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The Times
  • Remington’s target: Succeed in clothing business

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  • Gun owners looking to fire up their wardrobe now can look to Remington Arms.
    The nearly 200-year-old gun manufacturer with a plant in Ilion debuted a fashion line last month carrying everything from a $7 leather keychain to the $300 Double Derringer Leather Vest and the Smoothbore Field Coat priced at $1,295.
    There’s also the $395 Ilion Jacket, a sturdy field jacket named after the company’s 1816 birthplace.
    The line of apparel — which is called 1816 — “combines the very best of Remington’s rich heritage with the modern tastes of today’s sporting gentleman,” Ross Saldarini, senior vice president for accessories and lifestyle, said in a news release.
    “It is built around signature pieces that, like so many classic Remington products, will endure the test of time and be a part of family traditions for generations to come.”
    David Petronis, president of New Eastcoast Arms Collectors Associates, recalled prices being similarly high the last time Remington introduced a clothing line in the early 1990s.
    Petronis said Remington approached gun dealers, himself included, offering to sell them guns that couldn’t be purchased in bigger stores such as Kmart, but only if they bought the full line of Remington products that included the new clothing line.
    He paid about $100,000 to offer the full line at his gun shop in Mechanicville, and the clothing, including jackets priced at $300 to $400, just didn’t sell at retail price, he said.
    “There was quality merchandise, don’t get me wrong,” he said. “However, it didn’t seem to work out well, and most of the dealers who got into this thing got stuck.”
    That was before the manufacturer was bought by Freedom Group, Petronis said.
    “Remington is owned by a different company now, so maybe they plan on doing something different,” he said.
    The 1816 collection is being sold exclusively through its direct-to-consumer catalog and online at www.remington1816.com. Catalogs can be requested online as well.
    While several styles are made outside of the United States, others, such as the Denim Shirt & Jeans, several belts and the travel collection are made in the U.S., the company said.
    Fran Madore, president of the United Mine Workers of America Local 717, said the Remington plant in Ilion isn’t making the merchandise; 1816’s offices are in North Carolina, according to the company’s website.
    “We strictly make guns,” Madore said.
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