What to Expect from Remington and Roundhill
Derrek Sigler 10.08.20
Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve talked about what happened with Remington and where things maybe went astray leading to the dissolution of the company. Now the question remains, what can we expect from the new Remington? Roundhill Group was the winning bidder for Remington firearms. I had the opportunity to chat with partner Jeff Edwards about the group’s vision for Remington and what plans they have going forward. If you were on the fence about what to expect from Remington and Roundhill, what Edwards told me should ease your mind.
To understand the direction ahead, you need to understand the direction from the past. When Cerberus Capital Management was at the helm, it bought up Marlin, Bushmaster, DPMS, H&R, Tapco, AAC and other outdoor industry brands. It further branched off into some additional, Remington-branded outdoor lifestyle products. This had the effect of making Remington huge, but also burdened with a massive debt load. It also did something that Edwards felt was a major misstep for the company – it got Remington further away from doing what it should have, making the best firearms possible. So why buy Remington?
“It just seemed like the right thing to do,” Edwards said. “I grew up with Remington products in my hands, and I’m just really passionate about the product and the people they have. They suffered from, I hate to say it, but poor ownership. They’d fix one problem and then a new tidal wave of financial burden would come. It’s an iconic American brand, one of the oldest, continuously operating manufacturing companies in our country, and they make great stuff if they are given the resources and the time to do it.”
In reading comments from readers and on social media, some people feel that this is just another instance where an investment firm buys Remington, and tries to run the company differently than how a firearms manufacturer should run. Edwards assured me that this is not the case.
“We have the means. We have the passion and we’re going to give them the tools so they can go do their jobs and stay out of their way.”
Getting out of the way is an interesting way of looking at what will become of Remington. Imagine it this way. You’re one of the skilled workers manufacturing Remington rifles, pistols and shotguns. You’ve been with the company for 20 years and you know exactly how a Remington Model 700 is supposed to be built and how it is supposed to function. Then a new corporate owner comes in and says that things need to change to meet his ideas of how the product needs to be built. Add to that, the cloud of crushing debt the company as a whole has hanging overhead, and having some elements of the conglomerate that is the ownership not wanting to be in the firearms business at all. That would be a pretty rough working environment.
What Edwards said is that Roundhill believes in the workers and the product, and now, the skilled workers at Remington have no barriers in the way of getting back to what the company does best – building high-quality firearms. He went to each of Remington’s manufacturing facilities and met with the workers and management who are making the Model 700, R1 pistol and the 870 shotguns and more, and came away feeling that, without exception, the workers who are there putting hands on actual product, have the passion and drive to produce the best firearms possible.
The main takeaway regarding Roundhill Group and its view of how Remington should be run is pretty simple. It’s not a group of accountants and money pushers, Edwards said, but people within the hunting industry and people who are passionate about the hunting industry.
“If you look at the people who represent this group, they represent some of the best brands in the industry,” Edwards said. “These are some of the best brands in the hunting and shooting industry, with high-quality, well engineered products made in the U.S.A. It’s not just words, it’s our pedigree. It’s what we do.”
When will new Remington firearms be rolling back off the assembly lines? Edwards’ answer was exactly what you’d want to hear. He said Roundhill isn’t Roundhill who owns Remington, they are all just Remington now. Their job is to give the managers what they need, and they’ve asked them just that. It is the managers and skilled workers at Remington who will decide when the products are ready for the consumer again.
“We’re not going to see how big we can be,” Edwards said. “But we are going to see how good we can be. We’re going to be making some of the world’s best hunting products as it relates to firearms. We just want to be the best of what we do.”