Knife Addiction Goes Viral: Dealers Report Sales Growth Over Black Friday Weekend

Knife Holiday Shopping LionSteel

The 2015 holiday shopping weekend was more evidence that buying a knife isn’t what it used to be. Adobe Systems Inc., the company that tracks nationwide sales across 4,000 retailers reported a shift from in-store to online shopping. This was hardly a surprise to KnifeCenter.com Founder and Owner, Howard Korn. “The increase in ecommerce in general is on the order of 10-20% per year. You need to increase by that amount to not have to consider it a down year,” he says. But what stunned Adobe and retailers nationwide was the move consumers made away from the desktop and onto mobile devices. Over the weekend, 57% of online shoppers opted to buy using a phone or tablet, an 11.8% surge over what Adobe had initially forecast.

Business is booming

Overall, it was a great weekend for knife dealers, with everyone we spoke to reporting holiday sales growth versus a year ago. But knife retailers say that not only did they see growth over the weekend, but business has been booming all year long. “We’re still at the beginning of the [holiday] season, but it looks good. The increase in holiday shopping is not as great as the general increase has been throughout the year. It still makes for a healthy annual growth rate,” adds Korn.

Jason Thoune, Owner of DLT Trading, reported his business also experienced a significant uptick in 2015 and “the holiday season thus far has been no exception to this growth,” he says. Thoune attributes the success to DLT’s focus on the needs of its customers and points to several initiatives and exclusive product offerings negotiated with manufacturers.

Knife addiction is viral

The KnifeNews survey conducted earlier in 2015 also paints a healthy picture for the knife industry.  77% of knife enthusiasts said that buying knives is like an addiction and 2/3rds of respondents told us they would purchase more knives this year than they did last year, despite already owning an average of 22 knives. While existing customers are accelerating their purchases, it’s also likely new consumers are entering the knife world. In our survey, half of respondents said they developed their deeper interest in knives within the past 5 years. And, the ongoing growth of social media and image sharing services like instagram may have a lot to do with it. Also contributing to the phenomenon, knife addiction itself may truly be viral. 79% of Knife Enthusiasts took credit for at least one friend developing an interest in knives.

Dealers may put more emphasis on sourcing exclusive products

With the growth the industry has experienced over the past five years, it’s hard to imagine anything slowing business down for the dealer channel now. With the possible exception of a major economic downturn, perhaps the greatest threat facing knife dealers and ecommerce retailers in general is the looming prospect of Amazon’s drone program. Amazon Prime Air offers the promise of flying a knife to your door within 30 minutes of hitting the submit order button. Amazon has been developing the delivery method for 3 years, have over a dozen drone prototypes in the works, and established Prime Air development centers in the U.S., Britain, and Israel. While the company is mum on a target launch date, Amazon says their tallest hurdle is getting the regulatory support for the new delivery method. If Amazon takes flight, we could expect to see even greater collaboration between dealers and manufacturers and dealers putting much more emphasis on sourcing exclusive products.


Knife featured in image: Lionsteel: TS1 BS – TiSpine – Bronze – Shine

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