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Shooting Industry June 2012 Digital Edition - Page 26
Arms Arms and the woman Lisa Parsons-Wraith Practical Approach To Women’s Market Equals Success ealers need a way to support women shooters that is both profitable and practical. Some dealers have gotten burned by the whims of fashion when trying to cater to the women’s market, and others simply don’t have the space to carry women-only products. Numerous studies have shown women are the fastest-growing segment of the shooting sports — especially in the beginner’s market. One dealer in Newington, Conn., has had success serving the women’s market by using a caring, courteous and quality approach. Hoffman’s Gun Center & Indoor Shooting Range, owned by Scott Hoffman, does a brisk business in self-defense firearms. “Hunting is not big in Connecticut anymore,” Hoffman said. “The majority of women who come into our store buy guns for defense, for practical purposes.” “The majority of women who come into our store buy guns for Hoffman says these women primarily buy small revolvers, defense for practical purposes,” says Scott Hoffman, of Hoffman’s Gun Center & Indoor Shooting Range. small semiautos and small .22s. “Most of the women look at a gun like a tool — as they Beyond Guns should,” he said. Hoffman’s does, however, stock a few items that are ladiesAs a result, Hoffman says that while he does stock a few of the brightly colored “ladies” guns, more women prefer a “regu- only. For example, Hoffman says purse holsters from Gun Tote’n Mamas are big sellers in his store. lar” gun. “I’ve never sold so many $150 purses in my life,” he said. “The basic ‘unmarketed’ version of a gun is what women who Mace pepper spray is also very popular, Hoffman notes. That come to our store want. Women are much shrewder shoppers than men. They are more likely to buy a gun they need than something is one area where the pink canisters outsell the regular style of spray, Hoffman says, adding that pepper sprays are the product flashy they want,” he said. Hoffman’s is a large store with a wide variety of firearms. To women buy the most. “For every 10 women who buy a gun, there are 100 carrying meet women’s needs, Hoffman stocks plenty of smaller-framed pistols and revolvers such as Smith & Wesson J-frames and Mace,” he said. Hoffman’s is a large store that is a destination location, so Bodyguards. Hoffman is also a big fan of Rugers. Hoffman doesn’t get a lot of window shoppers. He says he doesn’t “The Ruger LCP and LC9 are perfect for purses,” he said. Hoffman’s does such brisk business in Rugers, in fact, that view the women’s market differently than any other market. “What helps sell guns more is the store in general,” he said. the store was named Ruger’s 2011 Retailer of the Year. They received the honor for their outstanding knowledge of the Ruger “It’s clean, nicely run, we have a courteous staff — women appreciate that.” line, and their industry-leading advertising efforts. D Caring For The Environment W omen, especially mothers, tend to have a strong interest in helping the environment, and Hoffman’s is doing its part to be environmentally friendly. Not only does the business have a new, state-of-the-art range, but they use a completely nontoxic gun-cleaning system to clean all of their range guns. The system is called Bio-Circle. “Its cleaning solution contains genetically engineered microbes that eat oil,” Hoffman said. “It’s totally nontoxic and works really well. It’s amazing.” Bio-Circle is a division of J. Walter Co., and the product is a self-renewing, self-generating JUNE 2012 parts cleaning system for guns. It’s solvent-free, nonflammable and nontoxic. It is safe for the user and the environment, and the formula’s microbes break down oil, grease and carbon. What does this mean to you and your staff? No more smelly toxic chemicals that require ventilation systems, hazardous disposal fees or protective clothing. Your customers will appreciate that you’re doing your part to help the environment. Hoffman is so committed to the product that he is one of BioCircle’s distributors. “We’ve sold the system to other dealers, and even some hobbyists who own a lot of guns,” Hoffman said. The Bio-Circle system has a yearly cost of about $1,850, which is comparable to the cost of a regular gun-cleaning system when you factor in the extra safety equipment needed. It is also much faster at cleaning firearms, freeing up valuable manpower. For more information about Bio-Circle, visit www.hoffgun. com/BioCircle.htm. 9 26 Subscribe to SI DIGITAL www.shootingindustry.com