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Virtual competition: Boycott leaders to launch website for vendors opting out of Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show

computer3.jpgPenn Live – by Julianne Mattera

If boycott leaders have it their way, vendors pulling out of the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show could end up selling their wares at a one-stop shop online.

Reed Exhibitions, the show’s organizers, have banned the showing and selling of tactical rifles at the show. That recent announcement turned one advertiser, MyNortheastOutdoors.com, into a boycott advocate.

“The fact that they put this ban in place — it shocked me,” Tom McConnell of MyNortheastOutdoors.com said.

McConnell said he and others with his company have been getting emails and messages from groups and companies boycotting the show. The company’s website lists groups supporting the boycott.

A statement from McConnell’s company contends “hundreds of vendors have dropped out of the show,” such as Cabela’s Inc.and FOXPRO.

“They’re dropping fast,” he said.

In a statement on its website, FOXPRO said it was “disappointed” in the show’s decision to “refrain from the sales of modern firearms and accessories.” It called the move “disheartening and regrettable to hear.”

The announcement states FOXPRO will not be attending the show.

MyNortheastOutdoors.com will be building and hosting a “Virtual Sports Show” online for vendors who have pulled out of the show. Companies will be able to post their items for sale at no cost.

McConnell said he hopes vendors will be able to use the website to earn back money they spent on booth space for the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show.

“Some guys have some serious cash rolled into it,” he said.

The website will be open to vendors by Friday. The general public will be able to browse the site by the first day of the show, which runs from Feb. 2 to 10 at the state Farm Show Complex.

“Instead of going to the show they can stay at home and shop at the vendors online,” McConnell said.

http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2013/01/virtual_competition_boycott_le.html#incart_river_default

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