1. The Forum Rules have undergone some minor changes and updates.  Please take the time to read them; it will only take a couple of minutes of your time. By doing so, you lessen the chance of incurring the wrath of the moderation team or making yourself look foolish to other members.

    90% of users posting adverts in the Sales forums need to be reminded to read the rules as their posts are wrong.  This is unnecessarily time-consuming and will no longer happen - if your advert doesn't follow the Sales Rules it will be deleted and you'll have to start all over again.

    To close this box once you've read it (and the Rules), click on the X in the top right-hand corner.

    Thank you.

    AGF Staff



    Dismiss Notice
  2. A reminder of one of the Forum Rules:

    'Behaviour

    Do not make inappropriate or offensive posts - including threats, harassment, swearing, prejudice, defamation, deliberate insults or name-calling, other negative remarks about this forum, its moderators and administrators or your fellow members. Even if this is just your own personal opinion, RESPECT YOUR FELLOW MEMBERS.'

    There have been changes made to our censoring software in an attempt to help with this growing problem.

    Click the X in the top-right-hand corner to dismiss this notice.
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Dear members,

    Our membership (like our country) consists of people from all walks of life; different in far more ways than can be listed here and each with a different view based on their experience of life - regardless of their colour, religion or cultural heritage. Every single person in the UK has been born of mixed race – we are a multi-coloured and multi-cultural country.

    As many of you are aware there are a handful of individuals amongst this membership that persist in making provocative, inflammatory, racist and otherwise offensive comments. This has been happening across the forum to a certain degree but is most especially prevalent in the Adult section.

    The moderation team has tried to stay on top of this, however unfortunately because of the ‘offensive’ nature of much of its content we don’t monitor the Adult section quite as much as perhaps we should. As a result much of this behaviour has gone unnoticed unless it has been reported to us. While the team always intended to take a "light touch" approach to the Adult section it would seem that some people aren’t quite adult enough to be left unmonitored after all.

    This behaviour is, and always has been against Forum Rules as well as the specific stipulations of the Adults forum and it will no longer be tolerated. We feel it's time to draw a line in the sand and as such from this point onward offenders will receive an immediate and permanent ban from the forum.

    In order for us to achieve our goal of restoring the forum to the friendly and tolerant place it once was, we ask that ALL members be mindful of the content they post and help us to stop unacceptable behaviour by using the 'Report' tool at the bottom of any offending post - the results of which can be seen only by Admin/Moderators.

    You should all receive a copy of this message by PM. 

    To close this message box, click on the 'X' in the top-right-hand corner.

    Dismiss Notice
  4. Hotmail block emails from us entering your inbox. Unless you can setup a safe sender you will not get activation emails from the forum. Please use an alternative provider or complain to Hotmail.
    Hotmail addresses include.

    @Hotmail.co.uk @Hotmail.com @outlook.com @Live.com
    Dismiss Notice
  5. Postings on Politics, Religion & Controversial Off-Topic Material

    The majority of users do not want to read about these subjects and people have left the forum as a result of it – this is after all an 'Airgun' Forum. It’s all very well to say they don’t have to read it if they don't want to, but as most of us use the ‘New Posts’ button there is no easy way to avoid it.

    All AGF staff members are in favour of people being able to discuss what they want, but we have to draw the line somewhere if it is upsetting other users. We don’t want to read about these topics either.

    IMPORTANT- The discussion of politics and religion is no longer allowed anywhere on the forum (including the Adult section).  The only exception is if it's airgun related - they must be put in the Airgun Related Politics section..

    We will not tolerate bullying or personal attacks, racism or any other offensive 'isms'. we will remove these topics from the forum, we will not give you an area where you can abuse each other. We will not hesitate to ban offenders.

    To clear this text box, click on the 'X' in the top right-hand corner.

    Dismiss Notice

Investment / holding firms, scumbag capitalism and the demise of big name brands

Discussion in 'Anything Airgun Related' started by cloverleaf, Apr 2, 2014.

