November 3, 2001, 08:09 PM
I just returned from GunSite and picked up a complimentory copies of SWAT. I had given up on any of the gun magazines as they only seemed to offer ringing endorsements of questionable products. I was very happy when I read my issues and found lots of good information presented in a professional format. My only question now is this- did the magazine lose it distributors? I haven't been able to find the magazine at any of my normal retailers such as Barnes & Noble, Walmart, etc. I suppose I could always subscribe but I'm more curious than anything else.
November 3, 2001, 09:37 PM
Well, I'm learning about this industry as I go. The distribution business is very fragmented and very heavy handed. In most cases, the outlets are controlled by regional wholesalers who decide whether and how many copies they'll carry. Thus, you might find the magazine at one Borders Books, but not at another in the next county.
Then you have places like WalMart, which are centralized. WalMart will not accept any Larry Flint publication....we have recently made overtures to get back in there and we'll see.
Additionally, you have to remember that S.W.A.T. was discontinued in April and only picked up by us in June....so we're still have in to pay (errrr, "work") our way back into the Teamsters controlled distributors. Barnes and Noble does carry it...but not every store. If you don't see it, do us a great favor and ask the manager to order it...I assure you they will.
Finally, you have market driven demand. In the wake of 911, magazines like S.W.A.T. are suddenly in demand. Soldier of Fortune is going gang-busters, I'm told (and I hope- Bob Brown has been a good friend to us as we learn this business). Our own distribution numbers for December were up 7% over November orders.
From a monetary standpoint, I'd prefer you purchase 9 issues a year off the newstand ($4.95 X 9)> $26.95 for the subscription. In fact, the sub is your best bet...you get the magazine 3 weeks before it hits the stands and you don't miss any issues.
Thanks for the compliments. They do matter.
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