Consolidation/acquisition continues in the taxidermy supply industry. Over the past several years many smaller taxidermy supply companies (Buckeye Manikins, Noonkester, Ben Mears, Tom Powell) and even a bigger one (Van Dykes) have sold out to McKenzie. I have heard that McKenzie was not looking to buy those companies but that those companies approached McKenzie for whatever reason. There are still many smaller companies out there but I expect some of those to be bought by McKenzie over the next several years. Some of those include Joe Coombs Classics, Jim Allred, Ohio Taxidermy Supply, Headquarters, Revolution, Matuska, Research Manikins, Trufitt, and Jonas.
Just a few years ago there were what I would consider 4-5 major supply companies (McKenzie, WASCO, Van Dykes, Research Manikins, and Jonas) now there are 3. I believe McKenzie was a family business but a few years ago it was bought by a private investment firm. IMO McKenzie is the dominant player in the taxidermy supply industry and will continue to be. I think over the next several years they will get even bigger and continue to takeover the taxidermy supply industry. They have the biggest selection of almost everything a taxidermist might need. McKenzie tends to have the highest prices in the industry but part of that comes with the creation of new manikins and supplies and the other part is that the foam used for the manikins is a petroleum product. Their prices are also higher than others because they know people will pay for their products b/c in general most of their products are good and b/c the investment firm needs to meet their financial goals. McKenzie raises their prices every year by a few percent and in some cases prices have risen up to several percent a year.
This acquisition doesn’t bother me at all. I don’t dislike McKenzie for doing this. In fact, most of the supplies I buy are from McKenzie and WASCO as in general I think they have the best and widest selection of supplies.
I guess what I’m getting at is if your taxidermist truly understands business they will be/should be raising their prices annually as the cost to produce a mount will continue to rise. You should expect to pay more ($25-$50?) each year for a mount. For those taxi’s that don’t understand business or don’t value their talent and time there still will be many that won’t raise their prices for fear of not getting any work and will instead absorb the increase in cost of supplies so hunters will continue to get a deal on their $300-$400 deer mounts.
Discussions about learning taxidermy & picking taxidermist.
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- Mountain Man
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