Federal Premium Layoffs

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Federal Premium Hydra-Shok photo by Guy J. Sagi

Federal Premium layoffs took place early this month at its Anoka, MN, plant. Some of the most decent and knowledgeable in the industry work for the ammunition manufacturer, which makes this story painful. The firm is part of the Vista Outdoor family of companies.

CBS Minnesota broke the news on March 6 and put the number of employees affected at 110. The next day a Star Tribune story provided more details.

Expansion Despite Federal Premium Layoffs

Plans for the company’s $33.9 million expansion at the facility are, however, proceeding. Construction is expected to be completed by summer.

The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal noted, “Vista Outdoor officials last month said that the retail environment for ammunition sales has grown tougher since the election.” The estimated 50 jobs that could have been created after the expansion are also on hold, according to the writer.

Early Notification

Vista Outdoor also withdrew requests for state and local grants that totaled $1.15 million. The company notified state and local officials it would no longer be seeking the grants well in advance of Federal Premium layoffs becoming public knowledge. “Out of fairness to the state and taxpayers, we wanted them to be able to use those funds for other projects rather than wait on us,” company spokeswoman Amanda Covington said.

“The challenging retail environment we have seen in the first and second quarters worsened in our third quarter following a slow hunting season and national elections,” Mark DeYoung, CEO of Vista Outdoor is quoted as saying in the firm’s most recent earnings release. “We have also seen increased inventory in our retail and wholesale chains.”

Vista Outdoor

Vista Outdoor companies are a veritable “who’s who” for sportsmen. Companies include Federal Premium, Bushnell, Weaver, Blackhawk, Eagle, Speer, CamelBak and more.

Pundits suggest the election of a President who supports the Second Amendment caused a slowdown in gun and ammunition sales.