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Shooting Industry September 2010 - Page 32
THE HIGH-TECH DEMAND By J.K. Autry Meet Your Customers’ Needs In An Ever-Changing Market F H or the industry, 2009 was “The Year of the Gun Sales,” with gun sales at shops of all sizes doubling and tripling. While the gun-buying frenzy has cooled, consumers are still making gun-related purchases. They are now returning to gun shops for firearm accessories. Many of those are high-tech goodies, according to Joe Murphy, CEO of The Gun Warehouse & Range in Lexington, Ky., and Rex McClanahan, vice president, who also is head of Internet sales for the company. “The guns were such hot sellers for so long, and now we’re seeing customers who want to outfit their guns with high-tech accessories,” McClanahan said. “After the magnitude of gun sales we had, there’s a lot of people turning to those accessories to finish off their guns.” Bradley True What’s Hot? igh-tech accessories that are moving at The Gun Warehouse include lasers and flashlights, according to McClanahan, who noted rail-mounted accessories are especially popular. In lasers, Crimson Trace is the top seller at The Gun Warehouse. Customers who purchased a gun from the store in 2009 are now returning to buy a Crimson Trace Lasergrip, according to McClanahan. “The Ruger LCP was the hot seller for concealed-carry guns,” McClanahan said. “We sold over 1,000 online, and we’re seeing a lot of people coming back to buy the Crimson Trace Laserguard for it. We keep track of hot-selling items, and that shows up quite often.” In 2009, the Crimson Trace LG-431 Laserguard Model for the Ruger LCP was honored by the Academy of Excellence with the Self-Defense Product of the Year award. This past July, the Academy again presented Crimson Trace with the 2010 Self-Defense Product of Year award for the MVF-515 Red Vertical Foregrip. (See page 26.) Firearms already outfitted with hightech components are particularly popular at The Gun Warehouse. The new-for-2010 Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 380, which boasts an integral laser, has received a warm welcome from customers, according to Murphy, who says “the .380 is the hot32 SEPTEMBER 2010 Joe Murphy, CEO of The Gun Warehouse & Range, says point-of-purchase displays, like the one for Crimson Trace’s Lasergrips, make it “easy to talk to them (customers) about the accessory.” Read SI DIGITAL www.shootingindustry.com