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Posted: 9/10/2010 12:36:40 PM EDT
I want to take a poll from everyone. Would everyone be excited and open to a new Gun/Hunting superstore that would include an indoor range, be cheaper, have more products, a family atmosphere, and become a board sponsor??

Yes

or

No

Also please comment on location....St. Charles county is what is planned. Please specify where and why you think would be a good place.

Thanks,

Ryan
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 12:53:17 PM EDT
Would be awesome! We have one being built right now in St. Clair! It's framed As I type this!
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 1:01:43 PM EDT
Please feel free to post why you would be excited also. Also what in your eye as the buyer are the most important things to you when purchasing anything firearm related?
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 1:15:06 PM EDT
Well I would be excited because anything that furthers and promotes our hobby and the 2a is full of win! It would be nice to have somewhere to shoot when it's 20 degrees, sleeting and nasty or 110 with 99% humidity! It would be nice to have some friendly competitions and meet others with the same interests(I know the weirdoes come too).

The most important thing to me would be friendly employees that want to help and not the commando/seal/special forces ninja that work in some. A example of what I am talking about is Nicks Guns in Washington, my wife went there and bought a LCP. They gave her a great price, they were super friendly and made her feel comfortable. Alot of places see a woman come in and see $$$$$$. I will do alot of business with them because of that.

Second, I don't have a problem with a shop making money but don't make a months profit off of one sale. The I ternetz exist people know what prices are now

My .02
Jerry
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 1:18:06 PM EDT
Not too excited. My taste have outgrown what hunting/fishing stores have to offer. I enjoy seeing EBRs behind the counter but the last few firearms I have acquired were not the type you would find there (Soumi, Sterling, Dan Wesson and a couple of suppressors).
Still, it would be nice for the more mundane purchases.
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 1:36:16 PM EDT
Ho-hum....you just described Bass Pro/Cabela's

Prices aren't going to beat the internet or walmart for ammo and there is pretty good saturation already.

What we really need is an indoor shooting range that has some stuff for sale. Not a superstore....
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 1:38:08 PM EDT
Keep the comments coming! Please treat this as a serious question because I am wanting to open one up. Superior customer service no matter who comes through the door will be a huge thing with me. I want to be the Ritz Carloton of service, but with prices that make sense to the consumer.
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 1:40:04 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Woodman_in_MO:
Ho-hum....you just described Bass Pro/Cabela's

Prices aren't going to beat the internet or walmart for ammo and there is pretty good saturation already.

What we really need is an indoor shooting range that has some stuff for sale. Not a superstore....


Actually I will disagree with you there. I am not talking about a big box store that doesn't care about your business....everyone including myself is just a number or a $$ to them. Maybe superstore is the wrong word to use
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 1:42:41 PM EDT
St. Charles isn't a great location for that, as others have pointed out there are already stores in the area much like you're interested in opening. And on the south side of St. Louis is Top Gun with an indoor range, and On Target which is opening up their indoor range soon (and also stocking an exciting variety of high quality hand-made leather holsters!). Neither of those have much in the way of hunting supplies, but most hunters don't really need an indoor range.

I don't believe there is an indoor range in Jefferson City or Columbia. Those areas may be better suited for the kind of store you're looking at opening.
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 1:46:48 PM EDT
Originally Posted By STLMags:
Originally Posted By Woodman_in_MO:
Ho-hum....you just described Bass Pro/Cabela's

Prices aren't going to beat the internet or walmart for ammo and there is pretty good saturation already.

What we really need is an indoor shooting range that has some stuff for sale. Not a superstore....


Actually I will disagree with you there. I am not talking about a big box store that doesn't care about your business....everyone including myself is just a number or a $$ to them. Maybe superstore is the wrong word to use


I would really like a place that is not threatened by the internet. Maybe have a few internet kiosks with gunbroker, some surplus gun websites, AIMsurplus, etc. on them, so customers can see what's online and order guns from them through you. Have a little note on the side about shipping prices and transfer fees, so they can compare prices to what's in stock. Same thing with ammo, though most people can get ammo delivered at home, it can walk off your front porch while you're at work.

I'd also like to see a coffeehouse type of shooting range. Some place where you can sit in a comfortable chair, cruise the net on your laptop/iPad, have a good cup of coffee, and relax.

Link Posted: 9/10/2010 1:55:12 PM EDT
Originally Posted By the_naked_prophet:
Originally Posted By STLMags:
Originally Posted By Woodman_in_MO:
Ho-hum....you just described Bass Pro/Cabela's

Prices aren't going to beat the internet or walmart for ammo and there is pretty good saturation already.