  1. cloverleaf

    cloverleaf Super Moderator Staff Member Mod/Admin

    Messages:
    21,779
    Likes Received:
    30,069
    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    It's recently come to my attention how many trusted brand names (not just in the shooting industry) are owned by venture capitalist / private investment / holding companies.

    The remit of such companies seems fairly straightforward; buy up struggling brands at a knock-down price, increase their profitability and either retain them (harvesting the yield) or sell them on at a profit.

    While my grasp of finance and economics is inferior to that of most household pets, it appears that such companies can make money from the purchase of struggling brand-names in one of two ways:

    The first and most honourable approach is to put money into the business to allow it to grow and become more profitable through greater product development, refinement and quality. This is the most responsible and pragmatic path to take, but also potentially a long one.

    The second, far more questionable approach seems to be to cut costs to the bone by binning more experienced and expensive staff, cutting QC, production and material quality while keeping product RRP the same; yielding greater profit thanks to the slashed production costs. Initially sales will be good and profit will be increased as consumers will continue to buy based on brand loyalty / trust of the name. This is a short-sighted approach however, as sales will fall and the brand will be devalued as consumers find out they've been buying overpriced crap.

    I first experienced the second scenario about 10yrs ago when I bought a pair of walking shoes. The shoes were Karrimor branded, a name I recognised as being British, established and respected. The shoes were well-priced so a pair was purchased. Quickly I found out that they were worse than useless - quality was terrible and the soles were so thin that it was verging on physically uncomfortable to walk on uneven surfaces such as cobble stones. Thankfully they wore out in a very short space of time :rolleyes:

    Later I found that the company had recently gone into receivership and had been bought out by an investment company. Typically, production costs had been cut by outsourcing manufacture to China.. the resultant low quality imitations had, I suspect, been avoided by those in the know or had had the misfortune to purchase these new, inferior products. Consequently demand and prices had fallen, and that was when I fell into the trap.


    Sadly it seems like this selfish, cynical, aggressive and destructive capitalist model of purely profit-driven business procurement, cost-cutting, asset stripping and consumer manipulation is a very large part of "business" globally. While not all investment groups appear to take this attitude, it appears that most are only out to make a quick profit before tossing the exhausted husk of their latest victim on the scrap heap and moving on to the next.


    This issue apparently affects the firearms industry as much as it does wider manufacturing business.. Marlin, the well-known manufacturer of lever-action carbines was bought out in 2007 by Remington, who in turn are owned by investment w*nkers "Freedom Group" since their most recent respective change of owners, the quality of both companies' products has apparently gone right down the pan; Marlin especially. With a bit of digging I think many would be surprised by how many big companies and brand names are owned by such groups.

    Of course this nastyness extends to our beloved airguns as well; we all know that BSA were bought out by Gamo in 1986, who themselves were owned by MCH Private Equity before being sold to private equity house Bruckmann, Rosser, Sherrill & Co. in August last year. It's also common knowledge that Dianna holding company bought Daystate in 2009, and have also recently acquired Brocock.

    I also find it interesting how SMK have recently been bought by Remington, who, as already mentioned are owned by Freedom Group.

    It's fairly well known that all of these companies (with the possible exception of Daystate) were struggling financially before their respective buyouts; which no doubt is what attracted the vultures in the first place. Admittedly I can't state for certain that any particular companies' products have worsened since they were bought out; equally I certainly don't think any have got any better.


    It concerns me that profits are effectively being sucked out of these companies by their owners, whose only interest is in making money and who have no understanding of the products being sold or the interests of those in the market to buy them.

    Personally I've never rated the products of any of the airgun companies listed above and can only think that poor quality / uncompetitive products are what made them unprofitable and put them in a position to be bought out in the first place. Interestingly, the two "mainstream" companies whose products I respect the most (Air Arms and Weihrauch) still appear fully independent - something that can only work in their favour IMO.

    Sadly I think this ownership situation is only going to get worse (if the American firearms and wider business markets are anything to go by) which I think is only going to result in worse products, worse service and less product choice for the consumer. The sad trend appears to be towards a world where small companies no longer exist; every brand being a sub-division of massive, faceless, purely profit-driven corporations :(

    My gut tells me that for the good of the consumer and the industry as a whole, manufacturers owned by such companies should be avoided like the plague.

