One enterprising ammo retailer in Alaska is taking a different approach to inventory that will allow him to better meet the surging demand for ammunition in Interior Alaska.
Cody Brons opened his Anchorage-based business, Alaska Ammo, about a year ago as a truck-based store that made occasional trips to Fairbanks and outlying towns, according to this story from newsminer.com. That was only a couple months after he began selling ammo from his Ford F-250 in a Walmart parking lot, until he was asked to relocate because he was competing with the store's ammunition sales. He opened his first storefront location in January.
Things have gone so well that later this year, Brons will open a 2,100-square-foot retail and wholesale store in Fairbanks.
When it opens, Brons says it will be either the largest ammo distribute in the Interior, or the second largest behind national chain Sportsman's Warehouse.
The decade-long surge in demand for ammunition in the U.S. has made it particularly difficult for shooters in Alaska to find popular calibers in stock. This is partly due to increasing demand following elections and mass shootings amid fears of impending gun-control laws. As this pattern has repeated, scalpers have added to supply shortages by buying out ammo supplies to re-sell at inflated prices.
For the first time in a while, .22LR ammo can sit on a shelf for days at the Anchorage Sportsman's Warehouse, the story says. Not so in Fairbanks.
There, the store puts out bricks of .22 in the morning and again in the afternoon, imposing limits of about 300 rounds per customer.
Brons said he had his Alaska Ammo truck set up on the Old Steese Highway in Fairbanks and he sold out of all the .22 ammo he'd designated for Fairbanks within about four hours on his first day in town.
When the new store opens, Brons says he will have more than a million rounds of ammunition available, which will let him sell about 2,500 rounds to each customer, about five times the limit at other Alaska retailers.
"Places like Walmart or Sportsman's Warehouse have their own distribution chain. So they can only order from their own warehouses. We can order from anywhere. I order from 10, 15 different places to get the ammo that I want," Brons says.