What we really need is an indoor shooting range that has some stuff for sale. Not a superstore....


Actually I will disagree with you there. I am not talking about a big box store that doesn't care about your business....everyone including myself is just a number or a $$ to them. Maybe superstore is the wrong word to use


I would really like a place that is not threatened by the internet. Maybe have a few internet kiosks with gunbroker, some surplus gun websites, AIMsurplus, etc. on them, so customers can see what's online and order guns from them through you. Have a little note on the side about shipping prices and transfer fees, so they can compare prices to what's in stock. Same thing with ammo, though most people can get ammo delivered at home, it can walk off your front porch while you're at work.

I'd also like to see a coffeehouse type of shooting range. Some place where you can sit in a comfortable chair, cruise the net on your laptop/iPad, have a good cup of coffee, and relax.



Similar to what I am going for. A place where everyone knows each other, can hang out, pick up items cheaper, and be able to get anything they want from my store.
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 2:19:29 PM EDT
Just some info that I have not heard. Ultimate Defense is due to open their indoor range in the next few weeks if they make schedule. It's location is near I-70 and Hi-way 79 on the west side of St. Peters. And I dont know if the gun shop that we all know as Mike's off of south 94 was Mike's when it first opened. But I remember there was an area near the front that had 3 or 4 old fashion kitchen chairs that some guys could sit around and shoot the shite. I would think that if a gun store had enough room for about a dozen chairs and a few low tables, dime coffee from a brewer and a soda machine near by would be great. Maybe a movie evening that would have different shooting DVD played and the guys could yak about what they just saw. And maybe that would be better on say Saturday morning or afternoon. Might need another dozen folding chairs for that.

BTW may I remind you how Dunns & then Gateway outfitters both failed from that location on the north service road just east of Cave Springs exit. So as someone mentioned St. Charles is kind of saturated.

But if you do, put up a shop, I do wish you good luck with it and I will try to support it if I can.
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 2:25:11 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Max-Paul:
Just some info that I have not heard. Ultimate Defense is due to open their indoor range in the next few weeks if they make schedule. It's location is near I-70 and Hi-way 79 on the west side of St. Peters. And I dont know if the gun shop that we all know as Mike's off of south 94 was Mike's when it first opened. But I remember there was an area near the front that had 3 or 4 old fashion kitchen chairs that some guys could sit around and shoot the shite. I would think that if a gun store had enough room for about a dozen chairs and a few low tables, dime coffee from a brewer and a soda machine near by would be great. Maybe a movie evening that would have different shooting DVD played and the guys could yak about what they just saw. And maybe that would be better on say Saturday morning or afternoon. Might need another dozen folding chairs for that.

BTW may I remind you how Dunns & then Gateway outfitters both failed from that location on the north service road just east of Cave Springs exit. So as someone mentioned St. Charles is kind of saturated.

But if you do, put up a shop, I do wish you good luck with it and I will try to support it if I can.


Yes I am well aware of Dunns and then Gateway outfitters failed. However they failed because of a reason. Gateways inventory control was a complete disaster. Their employess t should have been working at Mcdonalds(no offense to anyone that works there). I went there one time and heard two employess throwing the F bomb about 15 times while watching a you tube video. I do believe Dunn sold the place because of a FFL issue that was going to effect the rest of his stores. Not to mention that place was just plain dirty and unorganized.
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 3:59:28 PM EDT
Springfield, Missouri would be a great place to open a new shop. Come on down.
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 5:49:44 PM EDT
Originally Posted By scpd755:
Well I would be excited because anything that furthers and promotes our hobby and the 2a is full of win! It would be nice to have somewhere to shoot when it's 20 degrees, sleeting and nasty or 110 with 99% humidity! It would be nice to have some friendly competitions and meet others with the same interests(I know the weirdoes come too).

The most important thing to me would be friendly employees that want to help and not the commando/seal/special forces ninja that work in some. A example of what I am talking about is Nicks Guns in Washington, my wife went there and bought a LCP. They gave her a great price, they were super friendly and made her feel comfortable. Alot of places see a woman come in and see $$$$$$. I will do alot of business with them because of that.

