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The archery plan-o-gram: a gun dealer's blueprint for success.

When a builder constructs a house, he doesn't decide while he's at the site how many rooms it will contain, how big each room will be, or where to put the doors, windows and fireplace. An architect has already performed all the necessary design and planning stages, preparing a blueprint for the builder to follow. The builder has also pre-determined the type of materials he will use based on the buyer's needs and budget.

The same principles will apply on a smaller scale when you add your archery aisle. You won't decide one day to include archery in your inventory and the next day have your store fully stocked with appropriate merchandise. The key to any successful venture lies in the planning. Working with your archery distributor, you will become a master planner, and build a winning archery aisle.

However, before deciding the physical layout of your archery aisle and the products you will include, it is necessary to determine whether there is a market for bowhunting and archery in your area. Jerry DeMeyere, national sales manager for Game Tracker archery manufacturer, says firearms dealers considering adding bowhunting products to their inventory should ask themselves three questions before investing in an archery program:

First, do you receive regular requests or questions regarding bowhunting accessories from your regular customer base? Second, is there a full-scale archery pro shop in the geographic area from which you normally draw your customers? If not, a viable market base almost certainly exists. And third, will your sales staff take the time and interest to learn the basic features and benefits of the products you add?

If the answers to these questions are in your favor, then a perfect opportunity to easily increase your profits exists.

Now you can focus your attention on the real task at hand: building your archery aisle.

Designing a Plan-o-gram

The "plan-o-gram," which was introduced and described briefly in last month's Archery Aisle, is the "blueprint" prepared by the archery distributor for the firearms dealer.

Game Tracker offers a wide variety of standard and custom plan-o-grams to its network of archery product retailers, says Lennie Rezmer, Gamer Tracker vice president. There are about a hundred plan-o-grams offered for the smallest archery-only store to the megaMart sporting goods stores. Two of Game Tracker's plan-o-grams have been specifically designed for firearms dealers with a limited amount of bowhunting product knowledge, but who receive regular requests for basic products.

Both plan-o-grams are built around common products that all bowhunters use, says Rezmer, adding that Game Tracker intentionally did not include high-tech specialty items in the mix because consumers who buy these types of products normally go to the archery pro shops.

The partial plan-o-gram shown with this article maps out the way several accessories applied to a pegboard would appear using one of Game Tracker's plan-o-gram. In this 43" x 32" area, about 20 items can be displayed.

One criteria Game Tracker has used in selecting items for the firearms dealer's plan-o-gram is packaging, says Rezmer. "We have dedicated ourselves to developing educational packaging that provides product features and benefits as well as detailed instruction on each product used."

The plan-o-grams for firearms dealers were also designed with fewer products per SKU to help the firearms dealer have a complete sell-through, says Rezmer.

Enjoying Profits

The most basic plan-o-gram allows the dealer to explore the archery market for an investment of less than $300, says DeMeyere. Starting small ensures sell-through for the dealer, rather than having a large inventory that takes too long to sell.

"A small initial investment will allow almost any sporting goods dealer to enjoy strong profits," he says, reminding dealers that they can always reorder from Game Tracker or one of its stocking distributors.

Firearms dealers who add bowhunting products to their store's inventory are creating two new profit opportunities, says DeMeyere. First, most archery accessories have a mark-up at least 40 percent, he says. This ensures a significant profit on every archery product sold.

Second, the selling season for bowhunting products gets into full swing during late June or early July. "That gives the firearms dealer the opportunity to sell high profit items well in advance of when firearms hunters hit their peak selling season," he says.

That means now is high season for bowhunting products. Get started immediately by calling your archery distributor to discuss how a plan-o-gram can be designed for your gun shop. Before you know it, you will soon be in the archery business, building your clientele and increasing your profits within days.
COPYRIGHT 1993 Publishers' Development Corporation
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Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Smith, Ann Y.
Publication:Shooting Industry
Date:Jul 1, 1993
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