Sportman’s Warehouse detailed plans last month to open a second location in South Carolina.
The newest store will open late 2018 at a former Kmart on Clemson Boulevard in Anderson, according to a Nov. 16 press release. The outdoor retailer also operates a store two hours east in Columbia.
“We are excited to further expand our presence in South Carolina as we know this state very well. This new market has a large user base that is currently under served through existing retailers,” said John Schaefer, Sportsman’s Warehouse CEO. “The addition of this store keeps with our business plan, promoting stable growth that will benefit our company, our vendors, and most importantly, our loyal customers for many years to come.”
The new store will bring Sportman’s Warehouse total footprint to 90 locations across 22 states — mostly in the western and southeastern United States. It’s positive news for the company as the industry struggles with flattened gun sales.
Schaefer told investors last month same store overall sales for the chain declined 7 percent for the quarter ending Oct. 28 — driven by a 12.4 percent dip in demand for firearms and a 19.4 percent loss in ammunition.
“Our third quarter results were largely in line with our expectations and reflected continued softness in firearms and ammunition as well as a shift in the timing of a planned third quarter new store opening into the fourth quarter,” he said. “We again navigated a difficult operating environment but were pleased to deliver gross margin expansion … and make continued progress against our key strategic priorities as we focus on driving further market share gains.”
Strength in the retailer’s sales for modern sporting rifles and shotguns helped offset persistent weak demand post-election, Schaefer said, citing a 6.6 percent spike in both categories over 2016 — the industry’s biggest year on record.
“We believe this reflects the more consistent trends within this area of firearms,” he said. “In terms of ammunition, the 19.4 percent decline we experienced in quarter three we believe, in large part, reflects customers’ reluctance to purchase ammunition at full price, which has risen rather dramatically over the past seven years.”
Overall, net sales for the company’s third quarter increased less than 1 percent, according to financial regulatory filings.