Second, I don't have a problem with a shop making money but don't make a months profit off of one sale. The I ternetz exist people know what prices are now

My .02
Jerry


Nick is a good guy, I do a lot of business with him.
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 6:01:49 PM EDT
Here is my two cents. In St. Charles you will be directly competing with Bass Pro, Cabelas, and a few other board respected shops. I truly think STL and the surrounding areas are pretty much saturated with gun shops and the like. Your not going to beat Cabelas and Bass Pro for supply and I really doubt you can beat their recent prices on ammo. Guns? Maybe. And in my experience everyone NOT behind the gun counter at Cabelas have great service, no so much the gun counter guys.


I have an idea for a gun shop but I don't have the capital or the ability to get the capital right now. I even have the city to open it in mind, but again not capital = not happening.
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 6:37:01 PM EDT
STLmags, how old are you? From your earlier posts i just took you as a late teen early 20's guy. Have you thought of how much $ it takes to do this and to keep it goin?
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 7:01:56 PM EDT
I would like for a gun dealer who would specialize in ordering what you want off of gunbroker. A computer in the store sounds like a good idea.
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 7:04:35 PM EDT
You need to go after the high end and tactical market and leave the mossy oak crowd to Bass Pro and Cabelas.

Think Scottsdale Gun Club in Arizona only with Magpul Dynamics type instructional classes. That's what STL needs,

Go where the money is if you want to succeed. Just take a look at Lynch Hummer/Adventure Shooting success in Chesterfield.
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 7:16:19 PM EDT
Originally Posted By SShockwave:
You need to go after the high end and tactical market and leave the mossy oak crowd to Bass Pro and Cabelas.

Think Scottsdale Gun Club in Arizona only with Magpul Dynamics type instructional classes. That's what STL needs,

Go where the money is if you want to succeed. Just take a look at Lynch Hummer/Adventure Shooting success in Chesterfield.


Thats wheee my idea goes. Think a place like pistols plus at the lake, but more personal and with a twist.

Here's a small business question. If you wanted to start a gun shop what would the median income of the area need to be before you considered it ideal?
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 9:34:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/10/2010 9:35:22 PM EDT by greaper]
Originally Posted By SShockwave:
You need to go after the high end and tactical market and leave the mossy oak crowd to Bass Pro and Cabelas.

Think Scottsdale Gun Club in Arizona only with Magpul Dynamics type instructional classes. That's what STL needs,

Go where the money is if you want to succeed. Just take a look at Lynch Hummer/Adventure Shooting success in Chesterfield.


I agree and have thought about this a lot myself. You need to offer the customer what all these other STL area cookie cutter stores and ranges do not have. Higher end products, the Tactical market, and a full array of instructional classes and courses as mentioned above. If you want to build a range you need to build what is not here. A long distance tactical range that goes from 100 to 1000 yards. 2 gun and 3 gun tactical courses. The only problem is having the assets to do this.

Link Posted: 9/10/2010 9:48:39 PM EDT
I always heard the way to be worth a million and own a gun store is to start with 2million....
Link Posted: 9/11/2010 4:52:03 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/11/2010 6:00:30 AM EDT
For me, no. I live in Crestwood and won't make a trip out to St. Charles area for shopping and shooting. I already shop at Cabela's every so often and shoot at ARPC where I can move and shoot. I have had my fill with indoor ranges with all the rules and confined spaces. Just my .02 cents.
Link Posted: 9/11/2010 6:39:12 AM EDT
Originally Posted By beltfedMGs:
STLmags, how old are you? From your earlier posts i just took you as a late teen early 20's guy. Have you thought of how much $ it takes to do this and to keep it goin?


I am 33! I have the $$, a business degree, and I have been in retail for along time!
Link Posted: 9/11/2010 6:59:16 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/11/2010 7:04:27 AM EDT by GaryM]
Doing transfer for a reasonable fee would help. I know a few places have pissed me off due to ridiculous fees they want for transfers. I could understand if they stocked what I wanted but nobody carries the items I look for.
Instead if St. Charles area how about somewhere down 44? No as much competition that way (I think)
South StL has the Imperial Dunn's, Denny Dennis and whatever that place is in South County Mall and of course Mid-America Arms (and a few more smaller operations.

ETA;
In the entire StL area we have one good reloading shop and a couple others with a smattering of items. Don't know if that would help but it is something to keep in mind,
Link Posted: 9/11/2010 7:04:41 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/11/2010 7:07:51 AM EDT by smullen]

Originally Posted By STLMags:
I want to take a poll from everyone. Would everyone be excited and open to a new Gun/Hunting superstore that would include an indoor range, be cheaper, have more products, a family atmosphere, and become a board sponsor??

