As a lifelong customer of brick and mortar gun shops, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked into a store only to be greeted by a complete cluster F*(% of products. Believe or not, I’ve even had to step around the shop dogs “land mines” a time or two. In each instance, I’ve walked away without buying and more importantly, I never stepped foot back into the store. It’s equally as important to properly display the items you want to sell as well as not displaying those you don’t.
Besides being a customer, I’ve worked the counters of many gun stores and talked with their owners about merchandising. To be honest, most of them do a pretty good job. They know what their customers want and they take pride in how the products are displayed. The customer side of me wants to be greeted when I enter but then left alone to peruse the inventory at my leisure. I’m not just talking about the guns here. In most cases, those are on a wall or in a glass case. I’m really talking about the parts & accessories. If your stuff is hidden or poorly organized, that tells me you don’t care about your customers experience. Sure, I could ask but do you really want me to interrupt a gun sale to ask if you have a bottle of Frog Lube in stock? Probably not.
For those who don’t know how to properly merchandise, you’re in luck! Most of the reps that visit your shop can assist you with this. Some of them are even excited to do so. The best I’ve seen for merchandising are reps from The Evans Group, specifically Perry Aller & Lance Anderson. They can hook you up with displays and/or just spend time in your shop showing you the best way to display your products for the greatest sales. Don’t be shy about asking, this is part of their job.