Ever heard of GSM Outdoors? They just bought Cold steel.

nephron

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I think this is an excellent question and probably worth thinking about between our spats and squabbles.
My guess is that a corporate egghead has crunched the numbers, understands the eggs that must be broken, and figures there is still a delicious omelet to be made in 5 years. Eyes on target generates sales, and people have a short memory. Basically, deal with the 29 pages of a niche market grouching and cater to both new buyers as well as purchasers of Cold Steel that don't get as deep into the weeds as we do. Someone has figured that money is to be made somewhere.

The new owners can always get the China Counterfeiters to make them and sell at current prices and make some money.
 

Hackenslash

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I have a sincere question and apologize if it has been addressed in this thread (have to say I did not read every post): if GSM buys Cold Steel (meaning it pays LT lots of $$) and immediately lets the skilled staff go and weakens the warranty, which will likely result in the product becoming downgraded, inferior, and eventually irrelevant to the knife industry, what benefits does GSM get? I can think of reasons like killing a competitive product to promote its own, but obviously this is not the reason in this acquisition.

I think this is an excellent question and probably worth thinking about between our spats and squabbles.
My guess is that a corporate egghead has crunched the numbers, understands the eggs that must be broken, and figures there is still a delicious omelet to be made in 5 years. Eyes on target generates sales, and people have a short memory. Basically, deal with the 29 pages of a niche market grouching and cater to both new buyers as well as purchasers of Cold Steel that don't get as deep into the weeds as we do. Someone has figured that money is to be made somewhere.
My guess would be QSM saw a highly recognizable brand name with a fervent following that they can slap on a line of OEM manufactured knives coming out of mainland China. It just happened to the Al Mar brand.

In the future there'll be a sharp demarcation between "Old Steel" and "Sold Steel" knives.:p
 

Lodd

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I think this is an excellent question and probably worth thinking about between our spats and squabbles.
My guess is that a corporate egghead has crunched the numbers, understands the eggs that must be broken, and figures there is still a delicious omelet to be made in 5 years. Eyes on target generates sales, and people have a short memory. Basically, deal with the 29 pages of a niche market grouching and cater to both new buyers as well as purchasers of Cold Steel that don't get as deep into the weeds as we do. Someone has figured that money is to be made somewhere.

A lot of times it's immaterial stuff like Intellectual Property (IP): patents and designs are sometimes milked for cash by being licensed, or speculated to become more valuable. Or more likely the designs and the brand name are interesting. GSM Outdoors could simply call their cheap third world producers and send them some designs: make this and slap that logo on it, for cheap. And then flood the market with cheap Sold Steel knives carrying a Sold Steel logo. This is basically what LCT hinted at in the video when he said GSM has 'the resources and logistics to keep stock on shelves'. Especially if no one else still works at Sold Steel. I mean, who else is gonna do it?
 

Lodd

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And another thing that I've just read on the Dutch Knife forum I sometimes visit: They're saying that this deal prevents Andrew Demko from ever using the Tri-Ad Lock in his customs.

If true, that sucks.
 

Quiet

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I have a sincere question and apologize if it has been addressed in this thread (have to say I did not read every post): if GSM buys Cold Steel (meaning it pays LT lots of $$) and immediately lets the skilled staff go and weakens the warranty, which will likely result in the product becoming downgraded, inferior, and eventually irrelevant to the knife industry, what benefits does GSM get? I can think of reasons like killing a competitive product to promote its own, but obviously this is not the reason in this acquisition.

Capital investment firms usually do not buy businesses to be in them for the long term unless they are highly profitable and can be used to shore up a group of businesses that all will produce profit for the shareholders and leadership of the firm. In this case, we have a company who didn't really have much to do with the knife industry deciding to purchase a known name with a lot of storied history behind it so they can sell products to a fanbase that's already in place. Problem is, if those products don't remain the same level of quality, the fanbase will leave, because we're a bunch of fickle b*&ches.

One thing to ponder is whether or not LT was simply the one who said "Yes". It's always possible that these guys approached other knife companies to investigate the possibility of buying them out. Who knows, maybe they'll write a check and we'll see Taylor Tools bumping off Gerber to come under GSM. Stranger things have happened (and recently!).
 

unwisefool

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And another thing that I've just read on the Dutch Knife forum I sometimes visit: They're saying that this deal prevents Andrew Demko from ever using the Tri-Ad Lock in his customs.