Yes

or

No

Also please comment on location....St. Charles county is what is planned. Please specify where and why you think would be a good place.

Thanks,

Ryan

I'd think everyone here would vote yes... (I'm sure there will be atleast one Glass is half empty).. Edit, I stand corrected after I voted and seen the vote, seems we have 8+, Naysaysers..

I'm always on the look out for shops that support my 2nd Amendment and EBR/Glock addiction...

The closer the drive to me the better... (rent is cheaper in N.County, out around the Florissant Hazzlewood area, its not as Hood like and their are tons of big retail locations that could be had)

I look for shops that have stuff I want to buy, EBR Stuff, Uppers, Lowers, Buis, BCGs and the Such, whole rifles, add ons, Optics, etc... It would be nice to find a place that stocked ammo for decent prices.... I get a 50 rnd box of Fedral .40s for 13.97 at the walmart, hard to beat that.

Holsters, Magazines, Mag holders and other gear would be great!!!

A few knowledable gun guys behind the counter and a staff with no chips on their shoulders... Seems lot of Gun shops specialize in asshole attitudes more than the products they sell...

The range part would be great, but I think thats where you run into alot of problem (with legal crap, permits, saftey, etc..)

Link Posted: 9/11/2010 7:05:47 AM EDT
Yes, absolutely!!! But do it in Columbia, so I'm closer to ya!!!!
Link Posted: 9/11/2010 7:14:46 AM EDT
Originally Posted By smullen:

Originally Posted By STLMags:
I want to take a poll from everyone. Would everyone be excited and open to a new Gun/Hunting superstore that would include an indoor range, be cheaper, have more products, a family atmosphere, and become a board sponsor??

Yes

or

No

Also please comment on location....St. Charles county is what is planned. Please specify where and why you think would be a good place.

Thanks,

Ryan

I'd think everyone here would vote yes... (I'm sure there will be atleast one Glass is half empty).. Edit, I stand corrected after I voted and seen the vote, seems we have 8+, Naysaysers..

I'm always on the look out for shops that support my 2nd Amendment and EBR/Glock addiction...

The closer the drive to me the better... (rent is cheaper in N.County, out around the Florissant Hazzlewood area, its not as Hood like and their are tons of big retail locations that could be had)

I look for shops that have stuff I want to buy, EBR Stuff, Uppers, Lowers, Buis, BCGs and the Such, whole rifles, add ons, Optics, etc... It would be nice to find a place that stocked ammo for decent prices.... I get a 50 rnd box of Fedral .40s for 13.97 at the walmart, hard to beat that.

Holsters, Magazines, Mag holders and other gear would be great!!!

A few knowledable gun guys behind the counter and a staff with no chips on their shoulders... Seems lot of Gun shops specialize in asshole attitudes more than the products they sell...

The range part would be great, but I think thats where you run into alot of problem (with legal crap, permits, saftey, etc..)







As of right now I am leaning towards no range and just a good gun shop. I would specialize in everything and I can get anything you want. I am guessing you would pay a few dollars more for ammo if you had a personal relationship with the shop and was treated like your business mattered. Right or Wrong?
Link Posted: 9/11/2010 7:18:08 AM EDT
Originally Posted By GaryM:
Doing transfer for a reasonable fee would help. I know a few places have pissed me off due to ridiculous fees they want for transfers. I could understand if they stocked what I wanted but nobody carries the items I look for.
Instead if St. Charles area how about somewhere down 44? No as much competition that way (I think)
South StL has the Imperial Dunn's, Denny Dennis and whatever that place is in South County Mall and of course Mid-America Arms (and a few more smaller operations.

ETA;
In the entire StL area we have one good reloading shop and a couple others with a smattering of items. Don't know if that would help but it is something to keep in mind,


My goal would be FFL transfers would be very cheap if nothing at all. I want everyones business in the STL area and charging for FFL is silly to me!
Link Posted: 9/11/2010 7:20:41 AM EDT
Originally Posted By lunyou:
Originally Posted By SShockwave:
You need to go after the high end and tactical market and leave the mossy oak crowd to Bass Pro and Cabelas.

Think Scottsdale Gun Club in Arizona only with Magpul Dynamics type instructional classes. That's what STL needs,

Go where the money is if you want to succeed. Just take a look at Lynch Hummer/Adventure Shooting success in Chesterfield.


Thats wheee my idea goes. Think a place like pistols plus at the lake, but more personal and with a twist.

