Vortex Helps Customers Well Beyond the Sale

Quality products and incredible support have helped Vortex Optics build a loyal following.

Vortex Helps Customers Well Beyond the Sale

Even if you don’t already sell Vortex optics in your store, you no doubt see plenty of people come through your doors wearing hats and shirts emblazoned with the company’s logo. Vortex customers tend to feel like they’re part of a family, and they fly the flag accordingly. 

High-quality optics — from red-dots and riflescopes to rangefinders and spotting scopes — are a big part of the brand’s loyal following, but so is the company’s focus on helping customers find the right equipment and then helping them set it up and use it properly. Walk in the front doors of Vortex headquarters and you’ll immediately see it in action. 

Shooting Sports Retailer recently spoke with Vortex CEO Joe Hamilton about the company’s growth, its mission and how it’s serving the shooting sports community.

SSR: Tell us a little about the history of Vortex and its mission. 

Hamilton: Since 1986 we have been and remain a family-owned, veteran-owned, American-owned company obsessed with customer service. The Hamilton family — starting with Dan and Margie, and followed by their sons Joe, Dave, Sam, and Jimmy — founded Vortex to change how business is done by putting the customer at the center of everything we do.


SSR: When you take the Barneveld exit off Highway 18, the Vortex facilities loom large over the landscape. Talk about being such a big part of your local community. 

Hamilton: It has been our honor to call Barneveld home since 2018, and to call the good people who live here our neighbors, and it’s a community we’re proud to be a part of.  We’re lucky to be surrounded by a large grassland prairie that gives those visiting our showroom a place to try out our optics and also a great place for everyone in the community to enjoy, whether they like to hunt or hike. We work hard to support the community and everyone who lives here as much as we can. We also take a lot of pride in the number of team members here at Vortex who call Barneveld home.


SSR: Vortex has delivered some very innovative optic features. What’s the company philosophy behind research and development? 

Hamilton: It doesn’t matter if we’re working on an entry-level hunting scope or putting our heart and soul into the Army’s Next Generation Squad Weapon Fire Control, we want the result to be everything the end user wants, and then some. We stay as dialed in as we can on what the consumer is looking for in an optic and what new technology is available when we’re developing new products. The best part is, hunters, shooters, veterans and former law enforcement make up a number of our team here, so everything we make we’re passionate about.


SSR: What separates Vortex from all the other optics companies vying for space on retailer’s shelves? 

Hamilton: Everything we do is built around C.A.R.E., Create A Rare Experience. We want our customers’ time with our products to be the best part of their day, and we take a great deal of pride in going above and beyond for dealers who carry Vortex products. Owning one of our optics is just the beginning. We’re here whenever you need us, and you can be confident that you will get a direct line to knowledgeable experts dedicated to making sure you leave the conversation satisfied. We stand behind everything we do with the VIP Warranty, our no questions asked promise to keep you in the field. We don’t just want to sell you a product. We want to offer you a life-long invitation to be a part of Vortex Nation.

SSR: How are you serving the surging interest in long-range shooting? 

Hamilton: It’s been exciting to see interest in long-range shooting skyrocket over the past few years – it’s definitely something we’ve taken into account as we develop new products. Whether you’re shooting your first PRS match or looking to shoot out to 1,000 for the first time, we’ve got the products, content, and team members here to help. In fact, Vortex Edge offers a very popular “Intro to Long Range” class that’s all about building the fundamentals it takes to go long. And, for shooters looking to get into the long-range game, our Venom 5-25x56 is a first focal plane long-range machine packed with shooter-friendly features. More experienced long-range fans will probably already know about our Razor HD Gen III 6-36 which is meticulously designed to give you all the tools you need to succeed, with a rugged build and exceptionally clear glass.


SSR: How does the breadth of your product lines benefit you in the shooting sports market? 

Hamilton: From western hunting to competition shooting, we always strive to offer an optic for every application and every level of shooter. Not only can every outdoor enthusiasts find the perfect optic among our scopes, binoculars, spotting scopes, and other glass they can also find the tripods and accessories to have a better experience in the field. No matter how you choose to enjoy hunting, shooting or spending time in the outdoors, you should never have to settle.


SSR: You offer some pretty robust firearms training programs at your facility in Barneveld. How does that fit in with what you’re doing as an optics company? 

Hamilton: Vortex EDGE is an extension of our desire to create experiences people will never forget. Of course, that means highlighting the safe and effective use of firearms, but it also means cultivating a team of instructors dedicated to understanding each student’s goals, and building a truly “wow” facility. At 55,000 square feet, EDGE offers indoor ranges of 100, 50, and 25 yards and a 3,400-square-foot modular shoot house. This allows us to help shooters of every level achieve their goals. From law enforcement to the first-time gun owner, there truly is something for everyone at EDGE.


SSR: The optics market has expanded significantly over the past decade. Has that created more challenges or opportunities? 

Hamilton: We believe competition is good thing for companies and their customers. The expansion of the optics market has increased innovation and raised the level of product quality, features, and service we all provide our customers. We look forward to continuing to innovate and serve Vortex Nation in a way that raises the bar not only for ourselves but the entire industry. In the end, the customer wins, and that’s our ultimate goal.

SSR: What new products have you most excited for the future? 

Hamilton: We are incredibly excited about bringing the Defender CCW to market, and we think this is a concealed carry red-dot that self-defense enthusiasts are going to love. From its motion activation to its class-leading field of view, we couldn’t be more proud of the Defender. But that’s not all that’s coming this year. We can’t go into too many details, but expect some tripod, rangefinder, and spotting scope news. 


SSR: What do you want retailers and their customers to think about when they hear the name Vortex? 

Hamilton: We will always have your back. You are at the center of everything we do, and incredible optics are just the start of the support we offer Vortex Nation. If you need help getting a zero; if you have questions about what pair of binoculars are right for you; or if you just have a hunting story you’ve got to tell, our team is waiting to talk with you. We also offer hundreds of informative videos and blogs, and hours of filmed hunts and adventures so you can join us in the field. We are dedicated to making sure you have a lifetime of experiences you’ll never forget and want to be with you at every step. We make great products, but they’re not the hero. You are.


SSR: What does a retailer need to do to begin carrying Vortex optics in their stores? Are there any dealer incentives or programs for new partners? 

Hamilton: Retailers interested in carrying our products can give us a call directly (1-800-4VORTEX), where they’ll be connected with our sales team. Or, you can always head to our website (VortexOptics.com) where we have a quick form to fill out – either way, we’re here to help!


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