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Shooting Industry August 2011 Digital Edition - Page 20

Arms Arms and the woman Lisa Parsons-Wraith Increase Archery Sales To Women With Proper Inventory, Fit W omen make up 36 percent of the archery market, according to recent surveys. It’s the fastest-growing segment of the market, and if your store isn’t prepared to serve over a third of active archery enthusiasts, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity. Insight into the women’s archery market can be found at Shoot Like a Girl,, a website dedicated to empowering women to participate in the shooting sports. Karen Butler Shoot Like a Girl conducts archery seminars called Test Flights, where women test a variety of bows sized for them — and then return to their local dealer to purchase the bow. created Shoot Like a Girl (SLG) after she purchased two bows that were too small for her, and was unable to improve her shooting skills due to bad habits learned with a too-small bow. When Karen finally got the right bow, her shooting skills improved so much she won the 2006 Colorado State Championship in her division. Butler created SLG and its Test Flight Seminars to spare other women from a similar experience. Test Flight Seminars are held in conjunction with tournaments, trade shows and other outdoor events. Acknowledging that it is difficult for dealers to stock every bow appropriate for females, Butler wants to offer women the opportunity to try as many bows as possible to find the one that feels right. Working with manufacturers like Hoyt, Mathews, BowTech and LimbSavers, Test Flight Seminars feature bows in a variety of sizes and configurations that are appropriate for women. Ladies get a chance to hold and shoot the bows and test the grips. “Our goal is to help people determine what they like best,” Butler said. She believes dealers need to change Finding The Right Fit B utler says many small stores simply can’t stock every single bow sized for the average woman. “You can’t penalize retailers for not having all those products,” she said. “But women are 36 percent of the market, and dealers should stock at least one 40-lb. (draw weight) bow.” Dealers then can special-order bows they don’t have in stock. Most bows are purchased based on how the bow feels in the hand, with the grip being the biggest deciding factor, Butler notes. “Retailers can do what we do at Test Flight. Give a quick lesson, put on an arm guard and let them shoot,” Butler said. Even if a retailer only stocks 70-lb. bows with 30-inch draw lengths, women can pre-draw on those and get a feel for the bow, she adds. According to Butler, one retailer who has the right idea when it comes to the women’s archery mar- “ Women are 36 percent of the market, and dealers should stock at least one 40-lb. (draw weight) bow. ket is Bill Pellegrino’s Archery Hut in Colorado Springs, Colo. “Bill Pellegrino’s is setting the standard for what other retailers should be,” said Butler, citing their excellent customer service, leagues and ladies nights. “I want archery to grow as a sport, so I support women,” Pellegrino said. “Why wouldn’t you? Why would you cut your business by 30 percent?” Pellegrino says bows that fit women often fit children, as well. Thus, by stocking those items, he is really addressing the needs of two groups. Pellegrino employs several women, and says his goal is to make sure the store has a welcoming atmosphere. “Women have told me about literally being told they’re not welcome in the sport. That’s really unfortunate and stupid,” he said. “Women feel welcome at our store, and accepted here.” 20 AUGUST 2011 Subscribe to SI DIGITAL ”

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