Here's a small business question. If you wanted to start a gun shop what would the median income of the area need to be before you considered it ideal?


I have been to Pistols Plus and I like the concept, but their prices are very high IMO. Adventure Shooting's prices are a joke, but I like their setup.
Link Posted: 9/11/2010 7:22:13 AM EDT
I just thought of another thing that's missing. There needs to be a place with an indoor shoot house, that can be used with either realistic airsoft pistols or even simunitions. If you had a halfway decent instructor on staff, you could get the local PD to train in your facility. With only a couple thousand bucks, you could get a full line of gas blowback airsoft pistols to mimic the duty/carry guns of a large portion of the populace, and I'm sure lots of folks would like to practice shooting their carry gun without the cost of ammo.

Link Posted: 9/11/2010 7:33:22 AM EDT
Originally Posted By STLMags:
Originally Posted By lunyou:
Originally Posted By SShockwave:
You need to go after the high end and tactical market and leave the mossy oak crowd to Bass Pro and Cabelas.

Think Scottsdale Gun Club in Arizona only with Magpul Dynamics type instructional classes. That's what STL needs,

Go where the money is if you want to succeed. Just take a look at Lynch Hummer/Adventure Shooting success in Chesterfield.


Thats wheee my idea goes. Think a place like pistols plus at the lake, but more personal and with a twist.

Here's a small business question. If you wanted to start a gun shop what would the median income of the area need to be before you considered it ideal?


I have been to Pistols Plus and I like the concept, but their prices are very high IMO. Adventure Shooting's prices are a joke, but I like their setup.


You gotta remember, Adventure is a car dealership, not Bass Pro. Prices are negotiable, hell I just bought a shotgun from them and negotiated to a price that was the same price as Cabelas. I didn't have to deal with idiots and "take a number".

Adventure is the only shop I can go into in the entire St. Louis area and not have a bunch of wannabees "lurking" taking up counterspace and actually speak to people who know something about the product they are selling which for the most part are the nicer guns that you want/should buy. Not to mention a full line of Magpul and other more tactical nature products on the shelves ready to buy instead of rows and rows of deer related crap.


Next time when you're ready to buy, negotiate with them. If you're reasonable, you'll walk out of there with a fair deal and the procudt you want.
Link Posted: 9/11/2010 7:35:26 AM EDT
Originally Posted By AeroE:
How many of you know about the outdoors store located at the Meadows? Nice place, okay prices, good inventory and quality. Light traffic when I've been there.




Are you talking about Backwoods? I drive past that place all the time and when they first built it I thought it was a restaurant I've heard it's a higher end or specialized outdoor store which is perfect if that's true.
Link Posted: 9/11/2010 7:36:50 AM EDT
Hey Ryan, as already said St Charles already has Bass Pro and Cabellas ... in addition to Mikes and Nassau guns. You'd have a pretty rough time carving out a market up in the golden triangle. There aren't any Outfitter type stores down south, I'd suggest something in the 270/44 area ... maybe right along Lingbergh and 44. Any retail relies on foot traffic as much as anything, and you'd get plenty of it there. Sure South has Bullseye and Top Gun indoor ranges and gun shops, but just like Cabellas, most of your business would be for hunting and fishing gear.

The gun store part of the shop is something I think the guys here would have lots of input toward. I like the idea of making it almost a store within a store, with places to sit and where you don't feel so much pressure from standing at the counter. Since you're talking an indoor range, a store within a store makes more sense even.

Something that would make a difference in a store like that getting off to a fast start is an on-staff event co-ordinator. Get someone to plan events and do mass mailing to get the word out.
Link Posted: 9/11/2010 7:39:39 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/11/2010 7:58:07 AM EDT
Originally Posted By SShockwave:
Originally Posted By STLMags:
Originally Posted By lunyou:
Originally Posted By SShockwave:
You need to go after the high end and tactical market and leave the mossy oak crowd to Bass Pro and Cabelas.

Think Scottsdale Gun Club in Arizona only with Magpul Dynamics type instructional classes. That's what STL needs,

Go where the money is if you want to succeed. Just take a look at Lynch Hummer/Adventure Shooting success in Chesterfield.


Thats wheee my idea goes. Think a place like pistols plus at the lake, but more personal and with a twist.

Here's a small business question. If you wanted to start a gun shop what would the median income of the area need to be before you considered it ideal?


