The Powder Keg heritage stems back to Melville in 1975 when Dr Lucas Potgieter started a “gun shop”. Dr Lucas built the current building in Hendrik Potgieter Road on the West Rand where The Powder Keg today continues in its 44th year of gun and gear trade.
The Powder Keg is now increasing the focus on wholesale and the representation of gear that we represent exclusively in South Africa. With zero financial institutional debt The Powder Keg is able to flex growth initiatives in an orderly and responsible manner, and without any time constraints.
In shooting the shot placement is considered more critical than the horsepower of the calibre. In business the ability to adapt to the changing market is considered more critical than believing in”survival of the strongest”.
Our strategy was never to be everything to everyone. That would require stupid funding. Our focus on products that are best in class as measured by price-to-performance has delivered real customer value. This strategy has proved that successful that wholesale now dominates our business. We have well-articulated value creation ideas going on and strategic rationales; definitely nothing vague.
Our vision was always to scale and that was not possible with one store. We did consider opening additional branches and even franchising The Powder Keg as a retail concept but given the market dynamics and the complexity around licensing and the control of firearms we changed our sails. We will remain a shop for retail on the West Rand but our sights are now set on best in class products that we represent exclusively.
You need luck to be successful but then we believe that you make your own luck. We made our own luck by the effort we put in upfront to understand which products were best in class and we were fortunate that these manufacturers shared our business values, ethos and that we trusted in each other.
Our wholesale focus in optics will be to exponentially build on the traction that we have created with Kahles and Delta. With these 2 brands (best in class in different segments) we sell customers an optic they ought to have and not an optic just because we have it in stock.
In serial guns we focused on Huglu; there is not a shotgun at even double the price that competes in build and appearance. Huglu is marketed and sold in the America as CZ USA. The sales of Huglu is likened to a flywheel, with inertia sales growing exponentially. Nothing can stand in the way of Huglu’s continued focus on increasing the gap in value over others.
Spendal fine guns will be sold via special arrangement from The Powder Keg stock in Europe. We have paid the school fees to understand the documentation and flow of goods. Build perfection and art of these guns is something every enthusiast aspires to.
Chevalier is a leading clothing brand in Europe, a reputation earned on product quality and value. The high import duty on clothing is a hurdle, yet Chevalier clothing is the highest value in the premium segment (despite the duty). We have significant retail sales of Chevalier clothing and will continue to sell Chevalier as a product defined “Best in Class”.
Firearms that do not form part of the wholesale basket of goods are being sold at cost, subject to the transaction being invoiced through a dealer who is the customer invoicing party and holder of the firearm. In most businesses you can address legacy issues in 24 hours, but not in the firearms industry. In step one we literally “dumped” low worth firearms and returned all storage guns. We now engaging in the final steps to get to our future state that will allow us to be more nimble.
It is all about best in class products. Gear will be added that match our strategy of selecting the best in class; if that means waiting then we wait, but never will we compromise our strategy of representing best in class. Our cost structure is lean to ensure that we can afford to wait for products and partners that fit best in class. We transact for the long term.