With close to 400 exhibitors showing every type of product imaginable across 26 000m2 of the Gallagher Convention Centre, the annual HuntEx show in Johannesburg has become one of the prime shopping areas for hunting and outdoor gear. It was held over five days this year from 27 April to May 1.
Sports Trader visited on the first day (27 April) when only 4 000 invited visitors were allowed in. It was a buzz – and if that was an omen of what was to come over the next four days of the May Day long weekend, then last year’s 40 000 visitor total would surely be surpassed. We’ll report back on the visitor total as soon as it becomes available.As the name implies, the HuntEX Show attracts hunters who come to view new ranges from about 40 local firearms distributors as well as numerous retailers.Firearms present a huge market for retailers. It is estimated that there are about 100 000 members of organised hunting and sport shooting organisations – see more. Add to this the thousands – if not millions – of private citizens who own firearms and it is easy to understand why the firearms retail trade bounced back so vigorously after the scares of the mid-2000s when the Firearms Control Act was being implemented.
But, the many stands showing and selling general outdoor equipment and clothing show that HuntEx also attracts many other outdoor enthusiasts looking for show specials. The many general outdoor retailers who had stands are a good indication that there are many hunting-related items that non-arms traders can stock.
Some retailers also used the opportunity to offer special services to customers, like repairing tools (e.g. Leatherman) and sharpening knives.