Hard Rocker Shifts Sporting Goods Firm to Catalogs, Web

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Ted Nugent United Sportsmen of America, Jackson, MI, is getting out of retail and consolidating primarily as a catalog and e-commerce business. Concurrent with the closing of the remaining store, the company is looking for an outside firm to manage its fulfillment and customer service, which was formally handled inhouse.

"We haven't picked a company to do that yet," said Sasha Nugent, daughter of Ted Nugent, owner of the company and hard rock veteran - referred to as "the Nuge" - who achieved fame for his hard rock music during the late '70s. She said a decision would be made in the next three or four weeks from among a handful of fulfillment companies.

Ted Nugent's hunting and sporting goods business, through its Spirit of the Wild catalog and its newly redesigned online site, www.tnugent.com, consists of the catalog products as well as Spirit of the Wild videos; Kamp for Kids; Sunrize Acres, its hunting adventures trips; and the upcoming Spirit of the Wild TV programming. The site was designed by G Networks, Grand Rapids, MI.

The operation is built on Nugent's love of hunting and his affinity for the outdoors. "Ted is a lifelong outdoorsman and, in fact, has been a hunter since before he became a guitar player," said Linda Peterson, his assistant. "Most of the items in our catalog are Ted-tested and Ted-approved," she said.

In addition to commerce, the site is characterized by Nugent's strong voice. His essays and opinions regarding gun control, God, family and animal cruelty are featured throughout the site.

Spirit of the Wild catalog products include Nugent-branded merchandise such as archery bows and arrows, clothing, patches and decals, hunting videos and Nugent's music CDs. Spirit of the Wild also is the name of one of his albums. The Spirit database houses more than 250,000 names, and Nugent's operation mails close to 1 million catalogs every year. The company was downsized as a result of its decision to outsource fulfillment. "With the retail closing, we've eliminated a lot of overhead in employment," said Sasha Nugent.

The rocker still has one foot in the music world, though. He goes on a four-month-long world concert tour next month, opening for KISS.

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