    Discuss; if you can be arsed :p
     
  2. Egg

    Egg Major Poster

    Messages:
    8,460
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Dunfermline
    Good read and a contextual example of globalisation in practice.
     
  3. Ichabod Armacost

    Ichabod Armacost Donator

    Messages:
    950
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Tinbucktoo
    Exactly!
     
  4. Stevie Darling

    Stevie Darling Sexual tyrannosaurus

    Messages:
    18,690
    Likes Received:
    12,464
    Location:
    St. Andrews, Jockland.
    Totally agree, things are just not made how they used too be, a small scale example is the humble Arbroath smoky. Now available in all supermarkets, tasteless, over smoked Censored! a shadow of its former self.

    Luckily I get them warm straight from the barrel, but could never sell them as cheap as mr big and his supermarket chains.
     
  5. Egg

    Egg Major Poster

    Messages:
    8,460
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Dunfermline
    I need to head up your way at some stage Stevie - I love a smokie.

    And venison.

    And I still need to send you that liquid :rolleyes:

    Anyway.... back on target (sorry for the mini hijack cloverleaf ;))
     
  6. audiguypaul

    audiguypaul Donator

    Messages:
    521
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Warminster
    Have a read of The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism by Naomi Klein, thats a real eye opener.
     
  7. 177

    177 Donator

    Messages:
    7,704
    Likes Received:
    576
    Location:
    Berwick upon Tweed
    Obviously the solution is to buy every clean 25mm HW77 and Mk 1 TX200 we can lay our hands on, along with certain other earlier models, and smugly watch the collapse in the knowledge that we've got a good un.

    Tongue very firmly in cheek....
     
  8. Patrick

    Patrick Donator

    Messages:
    12,415
    Likes Received:
    4,743
    Location:
    Wiltshire
    Ref the shoes you bought and I no doubt what you say about them but was not the startling lack of quality not apparent at the time of purchase,most poor manufacturing and lack of quality is often easy to spot as soon as you handle something.From what I've read on this and another forum along with an article in the current issue of AirGunner, Weihrauch are little better than most manufacturers.Swarf on the inside of the piston, galling on the underside of the cylinder by the cocking arm, I thought the roller in cocking arm was there to prevent that.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2014
  9. Igotknobblies

    Igotknobblies Engaging Member

    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    25
    Location:
    Birchington, Kent
    I bought a Winchester over under 12g. It had 'made in Japan' stamped under the barrels. Turns out it's made by Miroku who actually knock out better gear than original Winchesters. What about the likes of FX selling their wares to Logun, Webley, RWS etc. Only so they could shift more units. Once out of the door, QC was out of their reach so poor finishing could come back and bite!
    Igk
     
  10. bf95

    bf95 Donator

    Messages:
    276
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Berwick upon tweed
    Another few examples are hardy greys and shakespeare who were all at once grest companies in the fishing industry.. hardy is a prime example, cutting corners lower quality materials and then they ruined their own name by selling goods at a massive discount, not to mention all the good that went out "the back door" now they are owned by a company called pure fishing who is a large american company who has bought many of these companies.. thankfully greys was never that bad and this huge company intends to bring back the trusted brand...
     
  11. Jackroadkill

    Jackroadkill Donator

    Messages:
    16,784
    Likes Received:
    114
    Location:
    Drenewydd, Powys, Cymru
    Have to agree; I worked in a specialist sector a decade ago, and I was fortunate to work for a small company that was owned by a husband and wife team. They were, quite simply, the best management ever. They looked after their staff, delivered sector-leading service, and made a good deal of money through their own hard work (Peter would be onsite at six most mornings, do admin until nine am, join the staff for the rest of the morning, then deal with meetings etc all afternoon before rejoining the staff until eight o'clock, when he would go back into his office for another couple of hours admin - and this would be a minimum of six days of the week). They didn't have a proper day off in seventeen years. They put their hearts and souls into that business and it was literally the best example of that establishment in the UK - we had a two-year waiting list for clients.