If true, that sucks.
Good think he has the scorpion lock and the new shark lock
 

V-1

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If Cold Steel goes bottom feeder the way of Al Mar knives, who do you think will pick up the slack? Seems like there will be a hole in the market if Cold Steel goes all in on the "gas station knife" trend. Maybe someone like Ka-Bar could really expand and take Cold Steel's place in the market.
 

Quiet

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If Cold Steel goes bottom feeder the way of Al Mar knives, who do you think will pick up the slack? Seems like there will be a hole in the market if Cold Steel goes all in on the "gas station knife" trend. Maybe someone like Ka-Bar could really expand and take Cold Steel's place in the market.

Possibly, although they'd really need to step up their folding knife game.
 

Arathol

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I have a sincere question and apologize if it has been addressed in this thread (have to say I did not read every post): if GSM buys Cold Steel (meaning it pays LT lots of $$) and immediately lets the skilled staff go and weakens the warranty, which will likely result in the product becoming downgraded, inferior, and eventually irrelevant to the knife industry, what benefits does GSM get? I can think of reasons like killing a competitive product to promote its own, but obviously this is not the reason in this acquisition.
Well, did they actually let people go, and how many? There isn't much to confirm this other than somebody on this forum who says that somebody at the CS office told him so. Until we hear differently from the actual parties involved thats about the extent of what is known.
Did the warranty change or not? Many here are claiming it did. Here is the link to a warranty page that is current and says otherwise-
https://www.coldsteel.com/warranty-info
Letting staff go is not unusual if there are redundancies after the acquisition. Who goes and who stays is a matter of what is needed to run the business. In this case if its just office staff, they can be easily replaced by employees in Texas. You don't need 3 people in California to answer the phone when one in Texas will do fine. However, if you have operational facilities like a warehouse in California, you can't very well run that without somebody on site.
 
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If Cold Steel goes bottom feeder the way of Al Mar knives, who do you think will pick up the slack? Seems like there will be a hole in the market if Cold Steel goes all in on the "gas station knife" trend. Maybe someone like Ka-Bar could really expand and take Cold Steel's place in the market.

I think Spyderco picks up some of the folder slack. I wasn't thinking that way, but Ka-Bar is a good and interesting choice. they've had experience contracting in Taiwan and Italy for products, and for one of the larger companies they've shown to be somewhat adverterous and willing to modernize. They also have a lot of goodwill among collectors and users.

Where I do think we'll still lose a lot is in the mega-folder and the semi-traditional Bowie market (speak nothing of the polearm, battle axe, etc.... markets either :)). Mega-folders and traditional Bowies are areas where even the most adventerous companies don't like to tread, but Lynn did well in selling them partly because of his personality.
 

Hackenslash

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If Cold Steel goes bottom feeder the way of Al Mar knives, who do you think will pick up the slack? Seems like there will be a hole in the market if Cold Steel goes all in on the "gas station knife" trend. Maybe someone like Ka-Bar could really expand and take Cold Steel's place in the market.
I don't know if they will, but Kershaw would be an interesting option to expand their line. What they've done with the domestically produced Link and Dividend is a great start. If they could take an old page out of the ZT playbook and truly make some "overbuilt" USA made knives in the $75-$150 range, it would be a great opportunity for them and help fill the void left by Sold Steel.
 

Steely_Gunz

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I don't know if they will, but Kershaw would be an interesting option to expand their line. What they've done with the domestically produced Link and Dividend is a great start. If they could take an old page out of the ZT playbook and truly make some "overbuilt" USA made knives in the $75-$150 range, it would be a great opportunity for them and help fill the void left by Sold Steel.

I dunno if KAI would do that, TBH. It was just a decade ago that most of the Kershaw line was made stateside and hit right about the pricepoint you have in mind. Shallot, Needs Work, JunkYard Dog II, etc. High quality and good mid-level knives between the bargain stuff and ZT. Most of those are gone now.
 
