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Shooting Industry June 2011 Digital Edition - Page 33

TARGET HANDGUN ACCESSORIES By J.K. Autry Profit From This Bigger-Than-Ever Segment Of The Market W ith handgun sales remaining strong, the accessory market continues to grow rapidly. George Romanoff, owner of Ace Sporting Goods in Washington, Pa., believes the accessory market is bigger than it’s ever been, presenting an opportunity for increased sales. “We’ve seen a big pickup with companies doing that and, of course, consumers are coming in and wanting a gun that has a rail,” he said. Firearm manufacturers are also joining forces with other companies when it comes to add-ons. Romanoff believes this type of partnership works, and his sales Romanoff stocks more than 2,000 firearms in his 6,500-square-foot showroom. The company began as Ace Auto Stores in 1947, and underwent many changes through the decades before evolving into a specialized shooting sports store in the early ’80s. Romanoff prides himself on carrying an extensive inventory of accessories, including many hard-to-find items. “Accessories are where the profit can be,” Romanoff said. “A lot of dealers work in very close margins on the actual sale of the firearm. So, ammunition, holsters, cleaning kits, eye and hearing protection, and lasers — the add-ons — become really critical to the bottom-line profit margin.” Romanoff says lasers are currently the most attractive accessories for customers, and he’s seen the laser market grow by “leaps and bounds.” “A few years back we might sell an occasional Lasergrip or guide-rod laser, but now the number of guns we sell that have an add-on laser has multiplied greatly,” Romanoff said. “And, of course, a lot of manufacturers are now equipping their firearms with the lasers.” Romanoff cites the Smith & Wesson Bodyguard series as Ace’s top-selling laser-equipped handgun. “I’m sure Smith & Wesson brought out the Bodyguard series to compete head-to-head with the Ruger LCP,” Romanoff said. “Smith & Wesson made the Bodyguard more desirable by putting a relatively inexpensive laser on it. We’ve done very well with the .38 Special Bodyguard revolver.” Romanoff also notes a lot of manufacturers are producing pistols with rails that can accommodate a light or laser. Ben Romanoff Lasers Hit The Mark George Romanoff, owner of Ace Sporting Goods, says the handgun accessory market is bigger than it’s ever been, and handgun enhancements, such as the laser-equipped Smith & Wesson Bodyguards, are attractive to customers. JUNE 2011 33

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