I just got back from the spring P-20* meeting, and both groups were telling me some interesting news. The audience is shifting in all of the member stores, or has already shifted. The general consensus is the ages of the buyers are mid- to late 30s, heavily dominated by couples, with a noticeable amount of youngsters added in. They are shooting, not hoarding, and learning, not panicking. Defense is a part of it, but enjoyment is of greater interest to them.
Stores that are "known," meaning they advertise, are benefiting far greater than those that are not doing any marketing. Increases that are being noticed are upwards of 50 percent, and some are almost double from a year ago. H&H is up 68 percent year-to-day, with March now our all-time best month ever. That is saying a lot due to the volume we run (almost $2 million in March alone).
Dealers who have staff and inventory are best reaping the new wave. This au dience watches TV (including main affiliates, cable, ESPN, History and History 2), and uses the Internet as their tool to gain information. We ran a safe promotion on TV with just a little splash in other media (paper and radio), and were overwhelmed by the turnout. We set four new records for daily sales in March.
In following the NICS numbers by state, some states are exploding, while others are experiencing steady to moderate growth. A couple of states are even going backwards. I think this...