By Melissa Porter
In the Feb. 2020 issue, we explored the impact of new-for-2020 products on the female segment of the industry (Arms & The Woman, “New Products Ready For Plinking, CCW Or Hunting”). While stocking fresh products geared toward women represents a more than capable approach to bring in this burgeoning group of customers, there’s also nothing wrong with sticking with the tried-and-true.
“It’s all the old favorites that still attract women,” said Bren Brown, co-owner of Frontier Justice with locations in Lee’s Summit, Mo. and Kansas City, Kan.
What are some of these favorites?
“UpLULA Speed Loaders, firearms with a nice grip — like the Smith & Wesson Shield — leggings able to hold firearms and conceal-carry purses that look like actual stylish ones,” she continued.
Brown has made a concerted effort to ensure women feel welcome at both of her establishments, which feature a dedicated fashion boutique.
“Our boutique is a huge ‘WELCOME’ sign to women coming to our store,” she shared. “It’s the same with hosting a date night, women’s-only classes and having a sales staff that takes the extra time to treat everyone with dignity and respect — whether they’re talking to a beginner or an advanced shooter.”
Frontier Justice hosts several “Date Night” packages throughout the year, with Valentine’s Day the most recent. It includes a lane rental for two, one firearm rental, two boxes of ammo, dinner, a rose, eye protection (to keep) and a photo opportunity. Members receive a significant discount.
Bren revealed an unexpected trend: “It’s the woman who buys Date Night, rather than the man — which has surprised us.”
Boasting Georgia’s only 100-yard indoor rifle range, Buford-based Georgia Gun Club has been successful in its efforts reaching out to women. General Manager Beth Martin informs those who do come in for a visit don’t often arrive alone.
“The women we see shooting long guns on our 100-yard indoor ranges definitely have more experience shooting,” she said. “They usually come with the family, spouse or boyfriend to shoot as opposed to by themselves to work on pistol shooting.”
“Events allow us to introduce Flashbang
holsters and UpLULAs, and other handy products
that are useful at the range and for carry!”
Hillary Dube, Co-Owner HNR Gunworks in Inverness, Fla.
Matching Brown’s earlier observation, Martin earmarked the Maglula UpLULA as a perennial favorite for customers.
“The UpLULA magazine loader is a must for any range bag,” she contends. “We have them available to use on our ranges, and women grab them up after they’ve used one. Plus, we have them in many colors so they don’t get lost in a range bag.”
Touted in the aforementioned February article, the GLOCK 44 has been an early contender for women at the Georgia Gun Club.
“The GLOCK 44 has really done well with our female market,” Martin added. “We have so many new shooters to the industry who start with Georgia Gun Club. This addition of a reliable .22-caliber pistol is a plus to get them started with learning the basics.”
All-Women Meetup Thrives
Hillary Dube, co-owner of HNR Gunworks in Inverness, Fla., opened her store mid-2017 and has already cultivated supportive ties within her community. A new monthly endeavor is providing further opportunities for her store to propagate a positive message of the shooting sports.
“We started a Women’s TEAM (Training, Education, Action, Meetup),” she explains, “taught by our female NRA instructor Sabrina Watson. We’ve had such a great turnout of women shooters — novice to competition shooters who enjoy the sport and camaraderie!”
The meetups include safety information, conversations about Florida’s concealed carry laws, live shooting and more.
When asked what prompted her interest in facilitating an all-women’s group, Dube answered: “I think it’s so important to offer a chance for women to get together, learn and support each other, especially in these politically trying times where it can be frowned upon.”
To promote the HNR Women’s TEAM, Dube also launched a Facebook page. It’s also well positioned to provide natural tie-ins to developments at her store. TEAM events attract a wide range of women, even creating powerful mother-daughter experiences.
“We have women from age 11 to 87, and I enjoy watching them grow and enjoy the sport,” she shared. “I think these groups will continue to be an emerging trend.”
While there is a fee involved for those attending the event, Dube also referenced another way they impact her store’s bottom line: prospective customers can get acquainted with products already in stock at HNR Gunworks.
“These events allow us to introduce Flashbang holsters and UpLULAs, and other handy products that are useful at the range and for carry!” she exclaimed.
Of note here: the mention of the Maglula UpLULA was unprompted in each of our three interviews — so, something to keep in mind as you place your next order. Dube explained the rise of popular compact pistols necessitates sales of speed loaders.
“In single-stack pistols like the SIG P365, those last few rounds are nearly impossible to load — unless you have a speed loader,” she said. “UpLULAs have flown off the shelves for both new and veteran shooters alike. They should be in every range bag!”
What tried-and-true product lines are resonating with your segment of female customers? Share with the SI team, and be featured in a future issue! email@example.com