Last week was Thanksgiving and if you are like me, you got absolutely BOMBED by Black Friday and Cyber Monday ads. My personal email was thick with them. I even got ads from companies I didn’t think could do “Black Friday” sales… like our doctor’s office! (They were offering 15% off of supplements.)
There were ads from companies I hadn’t received an email from in probably a year. I guess they thought the best time to grab my attention and re-engage with me was when everyone else was sending out ads. Huh?
What you didn’t see was a Black Friday sale email from AmmoSquared. We didn’t send out a “Cyber Monday” sale ad either. (We DID however send out a “Happy Thanksgiving” email though.)
Why is that?
Well for one thing, I took the week off and we shut down our warehouse Wednesday onward last week so we could spend time with family and friends. That is where our priorities were last week and also the reason we sent out a “thankful for you” email to our customers.
Of course that wasn’t WHY we didn’t do a Black Friday sale. The reason is the same reason we didn’t have a Memorial Day sale, Halloween sale, 4th of July sale or Wednesday, June 7th sale…
We don’t do sales.
“What?!? You guys sell ammunition... why don’t you have regular sales like every other retailer on the planet?”
Because… we’re different. We’re not ecommerce, honestly we’re something closer to a utility than a Shopify store.
We’re a “slow and steady wins the race” kind of company, not a “flash in the pan” or a “wham, bam, thank you ma’am” kind of company.
Most retail companies need to continuously run sales to drum up business. They need that shot of sales to finish out the year in the black (i.e. profitable). That is why they call it “Black Friday”. They run sales and promotions on every conceivable holiday - which is why so many of our once respected holidays (Memorial Day, 4th of July, Veterans Day) have become synonymous with the word “Sale”.
We refuse to participate in that.
To me, Black Friday represents the pinnacle of frenzied shopping without thought or a plan. We’ve all seen pictures of Black Friday shoppers swarming the local mall in search of deals. They are almost like shopping zombies doing what they are programmed to do… consume mindlessly.
Then, often you find out that the "deals" aren’t even something to get worked up over. You’ve probably seen those scandalous videos making their way around the internet showing some of the big retailers who were advertising Black Friday deals that weren’t really deals… they were just the regular sale price. Yikes. People got duped. Again.
When I think about AmmoSquared, I don’t see that. We're the opposite of that. We're for people that plan ahead, not consume mindlessly (or panic buy). I see us more like a power company or internet provider, in other words a utility. We just happen to offer ammunition instead of electricity or internet service.
Your utility company didn’t offer Black Friday deals did they? Mine sure didn’t (though the doctor thing still surprised me.)
Or another example would be a financial company like Merrill Lynch or Charles Schwab - they don’t have Black Friday sales either (that I know of - I could be wrong here). The reason is that they are also focused on “slow and steady” investing.
That is similar to what we are focused on too: Slow and steady accumulation of ammunition so it is there when you need it. Ammunition is closer to necessities like housing, food, power, and heat than conventional consumer goods. The reason? Without necessities you are more likely to die.
When you really prioritize the things that keep you alive in daily life and during an emergency, ammunition is right up there near the top. So if ammunition is important, then why not treat it like other important things: water, heat, power… and automate it. Make sure it will never be interrupted. You pay the bill and the lights stay on. You pay the bill and water flows from the tap. You pay the bill and ammunition arrives frequently and is available when you need it.
I can live without a new TV or an air fryer. As an armed American, I can’t live without a gun and the ammunition necessary to feed it. If I leave the house without my gun, I feel naked and exposed. I feel like I’m at the mercy of any thug with a broken beer bottle or tire iron. Without my AR15, I’m at the mercy of a tyrannical government intent on doing me harm. With a gun… well that's a different story. To me, and the way I live my life, guns and ammunition are a necessity.
We've optimized our business model to provide a necessity (ammunition) on a continuous feed basis, and not be ecommerce, so offering a random sale doesn't make any sense. That, my friends, is why we don’t have Black Friday sales.