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Vista Outdoor will look to sell off Bell, Giro, Blackburn

Posted by on May 1st, 2018 at 12:08 pm

Vista Outdoor Inc has just announced a “strategic business transformation plan” that includes seeking buyers for popular bike brands Bell, Giro, and Blackburn.

The move comes just over two months after the company came under severe scrutiny in the bike and outdoor industries for its financial support of the National Rifle Association and its distribution of assault-style weapons.


Portland bike shops were among the first in the country to announce outright boycotts of the brands due to their connection with Vista Outdoor. “We will not buy products from Bell, Giro, and Blackburn,” Sellwood Cycle Repair owner Erik Tonkin told us back in February. Tonkin said one outcome he hoped for was for the brands to be sold by Vista.

In their statement today, Vista doesn’t mention anything about the boycott or the NRA flap at all. “The plan is a result of a comprehensive strategic review, which began in November 2017.”

And here’s more on that from

In an investor conference call Tuesday, Vista Outdoor CEO Chris Metz said the canceled orders had little effect on the company. Answering an investor question, Metz noted that REI represents less than 1 percent of the company’s total sales.

“As we look at the rest of it, there’s been some puts and takes: So we’ve had some small independent dealers that sided with the REI side and we’ve had some independent dealers, frankly, that stepped up and said, ‘We want to take advantage of this market opportunity and replace that volume.’ In total it’s built into our guidance and expectations, and fortunately we have been on this path of strategically determining where we wanted to guide the company way before any of the noise came about eight weeks ago.”

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and

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And to think they could have just stopped supporting the NRA instead, lol.

JAT in Seattle
JAT in Seattle

Is it too simple-minded of me to just think this is a good thing? America’s gun fetish isn’t going away, and I like Giro Helmets – if that brand is sold to someone else then I can keep buying them without (as previous: unwittingly) underwriting the fetish.


Smart business decision. Like Dave mentioned it looks like they’re selling the Stevens and Savage brands as well. They’re smart to keep the ammunition brands as that’s a consumable and shooters are always buying ammo.


Another organization learns their lesson the hard way. Beware the Wrath of Bike Portland.

Todd Boulanger
Todd Boulanger

And remember…a lot of business leaders that happen to own manufacturing companies are no longer manufacturers first-and-formost…they are primarily investor groups moving paper…and debt…