Driven by family values and the belief that passing the outdoor torch from one generation to the next is pivotal, Kinsey’s continues to grow and expand. This forward-thinking company, whose goal is to put a bow in every hand, is proud to be part of a rich outdoor tradition – a tradition the Kinsey’s team plans to continue to push in an effort to make the archery industry stronger from top to bottom.
Carrying more than 14,000 products from more than 400 vendors, Kinsey’s is a key player with deep roots in the archery world. Founded in 1952 by Vernon Kinsey and headquartered in Mount Joy, Pennsylvania, this major archery equipment distributor, proudly serving more than 4,000 retailers nationwide, is concentrating more and more on educating its massive dealer base. Its dedication to seeing others succeed has caused the company to grow rapidly.
“We spent a lot of time visiting with our dealers at our show in Hershey, Pennsylvania, last year,” said Kinsey’s Vice President Rick Kinsey. “We put boots to the ground and got around the show floor to talk with our dealers and vendors. We created lots of face-to-face meetings and came away with some great knowledge. The wealth of information we acquired shaped the foundation for something we are really excited about, and that’s Kinsey’s University.
“It became clear to us during our conversations with our dealers that they wanted help in a lot of different arenas. They want help to be better business people. They want more marketing and point-of-sale help. They want more help with the technical side of owning a pro shop. Our goal: To use Kinsey’s University to meet all of their needs and provide them with the proper assistance.
“Yes, we are a distributor and we sell products, but we see ourselves more as a service provider, a provider of knowledge, a hub through which information flows from vendors to retailers. We want to take what Hoyt and Mathews are doing on the education side of things and take it to the next level.”
Dave Parker, director of sales and strategy for Kinsey’s, further fueled the Kinsey’s University flame by delving into the strategic planning and curriculum of this new-for-2015 program.
“Our primary focus at the moment is on our retailers,” Parker said. “However, this is going to be an expanding work in process, and we hope to eventually involve programs and curriculums for vendors and manufacturers.
“Quality and operating at a very high, functional level was our goal from the start. For 2015, we have adopted a series of educational opportunities. The first curriculums we will deliver will be at our dealer show in February. These will be business-oriented seminars. Following these seminars will be a pair of two-day bow-technician classes. The first will be held in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in late April, and the other in Charlotte, North Carolina, in mid-June. Dealers will get to come in and spend two days with us, and I know they will come away with a ton of knowledge.
“We have partnered with Chapman Archery Schools, which was started by George Chapman. George was the leading force and driver behind the PSE Archery Schools, which were highly successful for a number of decades. Steve Vanzile took the program over after George’s passing, and we are working with him to customize a curriculum that will fit the Kinsey’s University style. Steve has been conducting and teaching bow-technician classes for many, many years. He has loads of experience and is just an excellent teacher. Guys and gals who want to become better bow technicians will really gain a lot by spending a couple of days with Steve.
“In addition, we are hosting two one-day schools that will be centered on teaching and educating dealers on how to be successful in the crossbow business. This is a business that continues to boost shop sales, and we want to make sure our retailers are privy to this craze and know how to capitalize on it. The first class will be held in Syracuse, New York, on May 12, 2015. The other will be held in Madison, Wisconsin, on May 26, 2015. Both New York and Wisconsin have recently integrated crossbow hunting into their regular archery seasons, and whenever this happens, we find that many of the area retailers have little knowledge of how to make crossbows work for them because they just haven’t had much experience with these horizontal rigs. Having held crossbow schools of our own in the past and seeing 20-plus states go through this integration process, we are very familiar with how to help retailers boost crossbow profits.
“Of course, we have massive expansion plans for Kinsey’s University in 2016, 2017 and beyond. We want to continue to make the curriculum wider and wider and wider. For 2015, our plan is to stay focused on the topics mentioned and operate at a very high and efficient level.”
As exciting as Kinsey’s University is, Kinsey’s is also thrilled to announce a number of other new, sure-to-be-cheered programs as well.
