The Newtown, Conn., shooting and subsequent proposals for gun control led many people to stock up on guns and ammunition. The reaction by gun owners means big business to a Boone County catalog and internet retailer selling shooting supplies.
MidwayUSA does not sell guns, but all the ammo and accessories that go with them. A 'rollercoaster' called the Nitro Express moves $300 million dollars worth of products down the line every year.
Founder and CEO of MidwayUSA, Larry Potterfield, said his company was uniquely positioned to react to the increasing demand.
The run on high capacity magazines since the Newtown shooting forced Potterfield to make a decision that would allow the business to serve all of their customers, not just a few.
"People want to hoard stuff," he said. "So while somebody might want to buy a couple boxes before, so now they think they're going to be hard to get. Today they might buy ten."
MidwayUSA has put limits on most ammunition of one to five boxes per customer, and does not accept backorders. Potterfield says none of the high demand ammo is in stock, but they do get regular shipments.
"We receive it into inventory and customers immediately buy everything within an hour or so," Potterfield said.
Even before the run on ammo, MidwayUSA was preparing to expand. Its main competition is Amazon.com, since Amazon has 40 distribution centers nationwide. MidwayUSA operates just the one, located west of Columbia off I-70.
Potterfield's team is looking at whether opening regional distribution centers will better serve customers.
On its heaviest days, workers will move 20,000 packages to individual customers buying an average $125 an order.
Potterfield proudly spoke of the money he's made in the shooting sports industry. He and his wife, Brenda, said they give away 50 percent of their income. The money goes to causes they hold dear and to high school and college shooting sports teams.
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