    Anyhow, they decided to sell up and retire, as the work was beginning to tell and Maureen was becoming ill. They sold up to another company who were ostensibly in the same field. After the sale I did a bit of digging, to find out who our new bosses were... They were a venture capital group. I stuck it out for a year before I left in disgust at how bad things had got there, and in that year we had gone from being the best in our sector to a joke; no referrals, massive staff turn-over, questionable legality of some operations and a boss who was an idiot, all backed up by a "charge as much as possible and deliver as little as possible" ethos. I was properly upset - it was like leaving a lover, leaving that company.

    Two years ago, the company was wound up as all possible profit had been wrung from it, no investment had been made, and in a sector where reputation and results were essential to the continued turnover, that was fatal.

    This sort of thing seems to be what we do in the UK; mortgage tomorrow to pay for today.
     
  12. Patrick

    Patrick Donator

    Messages:
    12,415
    Likes Received:
    4,743
    Location:
    Wiltshire
    I had a couple of Hardy fishing rods,a Hardy MatchMaker and a Hardy Richard Walker carp rod :)
     
  13. cloverleaf

    cloverleaf Super Moderator Staff Member Mod/Admin

    Messages:
    21,779
    Likes Received:
    30,069
    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    Thanks for the replies - glad some of us feel the same :)

    Thanks - I suppose it is, although I'm not savvy enough to have labelled it as such :p


    Thanks; will give it a look (I don't read much tbh). I suspect it will only reinforce my existing hatred of most facets of modern life and serve to depress me further, though :p :(


    Tongue rapidly pulled from cheek - I've seriously subscribed to this approach for a good while now. All my 400 series guns are at least 9yrs old and I wouldn't entertain the idea of anything newer; my '77 is 20yrs old and I wouldn't waste my money on a new one.. I have both Mk2 and Mk3 TX's - if one had to go it'd probably be the Mk3. While I know the old stuff wasn't perfect, the quality and design of most modern stuff disgusts me, tbqfh :(


    Sadly I'm less of an aficionado of footware than firearms :p

    From what I can remember, they looked alright following a quick glance over them and felt comfy enough on the flat floor of the shop. I totally agree about Weihrauch - their QC has gone downhill and tbh if you really wanted me to I could reel off a long list of design and build issues with every single one of their models. That said Weihrauch are still the least-worst manufacturer of springers etc - they're far from perfect, but compare them to some of the other utter rubbish about (BSA for example) and their relative quality rapidly becomes apparent.


    Yup. I think Winchester exist only in name now (much like Webley) however I don't own any of their firearms so I've not investigated the situation further. Certainly a sad state of affairs..


    That's really sad - what a bunch of horrible :censored: :mad:

    The terrible thing is that :censored: like this get ahead in life by mercilessly exploiting and discarding others for their own selfish short term gain.. such is the delight of the dogsh*t self-serving society in which we live :down:
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2014
  14. tomsteebs

    tomsteebs Donator

    Messages:
    3,919
    Likes Received:
    906
    Location:
    Northamptonshire
    Do you know what happened to webley (penis it webley and Scott) ? Was this move to Turkey as a result of being bought out by someone and did they change the name to just webley?
     
  15. Ichabod Armacost

    Ichabod Armacost Donator

    Messages:
    950
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Tinbucktoo
    I thought your OP was a bloody good speech, but this last above is simply nail on head as far as I'm concerned. I hate the attitude that most people seem to have these days, but yer might as well know that the likes of me and thee are but whispers in the wilderness.

    There is an upside though, albeit a small one, not everybody is a totally materialistic, money grabbing, self serving feckwit. There are still some good folk around.

    All that evil needs to prevail, is that good people say and do nothing.
     
  16. Ichabod Armacost

    Ichabod Armacost Donator

    Messages:
    950
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Tinbucktoo
    How's that again??????:eek:
     
  17. tomsteebs

    tomsteebs Donator

    Messages:
    3,919
    Likes Received:
    906
    Location:
    Northamptonshire
    Bloody phone dictionary (a genuine LOL) :D


    "Or is".....
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice