The last couple months have been, in a word--eventful. Following February's tragic shooting in Florida, the industry has faced renewed attacks from anti-gun organizations, big-box retailers, financial institutions, students, social media platforms and more.
Yes, we're in the midst of a challenging period, but here's something to consider: With the current anti-gun/anti-industry policies manifesting among the likes of Dick's, Kroger, Fred Meyer, Walmart, REI and other big-box retailers, there are renewed opportunities for you, the independent retailer. Let me explain.
The discerning sportsman will continue to support brands/establishments supportive of his or her pursuits. With major big-box retailers revising their store policies concerning firearms, you can be certain these customers have taken notice.
In fact, we've received numerous emails and telephone calls from GUNS Magazine and American Handgunner readers (i.e., your customers) stating their displeasure with these companies. In an email from a GUNS reader, he shared, "I'll never spend another dime" at a Kroger's location following some of these "policies." Another reader in Texas--a veteran and retired police officer--informed us of his efforts to spearhead an organized boycott of Kroger-owned stores (and any other establishments that enact similar measures), as well as contacting Texas Gov. Abbott's office and additional elected officials.
These are just two responses of surely tens of thousands of customers who feel the same way--which opens a door of opportunity for the storefront FFL dealers in our industry. Now is a perfect time to elevate your store's profile as the go-to source for innovative new products and superb customer service.
I've had conversations with other industry professionals and dealers in recent weeks and they, too, see the occasion to remind customers they're committed to meet their needs (with no age limit restrictions, MSR-style rifle bans, etc.).
Time will tell how this current tide of resistance impacts long-term sales for dealers, manufacturers and...