Smith & Wesson has built a successful business shooting for the stars. Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (operating through subsidiary Smith & Wesson Corp.) makes pistols, revolvers, tactical rifles, and police accessories, as well as gun-safety devices (under the M&P Series name). The company also sells handcuffs and hunting rifles and car, boat, and home alarm system packages. Smith & Wesson's the exclusive importer of Walther pistols with US production rights for the Walther PPK model. To diversify and add breadth to its brand, the company licenses its name to makers of apparel, watches, sunglasses, gift sets, and more. Smith & Wesson was founded in 1852.
During recent years, Smith & Wesson has aimed to diversify its products portfolio as the company evolves from a gun maker to a top supplier of a variety of arms. From 2004 to 2010, sales of revolvers dropped from about 40% of the company's sales to around 20%. During the same time frame, Smith & Wesson boosted sales of pistols while also expanding its products in the areas of tactical and long-gun lines, as well as non-firearm products and services, including security systems.
However, amid a shift in government spending the company exited the perimeter security systems business in 2011. It moved to divest its perimeter security division -- Tennessee-based Universal Safety Response (later renamed Smith & Wesson Security Solutions) to Detroit, Michigan-based FutureNet Group for a non-disclosed amount in mid-2012. Smith & Wesson Security Solutions has provided barriers, and installation and other services used in approximately 110 military installations and more than a dozen federal agencies and commercial facilities. The operations generated about $130 million during the last three years, accounting for some 10% of Smith & Wesson's sales.
To build its firearms business Smith & Wesson acquired Thompson/Center Arms for $102 million. The 40-year-old firm based in New Hampshire makes and markets premium hunting firearms. The deal gave it a strong foothold in the hunting rifle market and expanded its reach into the long-gun niche.
The company has also boosted its licensing efforts. It partnered with BBC Imagewear through a licensing agreement in 2009 to provide Smith & Wesson-branded T-shirts, jackets, and shirts. It inked a similar deal with Kudzu/The Game to provide branded hats and caps and hats, T-shirts, jackets, gun pads, license plates, decals, pins, patches, key chains, glassware, and mugs with the Thompson/Center Arms logo. Its licensing agreement with TruckVault calls for Smith & Wesson-brand lockable steel handgun safes for homes, vehicles, and public safety agencies, including police, government agencies, fire departments, and the military.
Smith & Wesson has increased its sales under CEO Michael Golden. He started a company sales force, instead of relying on independent manufacturers' representatives, to sell its products, including its line of polymer pistols. To capitalize on its well-known brand, the company has branched out into new gun markets such as tactical rifles, hunting rifles, and shotguns. Michael Golden became president and CEO in 2004 following a turbulent year in the executive suite.
Smith & Wesson Holding (formerly Saf-T-Hammer) purchased Smith & Wesson in 2001. – less