“Our dealers loved our new Rewards Program, which we launched at our 2014 show,” Parker continued, “and we now have a new Kinsey’s Visa Card. We will be introducing this new card to dealers, and the program is designed in a way that when dealers use the card to make purchases with us, they will actually earn two points for every dollar spent with the bank. As those points accumulate, dealers will actually earn rebates. This means additional discounts on items they were going to buy anyway, plus they will be earning additional points. They can also use the card anywhere else for other purchases and earn one point for every dollar spent. A savvy retailer can actually earn a nice little pay raise just by channeling purchases through the Kisney’s Visa Card. This is just another way we are trying to help retailers make money and be successful.
“We are also really excited about our new website. Our enhanced search feature makes it much easier to find specific items, and we’ve added some tools to help dealers calculate margins and markup. The website really has a lot of cool features and will provide retailers much more visibility to promotions and sales events.
“Lastly is our Kinsey’s Dealer Show, which just keeps getting bigger and bigger. The show will be held in Hershey, Pennsylvania, from February 20-22, 2015. We will once again have extended hours to ensure our dealers have adequate time to complete the tasks they need to. Plus, we will once again be hosting our Casino Night, which everyone seems to love. Again, this event will be all about engaging relationships. There will be no business done; rather it’s a time to reflect, visit and have fun. Along with Kinsey’s, Easton and HHA will be sponsoring this event.
“We also have some new things in development for our 2015 show – things I don’t want to let out of the bag just yet, but we believe they will be very well received. One thing I can reveal is that we have signed up-and-coming country music artist Chase Rice to perform at our Dealer Appreciation Night. Chase’s latest album has already reached number one on the country music charts, and he has such an interesting background. He played college football at the University of North Carolina and, after graduation, joined a NASCAR pit crew. In addition, he was on the hit television show Survivor: Nicaragua. He was actually the runner-up and did an amazing job on the show. He puts on a great concert and is a wonderful guy. We are thrilled to have him presenting. It should be a great show. A special call out to our Dealer Appreciation night sponsorship partners, LimbSaver, G5 and Carbon Express, for their continued support! I look very much forward to visiting with as many vendors and retailers as I possibly can, and so does the rest of the Kinsey’s team.”
Strength From Top to Bottom
Kinsey’s is dedicated to growing the archery industry. It always has been, and it always will be. According to Rick Kinsey, Kinsey’s and the entire archery industry will only get stronger if iron sharpens iron.
“The strength of my business and the archery industry is predicated upon how successful archery retailers are. In order for this to happen we must continue to reach out to our retailers – to pick up the phone, walk through shop doors and visit with them face to face. They must communicate with us and us with them to make this industry stronger from top to bottom.
“We have truly taken this to a new level. In fact, we have added a new value to our set of company values which we’ve dubbed ‘Engage Partnerships.’ Our first step is to listen. To truly listen to our retailers’ needs and wants – to find ways to develop a better partnership. We also plan to do this with vendors as well. We are continually asking ourselves these questions: How do we become a nexus of information for the archery industry? What do people need? How can we better provide them with what they need? What value can we provide today, tomorrow and well into the future that will help people connect the dots and be successful? Getting answers to these types of questions requires constant reevaluation, and that’s what we are doing at Kinsey’s.”
A byproductof Kinsey’s hard work and dedication to the archery industry is the company’s rapid expansion. Its new 50,000-square-foot warehouse is spectacular and stands as a true landmark to the company’s dedication to success.
“Growth is a never-ending process,” Rick Kinsey said. “Growth requires constant company evaluation and strategy. In addition to the new warehouse, we have upgraded our computer system, designed a new and more user-friendly website and continue to focus on more and more technology upgrades. It’s an exciting time for Kinsey’s – an exciting time for the entire archery industry – and we are proud to be right in the middle of it.”
Parker seconded Kinsey’s thoughts on growth, adding that the new warehouse isn’t the only new facelift the company is getting in 2015.
“Aside from the warehouse, we have a lot of exciting things happening at our office building as well. We are adding a lot more offices, building new conference/meeting rooms and expanding our facilities. When you grow as a company, which we are, it requires more resources and more staff. We don’t want to fall behind. We want to push the limits of our growth and continue to expand. Right now it’s not about survival for us; it’s about how to manage the growth we are experiencing and how to take ownership of making our business partners stronger along the way. We know we don’t have answers to all the questions, but we know people who do, and together we can make this industry stronger. The industry has done so much for us, and we want to make sure that we are giving back as much as we possibly can.”