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I have a sincere question and apologize if it has been addressed in this thread (have to say I did not read every post): if GSM buys Cold Steel (meaning it pays LT lots of $$) and immediately lets the skilled staff go and weakens the warranty, which will likely result in the product becoming downgraded, inferior, and eventually irrelevant to the knife industry, what benefits does GSM get? I can think of reasons like killing a competitive product to promote its own, but obviously this is not the reason in this acquisition.

What skilled staff do you imagine they have? If the entire company is less than 50 people, and all of their manufacturing is outsourced to foreign OEMs, the only really irreplaceable skill is product design. Since it seems that LT and Demko are both going to make the transition, the main creators are apparently accounted for. Virtually all of the office staff is fungible, along with the warehouse staff. Depending on whether they actually repair things under warranty or just replace, there may not be anyone in that group who has much practical value to add. The production value of Lynn's video statement was pretty poor, so it seems they've already purged whoever shot their videos.

For GSM, Cold Steel fills a hole in their product lineup. They have 30 brands worth of hunting and outdoors products, but the only bladed tools were a couple game processing knives. CS is an established company with a good reputation that would require minimal work to transition into GSM's portfolio: they don't produce their own products, and could benefit from GSM's existing dealer network, much of which doesn't carry its products. Of course, CS is not exactly an "outdoors" brand, and LT's preferred hunting involves two-legged prey, so it's somewhat of an awkward fit, but there are some cheaper knives in the CS catalog that are outdoor focused. We'll seee whether GSM keeps the line of hunting spears or not...

A lot of times it's immaterial stuff like Intellectual Property (IP): patents and designs are sometimes milked for cash by being licensed, or speculated to become more valuable. Or more likely the designs and the brand name are interesting. GSM Outdoors could simply call their cheap third world producers and send them some designs: make this and slap that logo on it, for cheap. And then flood the market with cheap Sold Steel knives carrying a Sold Steel logo. This is basically what LCT hinted at in the video when he said GSM has 'the resources and logistics to keep stock on shelves'. Especially if no one else still works at Sold Steel. I mean, who else is gonna do it?

Cold Steel already makes a ton of cheap knives. To me, Lynn's statement about resources and logistics boils down to an admission that they lacked the capital to grow. GSM has far more cash and creditworthiness than Cold Steel does, and should be able to bear the cost of larger production runs (which it'll need if it starts selling to Cabela's and Bass Pro, like its other brands do).
 
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I have a sincere question and apologize if it has been addressed in this thread (have to say I did not read every post): if GSM buys Cold Steel (meaning it pays LT lots of $$) and immediately lets the skilled staff go and weakens the warranty, which will likely result in the product becoming downgraded, inferior, and eventually irrelevant to the knife industry, what benefits does GSM get? I can think of reasons like killing a competitive product to promote its own, but obviously this is not the reason in this acquisition.
That's really an excellent question. In the case of truly iconic brands like Buck, Case, Victorinox, etc., a quick buck can be made (particularly if the company is in financial trouble and a good deal can be realized) by widening/cheapening the brand and then making them vastly more available at every Costco, Wal*Mart, Target, etc. Average people KNOW those brands and they equate those names with quality and thus it spurs sales -- even if the new models for Costco/Wal*Mart/Target really aren't of the same product quality their existing models are. Some will argue that has already happened to brands like Gerber, Kershaw and a host of others.

The catch I think in the schema many here are offering is that CS is no Buck, Case, Victorinox, etc. Not even close in terms of name recognition by non-knife people. So to suggest that CS knives can be cost-reduced and then sold by the supertankerload at every Wal*Mart and Target is highly questionable in my opinion.
 
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The catch I think in the schema many here are offering is that CS is no Buck, Case, Victorinox, etc. Not even close in terms of name recognition by non-knife people. So to suggest that CS knives can be cost-reduced and then sold by the supertankerload at every Wal*Mart and Target is highly questionable in my opinion.

Spyderco was able to get into Walmart. SOG and Kershaw too. Cold Steel is on the same level as them. Cold Steel also has a tremedous internet presence, especially among the young. They're absolutely massive on Youtube (1 million + subs), probably they biggest presence of any major knife company. And their Instagram numbers are inline with all the other popular knife companies.

One of Cold Steel's problems was always having a steady supply stream, if GSM can fix that, they can certainly make a play for Walmart.
 
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