I have been to Pistols Plus and I like the concept, but their prices are very high IMO. Adventure Shooting's prices are a joke, but I like their setup.


You gotta remember, Adventure is a car dealership, not Bass Pro. Prices are negotiable, hell I just bought a shotgun from them and negotiated to a price that was the same price as Cabelas. I didn't have to deal with idiots and "take a number".

Adventure is the only shop I can go into in the entire St. Louis area and not have a bunch of wannabees "lurking" taking up counterspace and actually speak to people who know something about the product they are selling which for the most part are the nicer guns that you want/should buy. Not to mention a full line of Magpul and other more tactical nature products on the shelves ready to buy instead of rows and rows of deer related crap.


Next time when you're ready to buy, negotiate with them. If you're reasonable, you'll walk out of there with a fair deal and the procudt you want.


That is what I want to change. A shop that you don't have to wheel and deal and that has everything you want on on the shelves!!
Link Posted: 9/11/2010 8:27:16 AM EDT
Originally Posted By STLMags:
That is what I want to change. A shop that you don't have to wheel and deal and that has everything you want on on the shelves!!


It's going to be harder than you think to pay rent, pay employees, pay fees and licenses, keep electricity and internet, and be able to sell guns and ammo for the same price as big box stores like Bass Pro who pay the same fixed costs as you do but sell 50x what you will. They can afford to make a $2 profit on each gun while you will have to make $100 profit for the same sale just to pay bills. They are also big enough to negotiate with suppliers for a bulk quantity discount, which you won't be able to do.

That's like trying to open up a small grocery store next to Wal-Mart and try to out-Wal-Mart them by having "everything you want on the shelves" at prices "that you don't have to wheel and deal." The stores that try to do that fail. However, clever business owners love to be next to a Wal-Mart because they can offer things you can't get at Wal-Mart, and since everybody goes to Wal-Mart they might as well stop at your shop.

Offer something you can't get at Bass Pro, or Cabelas. Knowledgeable people, who know enough about guns to help a new gun owner get exactly what they need instead of pushing a Taurus Judge on an old lady, or to help a knowledgeable person building a varmint upper to find the free-float rail he wants. Internet kiosks where people can price compare, and place an order through AIMsurplus or SOG, and employees knowledgeable enough to say "maybe you don't want that $299 WASR because of this and this, but this AK from this other company is only a few $$$ more and..."

What else don't you get at Bass Pro or Cabelas? Sell that.

Link Posted: 9/11/2010 8:57:15 AM EDT
A gun store that feels like a gun club. Or a gun club that also contains a store-in the mold of what naked_prophet is describing.

I also believe we need another good reloading shop in the area.

An indoor range, a good classroom/outdoor range facility, and the ability to bring in instructors would be a great feature.

As far as location, I'm partial to the west county/270/44 idea. Columbia does have an indoor range/gunshop. But in my experience they were typical gun store assholes. I like Nick's in Washington, and I've had good dealings at Ruby's Guns in Sullivan. I also can't complain about Pacific Gun and Archery in Gray Summit.

Sharp's, which was in Gray Summit back in the day, had good inventory and prices most of the time, but the owner suffered unpredictable mood swings. I think he eventually got burned out on the business as a result of piss-poor employees, a generally stupid customer base, and increased bureaucracy and risk(he was robbed a few times).

Any new store that starts with idealism and customer service as a main objective will have an uphill battle, IMO. You'll be struggling to get the word out and build your reputation, and then you'll still have to deal with all the B.S. that the other corner shop places face on a day to day basis.

I would graciously accept and patronize a store that gets it right, but I don't hold out much hope that it would last longer than a few years.

Sorry,
Gilt/Joe
Link Posted: 9/11/2010 9:19:00 AM EDT
Originally Posted By the_naked_prophet:
Originally Posted By STLMags:
That is what I want to change. A shop that you don't have to wheel and deal and that has everything you want on on the shelves!!


It's going to be harder than you think to pay rent, pay employees, pay fees and licenses, keep electricity and internet, and be able to sell guns and ammo for the same price as big box stores like Bass Pro who pay the same fixed costs as you do but sell 50x what you will. They can afford to make a $2 profit on each gun while you will have to make $100 profit for the same sale just to pay bills. They are also big enough to negotiate with suppliers for a bulk quantity discount, which you won't be able to do.

