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Shooting Industry March 2010 - Page 37

Put A A Cutting Edge On Your Five Tried-And-True Tips To Sharpen Cutlery Sales By John Morrison t doesn’t matter whether you’re looking for a hardworking hunting knife, a topof-the-line tactical folder or a collectible custom creation — if you’re anywhere in the area of San Antonio, Texas, just ask around for the best source and it’s likely you’ll be referred to Nagel’s Gun Shop. Founded by Homer Nagel in 1942 and still successfully operated by the family, Nagel’s is one of the best-known gun shops in Texas, and one of the most successful knife dealers, too. A full 1,500 square feet of Nagel’s total 8,000 feet of display space is dedicated to knife sales. Typically, more than 2,000 knives are found in stock, including popular names like Benchmade, Kershaw, Spyderco, Case, CRKT and Al Mar Knives. Nagel’s is also one of the few dealers for Randall Made Knives, and carries many handmade full-custom knives. And the point is — they all sell. “We have knives that retail for $20, and Knife Profits! The Paul Defender (top) and Blackfoot folder, both from Lone Wolf Knives, won the Blade Show’s 2009 awards for Best Overall Knife and Best Buy of the Year, respectively. It’s no accident they are in great demand. I others running into thousands of dollars,” said Robin Fisher, knife manager. “And that’s one of the big reasons we’re successful: We have something for everyone and almost every taste.” Study The Trends Homer Nagel was Robin’s grandfather, Robin Fisher (left), knife manager at Nagel’s, acquaints a customer with a new folding knife design. and she has been working at the store since graduating from college, gaining 30 years of industry experience, first in gun sales and then in knives. As with guns, she says the keys to success are simple. Here is the tried-and-true “Fisher Formula.” “First,” Fisher said, “study the magazines — Blade Magazine, Tactical Knives and others.” Fisher says she’s always on the lookout for emerging consumer interests and new developments. “It’s easy enough to see what’s popular or rapidly gaining popularity, and if you don’t have it in stock, customers will turn to the Internet or other sellers,” she said. For example, Lone Wolf Knives won two Best of 2009 awards at the Blade Show — Best Overall Knife of the Year for the Paul Defender, and Best Buy of the Year for the Blackfoot folder. Do you stock them? “Second,” Fisher said, “study knives as you would guns. You need to be able to talk knowledgeably about steels and their different properties; edge grinds and what kind of cutting they are best suited for; handle materials; action and lock types; finishes and corrosion resistance — every aspect. Product knowledge is critical because it’s the one thing you can give MARCH 2010 37

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