What Gun Stores Don’t Know About Merchandising.

Walk into any camera store*, and you’ll probably get really confused about what camera is the best one for you, and what accessories you’ll need after the sale. Most camera stores take care of the second item on that list by offering camera “accessory kits” that include a gadget bag, cleaning kit, filters, etc, all wrapped up and ready to go. Typically, in the stores I worked in, we’d make more money on the sale of a $100 gadget bag and tripod combo than we would on a $500 camera.

Ever see accessory kits in a gun store? Me neither. Good thing guns aren’t confusing for first-timers to buy, or else gun stores would be leaving cash on the table, or something.

We are probably looking at the slow deflation of the gun-buying bubble over the next few months, which means gun stores will need to get smart about how they sell guns or go out of business. As Tam says, adding in more sales of profitable items like holsters and cleaning kits to the near-cost (or below) sale of a gun is one way to make sure the doors stay open and the lights stay on. If we want guns to become part of our lifestyle, it’s going to be because of all the things that come with a gun, not the gun itself. Guns just sit there, they are of no use until someone does something with them, and facilitating that usage is what accessories do, not the gun itself.

This is Merchandising 101 (heck, it’s Remedial Merchandising 090), but it’s practically unheard of in the gun business because most gun shop owners see themselves as selling guns, not selling stuff you can DO with a gun. This is silly, of course, because all the money is made in the stuff that’s needed to do something with a gun; the money is not to be found in the gun itself.

* Ok, first you have to FIND a camera store, then walk into it, actually, better yet, go shopping for cameras on Amazon, like everyone else does.

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