That's like trying to open up a small grocery store next to Wal-Mart and try to out-Wal-Mart them by having "everything you want on the shelves" at prices "that you don't have to wheel and deal." The stores that try to do that fail. However, clever business owners love to be next to a Wal-Mart because they can offer things you can't get at Wal-Mart, and since everybody goes to Wal-Mart they might as well stop at your shop.

Offer something you can't get at Bass Pro, or Cabelas. Knowledgeable people, who know enough about guns to help a new gun owner get exactly what they need instead of pushing a Taurus Judge on an old lady, or to help a knowledgeable person building a varmint upper to find the free-float rail he wants. Internet kiosks where people can price compare, and place an order through AIMsurplus or SOG, and employees knowledgeable enough to say "maybe you don't want that $299 WASR because of this and this, but this AK from this other company is only a few $$$ more and..."

What else don't you get at Bass Pro or Cabelas? Sell that.



I like the way you think. I like the Kiosks idea as well. Does anybody think Bass Pro, Cabelas, Wal Mart, etc has the customer's best interest in mind?
Link Posted: 9/11/2010 9:22:04 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Giltweasel:
A gun store that feels like a gun club. Or a gun club that also contains a store-in the mold of what naked_prophet is describing.

I also believe we need another good reloading shop in the area.

An indoor range, a good classroom/outdoor range facility, and the ability to bring in instructors would be a great feature.

As far as location, I'm partial to the west county/270/44 idea. Columbia does have an indoor range/gunshop. But in my experience they were typical gun store assholes. I like Nick's in Washington, and I've had good dealings at Ruby's Guns in Sullivan. I also can't complain about Pacific Gun and Archery in Gray Summit.

Sharp's, which was in Gray Summit back in the day, had good inventory and prices most of the time, but the owner suffered unpredictable mood swings. I think he eventually got burned out on the business as a result of piss-poor employees, a generally stupid customer base, and increased bureaucracy and risk(he was robbed a few times).

Any new store that starts with idealism and customer service as a main objective will have an uphill battle, IMO. You'll be struggling to get the word out and build your reputation, and then you'll still have to deal with all the B.S. that the other corner shop places face on a day to day basis.

I would graciously accept and patronize a store that gets it right, but I don't hold out much hope that it would last longer than a few years.

Sorry,
Gilt/Joe


That has been my experience unfortunately. Most gun shop are typical assholes that have no business in a retail enviroment. I realize it will be an uphill battle, but everything in the retail world is. Geniune people that have an interest in the customer's needs and wants will have a HUGE impact in this region IMO!
Link Posted: 9/11/2010 9:42:23 AM EDT
Originally Posted By STLMags:
I like the way you think. I like the Kiosks idea as well. Does anybody think Bass Pro, Cabelas, Wal Mart, etc has the customer's best interest in mind?



The objective of a business is to make money. Usually, that means giving customers what they want, in a way that makes them happy so they will come back again. Wal-Mart achieves that by buying in bulk and selling a few cents or a few bucks cheaper than most other places can manage, and having practically everything you need in the store, and for most customers for most products, it's worth the lack of customer service and the lack of real high quality goods. However, Wal-Mart lacks the variety of, say, meat cuts that you would find at your local butcher. If the butcher also offers good customer service and higher quality meat than is available at Wal-Mart, then people who value customer service and quality will shop there for meat, and still buy potato chips and cheap Ikea copy furniture at Wal-Mart.

Your objective is to make money. Nothing shameful about that. However, big box stores achieve that objective by stocking everything and selling in high enough volume that they can both negotiate lower prices from the supplier and make less profit per sale. You have to make money by providing something that people can't get elsewhere, that they will be willing to pay for.




Link Posted: 9/11/2010 9:52:14 AM EDT
Originally Posted By the_naked_prophet:
Originally Posted By STLMags:
I like the way you think. I like the Kiosks idea as well. Does anybody think Bass Pro, Cabelas, Wal Mart, etc has the customer's best interest in mind?



The objective of a business is to make money. Usually, that means giving customers what they want, in a way that makes them happy so they will come back again. Wal-Mart achieves that by buying in bulk and selling a few cents or a few bucks cheaper than most other places can manage, and having practically everything you need in the store, and for most customers for most products, it's worth the lack of customer service and the lack of real high quality goods. However, Wal-Mart lacks the variety of, say, meat cuts that you would find at your local butcher. If the butcher also offers good customer service and higher quality meat than is available at Wal-Mart, then people who value customer service and quality will shop there for meat, and still buy potato chips and cheap Ikea copy furniture at Wal-Mart.

