Slow sales nationwide lead to layoff at PTR

Two quarters of slow sales throughout the U.S. economy have ensnared PTR Industries, which has laid off eight workers and cut the pay of management employees by 10 percent, company CEO Josh Fiorini said Thursday afternoon.

PTR moved its headquarters to Aynor from Connecticut earlier this year and hired more than 20 local employees to add to those who transferred in the move.

The workforce was at 51 before the layoff.

“We’re going to get everybody back just as soon as possible,” Fiorini said.

Fiorini has said previously that ups and downs are common to the gun industry, and added Thursday afternoon that normally, first and second quarter sales are good enough to carry companies through the summer months, which are traditionally slow.

This year, though, the slowdown in sales and an abundant supply of firearms by retailers has resulted in a more severe slowdown.

Fiorini said the same thing happened in 2010.

The glut of firearms at retailers was the result of the last round of panic buying following talk of government restrictions. Fiorini said PTR’s firearms are not sitting on retailers shelves, but since others are, the retailers aren’t ordering any new guns.

Brad Lofton, CEO of the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corp., said business fluctuations are common everywhere, and some are affected more than others.

“Every existing industry we work with has an ebb and flow,” Lofton said.