Axe and Knife shortage? Hmmm….that’s a unique problem!
Over a year ago, I had set up an account to start carrying Axes from Council Tool. They make a fantastic product. In fact, they make a huge selection of products including axes for everyone from loggers and campers to firefighters. It’s one of those lines that include the simplest hatchet to some really unique splitting axes and race axes. I didn’t place an order last year as the Covid outbreak was setting in and I was facing a bit of a health issue. It just felt like a good time to take a break and see how things were gonna shake out.
So what’s going on?
Fast forward 1 year. Last month I put together a small order of around 2 dozen assorted axes and hatchets from Council. When I placed the order they informed me they were running 90 to 120 days behind. Mostly it was attributed to a larger then normal volume of orders combined with complications surrounding the whole Covid scare. Right now I’m assuming it’ll be June before they come in.
The last 3 months, axe and hatchet sales have picked up for me and I had a few other holes in my inventory. When I went to another major supplier I found a similar situation trying to find several brands that were out of stock. The answer as to when they would be back in stock was ….“soon, we hope”. Again, they were experiencing an increase in order volume and bumps in the manufacturing/distribution chain. I’ve also been trying to buy more of the Buck Auto’s with the same problem. It’s great when things are selling but frustrating when you can’t bring more in!
What I think is happening…..
I think we’re seeing a combination of contributing factors. First, there’s no doubt the Covid situation has created all kinds of production/distribution issues. With the free cash being handed out, we also have a large amount of discretionary income being spent. I saw that at the last gun show. Add to that the fact a lot of folks are going stir crazy having been cooped up for a year. It gets to the point where you figure, what the hell, you have the money and you know you’ll feel a lot better if you indulge yourself. That’s always worked for me!
The big question is when will we see things get back to a normal retail cycle (among other things). I know the shooting industry is making little to no progress on catching up. Demand is through the roof with no sign of easing. It appears the US axe/hatchet/knife industry is in a mildly similar situation. It broke my heart to see Queen Cutlery coming out of China but at least they’re available. Hope that’s not the future.