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Shooting Industry August 2011 Digital Edition - Page 26

The new-for-2011 Remington Model 700 SPS (Special Purpose Synthetic) Camo features a X-Mark Pro externally adjustable trigger system. Visit trends, and store-specific activities. In terms of general trends, retailers need to be ready for sales long before the opening day of hunting season. “Retailers need to be aware of when seasons open, as well as any new legislation that’s going to affect those seasons,” Hickey said. “For example, Georgia just legalized hunting deer over bait. If Georgia retailers aren’t aware of that, they’re going to miss the opportunity to sell feeders and feed.” Changes can take place in any state at any time. For instance, two years ago, Florida reorganized the state’s entire hunting calendar, moving up opening day by almost a month. Retailers who weren’t paying attention would have had a difficult selling season that year. Next, you need a plan for store activities, such as displays and the placement of impulse items. “Usually, larger ticket items sell earlier,” Hickey said. “So advertise your rifles, scopes and packages two months before the season opens.” Then, as the season gets closer, focus on accessory items. “A customer may need a new knife or a new orange vest,” Hickey said. “Decide where you’re going to put your end caps, what’s going to be on them, and which impulse items to put out.” Inventory emphasis needs to change during the season, from items hunters need before the hunt, to products they need after they’ve been successful in the field. “Once the season has started, the products become more about game care,” Hickey said. “These items include bone saws, smokers and meat grinders — things people need after they’ve been in the field.” Throughout the season, take advantage of manufacturers’ promotions and rebates. For a current listing of manufacturers’ program, rebates and promotions, see page 19. “Remington is good about having rebates, both on firearms and on ammunition,” Hickey said. “Winchester also has rebates on ammunition. Know what rebates are available, and have them out for your customers. That helps both you and the consumer; it will get your customer thinking about buying two boxes of ammo, instead of one, to get the rebate.” Hickey says it’s important to make things easy for your customers. An example of this is putting together a package including at least a gun and Make It Easy For Your Customer a scope for the consumer who is unsure of what he wants. One thing retailers often fail to do, Hickey says, is think about what that “package” really looks like. “You may have put together a package that includes a gun, a scope, a sling, swivels and a gun case,” Hickey said. “So for X number of dollars, your customer can get into a rifle with a scope on it. But you have to display those packages, and you have to sign them well.” Hickey says there’s a lot of potential for sales of that kind, whether your customer is a first-time buyer or someone who’s looking to upgrade his or her equipment. Hickey says dealers also need to think about having their own event before the main event: opening day of deer season. “Let’s say deer season is going to open on Saturday,” he said. “On the Thursday night before opening night, stay open until 10 p.m. or midnight. Offer free bore sighting, and work with a local group like Kiwanis to sell hot dogs for 25 cents. Try to do a live radio broadcast. Do everything you can to make a big event out of the season opener.” Creating that kind of an event will get people into your store, and put dollars into your cash register. 9 The Zeiss Victory 8x26T* PRF is a digital laser rangefinder with LED display and integrated BIS (Ballistic Information System) calculator. Visit 26 AUGUST 2011 The .338 Winchester Mag Power Max Bonded ammunition features a protected hollowpoint, contoured jacket, lead core and bonded core technology. Visit Subscribe to SI DIGITAL

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