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Shooting Industry March 2013 - Page 32
Create An Entertainment Experience T Give Recreational Customers Reasons To Return Often By J.K. Autry oday’s firearm consumers are looking beyond just buying a firearm for hunting or personal protection. These consumers — especially the recreational shooter — are looking for an experience, and it’s imperative for dealers to successfully engage these customers to boost sales and keep them coming back. The Range at Lake Norman in Cornelius, N.C. — a recent recipient of NSSF’s Five-Star Range status — knows how to create a memorable experience for recreational shooters. As the only women-operated range in the Carolinas, the range specifically caters to and understands the female shooting demographic, which puts them leagues ahead of other ranges that struggle to connect with women. “Our ratio of customers is 55-percent men to 45-percent women,” said Tricia Sisson, co-owner of The Range at Lake Norman. “When I was putting together the business plan for the range, my husband said, ‘I don’t think you’re going to get a lot of arguments when women go up to their husbands and ask if they want to go shooting today instead of shopping.’” That’s the concept behind The Range at Lake Norman: creating a recreational facility, as well as an entertainment facility, that will attract customers of all types and backgrounds. “We’re vying for the same dollars consumers are spending at the movies, at dinner or at bars,” Sisson said. “We strive to create an entertainment experience for the customers.” One way the range creates an entertainment experience is through its monthly Ladies Night. Each event attracts 30 to 50 women. “We really cater to first-time shooters at the range, and Ladies Night is no different,” Sisson said. “The women fill out a waiver and watch a safety video first. Then they go out to the lanes with certified instructors and shoot 25 rounds with their choice of firearm.” The women who attend Ladies Night also take advantage of “Ease In” New Shooters The Range at Lake Norman creates an entertainment experience for women through its monthly Ladies Night, which attracts up to 50 women per event. 32 MARCH 2013 Subscribe to SI DIGITAL www.shootingindustry.com