If you are a Remington fan, this may be of interest to you. Remington Arms may be in serious financial trouble. There have been a series of long running law suits and poor management decisions concerning product changes and new product launches and the signs of that may be becoming apparent.
First it was the Model 700 trigger issue. At the root of this issue was the trigger mechanisms allowing the rifles to fire unexpectedly. This class action law suit drug on for years. Remington began settling the bulk of the claims out of court last year without admitting any responsibility. This is estimated to have cost the company millions of dollars.
Next was the decision to buy Bushmaster and pull all the manufacturing of the rifle to Ilion, New York. The result just wasn’t the original Bushmaster rifle and they lost a lot of their market share. Remington tried to revitalize the rifle line with some new caliber offering, like the .30 Remington AR, but the shooting consumer did not accept it.
One of the company’s biggest blunders, in my opinion, was phasing out and dropping the iconic 1100 shotgun from their product line up. The 1100 shotgun was introduced in 1963. Over the years it has become an ultra-dependable design and had a very loyal following of hunters and shooters. It became the best-selling semi-auto shotgun in history with over four million sold.
Remington decided to “improve” things and dropped the 1100 and introduce the 11/87 and more recently the Versa Max. Neither shotgun has lived up to the reputation of the 1100. The backlash from shooters/customers was immediate and harsh. Remington got the Model 1100 back into its product lineup, but along the way, the company had been sold to a private equity firm, Cerberus Capital Management. The classic make it cheaper logic was the order of the day and the 1100 is not the same shotgun it was.
Most recently Remington had a terrible launch of its new R51 model pistol. It was supposed to be a re-introduction of their classic pistol made from 1918 to 1927. The new model 51 was rushed to market and failed. There were so many problems that Remington stopped production and recalled all the pistols that had been produced. A re-engineered version has just been released, but consumers are…pardon the pun…gun shy.
It has been confirmed by multiple industry sources, that Remington Arms employees in Ilion, New York have been given word to prepare for a temporary work furlough, possibly through the rest of the year. A furlough is typically a move a company makes that requires workers to take time off without pay, most likely in an effort to save money during a time of low sales.
Right now, the details are sketchy, even for employees, but one Remington worker reportedly told local WIBX 950AM Radio in Marcy New York, “We were told an official announcement with details will be coming in the next couple of days.”
The signs of something like this has been coming for months. Remington laid off 122 workers back in March, and another 60 last month. Remington, which marked its 200th anniversary in 2016, seems to moving in the wrong direction! These cuts/actions are not companywide and they should only affect workers at the Ilion location where they produce 700 series rifles, 870, and Versa Max shotguns.
Late last week, the Remington’s media relations department released a statement to WIBX Radio stating that any possible future layoffs would be due to soft firearm sales, along with supply and demand issues.
“The small arms industry is facing significant near term challenges related to slowing order velocity and high channel inventories; a dynamic from which Remington is not immune,” said Remington’s Media Relations Manager, Jessica Kallam.
Stand by for more on this topic.