Creating a solid customer base is essential for a successful business. If you’ve noticed one segment of your customer base is fading away or is underrepresented, then it’s time to reassess your business plan and determine what target groups you need to reach out to.
Many dealers have noticed the population that was once the mainstay of their business — older, white males — has reached a point where they are no longer buying a large amount of firearms. The reasons for this vary from age to shifting interests, but the fact remains it is time for dealers to move their attention away from their traditional customer base — and reach out to a different audience.
“We need to establish a new generation of shooters,” said Jeff Lepp, who co-owns Specialty Sports & Supply in Colorado Springs, Colo., with his wife, Kim. “We want to capture people who aren’t already looking at guns — young people, women and minorities.”
Specialty Sports & Supply is a large, well-known store in Colorado Springs, Lepp notes.
“I’m totally committed to the women’s market. We have quite a few women customers,” he said. “I’ve probably had a dozen women buying guns here on their own this week.”
The key to Lepp’s success with the female clientele is a commitment to making them feel welcome in the store, and a diverse product line that appeals to women.
“My goal is to get women comfortable in the store, and motivate them to get interested in products they weren’t into before,” he said.
This hunting season, Lepp plans to invest heavily in women’s hunting clothing.
“It’s a big test this year,” he said.
He plans to stock clothing, boots and other athletic wear. The store carries a lot of Under Armour clothing, and Lepp says he has already ordered over $80,000 worth of Under Armour’s new women’s hunting clothing.
“The Under Armour hunting line is pretty impressive,” Lepp said.
The Under Armour women’s hunting line is part of its Always Lethal series, and consists of moisture-wicking undergarments, plus water-resistant outerwear. All garments also feature odor-blocking technology.
“Women’s clothing is the first recognizable space in the store,” Lepp said. “We now have more women’s clothing than men’s. Women are buying clothing here, and I’m really getting excited about that.”
Under Armour’s new Women’s Ridge Reaper line features moisture wicking and odor-dampening technology. “The Under Armour hunting line is pretty impressive,” said Jeff Lepp, co-owner of Specialty Sports & Supply.
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