Concealed-carry chic: Gunmaker debuts fashion line
The new collection from Remington Arms features luggage with gun sleeves and a leather vest with weapons pockets.
Call it concealed-carry chic: With all 50 U.S. states now permitting people to pack pistols in public, it was only a matter of time before some company came to market with an apparel line targeting the gun-toting crowd.
Remington Arms Co., which has been making firearms for nearly 200 years, has just unveiled a collection of clothing and accessories, including the "Smoothbore Field Coat" (pictured, $1,295) and the "Double Derringer Leather Vest" ($300).
In drawing a bead on the apparel market, Remington becomes the latest U.S. manufacturer to try reinventing itself as a "lifestyle brand" as a way to bolster its bottom line.
Next up is Winnebago Industries, the U.S. maker of motorhomes and trailers. In October, the Iowa motorhome maker announced an agreement with Brandgenuity, a New York licensing agency, to put the Winnebago name on a range of outdoor fashions and camping gear.
"We stand for quality products and a fun lifestyle," Randy Potts, the company's chairman, chief executive and president, told Reuters. "We think there's an opportunity to leverage that beyond RVs."
As Remington and Winnebago step into the market for soft-good extensions of their hard-metal brands, they may have learned from the successes -- and the misfires -- of others that have gone before them, including Caterpillar (CAT), Deere & Co (DE) and Harley-Davidson (HOG).
History suggests success can be elusive for such brands, which do not always transfer well onto products cut from cloth.
Remington's line of clothes and accessories -- offered by catalog but also available online -- includes everything from a five-piece leather luggage set complete with gun sleeve and pistol case ($1,675) to a cotton-twill "shooting shirt" ($150).
Perhaps the most eye-catching part of the collection is the "Double Derringer Leather Vest" with two "zippered ambidextrous concealed weapons pockets."
Not sure how that works? No problem. The catalog features a picture of a grim-looking male model, eyes cast to the ground, drawing a blued-steel semiautomatic pistol from one of the secret pockets.
Remington, which can claim to be one of the oldest U.S. manufacturers and still operates a plant in Ilion, New York, where the company was founded, says it took the plunge in response to customer requests.
It can also create a healthy revenue stream -- an attractive proposition for companies like Caterpillar, Winnebago and others that are struggling for growth in their core businesses. Deere, Caterpillar and other companies do not disclose royalty receipts. "That's a highly confidential number," said Mark Jostes, the head of Caterpillar's retail business development group. But the revenue can be substantial.
Jostes estimates Caterpillar's authorized licensees -- including Wolverine World Wide, Summit Resource Imports and Toy State -- sold $1.1 billion in Cat-branded merchandise last year. Cat has moved from simply licensing merchandise to approving nearly 75 retail stores around the world --most in Central and South America and the Caribbean.
"If you go to England, Chile, China or the Middle East, if you say you work for Caterpillar, they're likely to say, ‘Oh, the footwear and apparel company?'" Jostes said.
Popcorn, smartphones. . . and pitfalls
It's not just hats, T-shirts and boots. Although Deere shies away from most food products, the Illinois farm equipment maker has allowed a company to sell "Johnny Pop" popcorn, featuring a picture of one of the company's green and yellow harvesters on the package.
Fans of Caterpillar, meanwhile, can now buy the Cat B15, an rugged Android 4.1 phone designed and built by Bullitt Mobile. And Jostes hints a Cat-branded laptop may be next.
Deere has balked at pitches to market John Deere-branded duct tape and lighters. Another no-no: booze, even though much of it is distilled from corn harvested by Deere combines. "We turn down many opportunities that could be much more profitable to the business because we don't think it's appropriate for our brand," said Dale Paschke, Deere's manager of brand licensing.
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I have no problem with clothing with built in pistol sleeves.
But what I do want to know is what moron would buy this coat for $1300!!!
I sincerely hope that the naive left wing elitists, especially the politicians, celebrities, and wealthy who disdain the 2nd Amendment, yet have no problem hiring armed personal security to protect themselves; pay attention to the fact that all 50 states recognize the right and need for law abiding, average Americans to be responsible for their own self-defense.
Every police officer I've talked to agrees that they are rarely, if ever, on the scene of a violent crime against an innocent citizen, in time to protect that unfortunate victim. They almost always get there after the fact. Those who think it's possible for police to protect them against unexpected crimes of violence just aren't thinking reasonably.
Unless every one of us could afford armed bodyguards, or unless we had a police officer 24/7 for every citizen in America (and who would want to live like that?) then who is responsible for their defense? The individual citizen of course. Not to overstate a currently popular saying, "When every second counts, the police are only minutes away".
If someone chooses to not defend themselves, well that's their right. If someone chooses to defend themselves, that's their right too. Self-defense is one of the most basic instincts of human nature. It's normal and healthy, and our survival depends on it, as individuals and as a nation. Those who deny this truth, put themselves, their families, and their nation at risk, and that's not normal or healthy.
Get the message, the majority of Americans believe in their right, and responsibility to defend themselves. It is our right!
Ah, yes the ripoff artists at it at all levels. **** people and the over priced guns, ammo, etc. they pay for. You are being ripped off people. I own and fire many weapons as I love to target and hunt. but, this is way out of hand. The NRA and most of the gun magazines make money from the manufacturer or get free products and you pay for it. Geeeeez
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Serious issues like drought and the deterioration of the developed world spell opportunity for this industry leader.
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