that, since the outbreak of COVID-19, the hunting and camping segments have grown exponentially. Weary of being cooped up at home – and of masking and social distancing when they go out – people take refuge in outdoor sports that offer safety and solitude.
In the State of Michigan, for example, more than 545,000 hunters bought a license in 2020, up 10% compared with 2019. Moreover, the number of people getting a license for the first time jumped by 80%, to nearly 84,500. Also Maine reports a state record for deer hunting permits, and Vermont and Nevada have had double-digit hunting increases. All of this caused Camillus sales to surge in 2020.
Moreover, fishing license sales have also soared for the same reason. Louisiana and Idaho both reported a strong surge, but the trend appears to be nationwide. This in turn is good news for Acme’s fishing tools brand Cuda, which also experienced a dramatic increase in sales in 2020.
Camillus New Products
Perfectly in line with the hunting trend, Camillus developed an All-In-1 Hunting Kit. It contains a 9” gut hook fixed blade, a 7” caping knife, a rib spreader, elbow length cleaning gloves, a hip sheath, and a field dressing sheet. These sets are ideal for new hunters as they contain everything one needs to go deer hunting at an extremely low retail price of $29.99.
Another exciting development for outdoorsmen is the Carnivore Maxx 2.0 machete. It is 23” overall, and boasts an 18” Titanium bonded blade that features a 12” quadruple grind saw. It furthermore comes with an ergonomic TPR handle, cord cutter and chisel tip, most importantly it has an upgraded fully molded sheath for storage and confident carrying.
Also brand new is the stunning Camillus Classic folding knife. It has a blade of 3.25” and a length of 7.25” overall. The knife features a Titanium bonded 440 stainless steel blade, a micarta handle with beautiful bayonet emblem and a handy lock back locking mechanism.
Speaking about lock mechanisms, Camillus for the first time also launched a knife with an “Axis Lock” style locking mechanism. Camillus is referring to it as the “CUDA-Lock” and it works using a small, hardened spring loaded bar that moves back and forth in a slot made into both steel liners. Positioned at the rear of the blade, it extends on both sides of the knife, spanning the liners. The lock then engages a ramped tang portion of the blade when it is opened, securing the blade in place. The Cuda Bolt knife is 6.75” overall and has a 2.75” 440 stainless steel blade. The knife furthermore features a dual thumb studs and a secure-grip GFN handle.
All in all, Camillus launched 9 new knives. Two of them will already be available early spring, and the other ones around June. Most of them will also become available in Canada and Europe.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak, kids aren’t having sports practices and people working at home have more free time, so it’s been an opportunity for families to reconnect with the outdoors. Hunting, camping and fishing is ideal for avoiding the virus because participants are outside and usually a good distance apart.
Although some people, who recently took up hunting or fishing, will return to their old habits once the pandemic ends, many of them will have (re)discovered hunting and spending time in nature. These will be returning consumers of Camillus knives and Cuda fishing gear that add growth beyond the pandemic
Not attending the SHOT Show in 2021 has proven to be a challenge that Camillus has overcome. It has provided some short term savings for the company, but Camillus is fully committed to returning to the SHOT Show in 2022 with another round of products that will support the continued growth in their industry. Smallcaps Recommendation: BUY.
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