Store achieves 50 percent threshold with women customers.

Author:Parsons-Wraith, Lisa
Position::ARMS & THE WOMAN
 
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Good old-fashioned customer service seems to be a buzzword for women. When women walk into a gun store, they want to be acknowledged and courteously assisted with finding the best firearm or accessory to fit their needs. Sounds simple, and huge strides have been made in recent years to dispel the image of gun stores being a place for "good ol' boys" only. Competition for discretionary dollars is fierce, however, and luring customers away from online shopping is a daily challenge, but many dealers are finding success by offering unbeatable customer service and training.

Sandy Barnett, owner of Ballistic Therapy Indoor Shooting Range & Gun Shop in Boerne, Texas, said she has a passion for helping women be safe. From the start, she wanted her business to have a warm, welcoming atmosphere where women could learn about firearms safely. Even the name of her business was conceived with women in mind, she noted, saying women tend to do a lot of "retail therapy." Her store, Ballistic Therapy, focuses on making sure women were comfortable and owned firearms to fit their needs. "Buying a gun is like buying shoes or a purse, you have to find something that fits," she added.

Barnett said she has made it her mission to be the friendliest gun shop in Texas, "We're always willing to help and we go above and beyond to provide great customer service."

Firearms training classes is one of the biggest draws for women. Ballistic Therapy offers a "Handgun 101" and "License to Carry" class. Barnett said she's looking to offer tactical training classes next, as women have requested to take the next step in their training. Safety is the order of the day at Ballistic Therapy, "We're very safety conscious," she noted. "People say, 'I'm coming back because I like the way you guys keep the range safe.'"

Barnett said it's also important to have females on staff. She serves as a "License to Carry" instructor and she employs a female manager. "Our approach is to have females fit females--we feel we're unique," she said. Ballistic Therapy uses their wide range of rental guns to give women a chance to test out the fit and feel of a firearm before they buy.

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Welcoming women's shooting groups has also helped Ballistic Therapy build its female customer base. They support A Girl & A Gun Shooting League, The Well Armed Woman and a private women's shooting group. After the events, range officers are available to help women break down and clean their firearms...

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