Your objective is to make money. Nothing shameful about that. However, big box stores achieve that objective by stocking everything and selling in high enough volume that they can both negotiate lower prices from the supplier and make less profit per sale. You have to make money by providing something that people can't get elsewhere, that they will be willing to pay for.






I dont' disagree with anything you have said. Of course the objective is to make money! You can make money and take care of the customer at the same time though. However what services and products would you like to see offered that the big box stores can't?
Link Posted: 9/11/2010 9:57:54 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/11/2010 10:01:03 AM EDT by lunyou]
Originally Posted By STLMags:
Originally Posted By Giltweasel:
A gun store that feels like a gun club. Or a gun club that also contains a store-in the mold of what naked_prophet is describing.

I also believe we need another good reloading shop in the area.

An indoor range, a good classroom/outdoor range facility, and the ability to bring in instructors would be a great feature.

As far as location, I'm partial to the west county/270/44 idea. Columbia does have an indoor range/gunshop. But in my experience they were typical gun store assholes. I like Nick's in Washington, and I've had good dealings at Ruby's Guns in Sullivan. I also can't complain about Pacific Gun and Archery in Gray Summit.

Sharp's, which was in Gray Summit back in the day, had good inventory and prices most of the time, but the owner suffered unpredictable mood swings. I think he eventually got burned out on the business as a result of piss-poor employees, a generally stupid customer base, and increased bureaucracy and risk(he was robbed a few times).

Any new store that starts with idealism and customer service as a main objective will have an uphill battle, IMO. You'll be struggling to get the word out and build your reputation, and then you'll still have to deal with all the B.S. that the other corner shop places face on a day to day basis.

I would graciously accept and patronize a store that gets it right, but I don't hold out much hope that it would last longer than a few years.

Sorry,
Gilt/Joe


That has been my experience unfortunately. Most gun shop are typical assholes that have no business in a retail enviroment. I realize it will be an uphill battle, but everything in the retail world is. Geniune people that have an interest in the customer's needs and wants will have a HUGE impact in this region IMO!


Here's the question. Can you afford to have a $3K Larue OBR sitting on the shelf for two months? Can you afford to have a $2400 SCAR not move out the door for months?

You can be a high end tactical shop but you won't move product like you think you will. Secondly you cannot specialize in everything, keep the prices competitive with big box/Internet shops. For example, I just bought that Flash hider for my FAL for $52.00 shipped
To my door from Midway. You can't beat that especially if I have to drive STC to get it.

I'm saying if you want to specialize in something pick something and just sell the rest. If you want to specialize in accessories do it, that might be where it's at. Then sell rifles. If you want to specialize in high end OBRs, ACRs, SCARs, FS2000s etc go ahead just know that you might end up having to "make a months profit on one sale" as Jerry(I think) mentioned.

If I were going to start a gun shop right now I would find a place that is lacking a serious gun shop but has the sustained income to support a shop, and I would offer something they can't get in a few miles drive. That thing would be variety. I wouldn't deal much in Fudd guns but would have an open catalog/PC(kiosk) sitting on my counter so they could order if they want. My main offerings would be custom "to your specs" ARs. I'm not talking stupid high end rifles that you order online, wait 3 months, and finally get it. I'm talking simple rifles that the customer can outfit, tweak, and "design" on their own sitting/standing in the shop. Much like you can do at brownells, midway, DTI, etc.

And you know what I would carry? Freaking ladder rail covers in black, green, and tan. I can't find any anywhere in a shop. I would carry them just to say I did. Haha.
Link Posted: 9/11/2010 10:10:41 AM EDT
Originally Posted By lunyou:
Originally Posted By STLMags:
Originally Posted By Giltweasel:
A gun store that feels like a gun club. Or a gun club that also contains a store-in the mold of what naked_prophet is describing.

I also believe we need another good reloading shop in the area.

An indoor range, a good classroom/outdoor range facility, and the ability to bring in instructors would be a great feature.

As far as location, I'm partial to the west county/270/44 idea. Columbia does have an indoor range/gunshop. But in my experience they were typical gun store assholes. I like Nick's in Washington, and I've had good dealings at Ruby's Guns in Sullivan. I also can't complain about Pacific Gun and Archery in Gray Summit.

Sharp's, which was in Gray Summit back in the day, had good inventory and prices most of the time, but the owner suffered unpredictable mood swings. I think he eventually got burned out on the business as a result of piss-poor employees, a generally stupid customer base, and increased bureaucracy and risk(he was robbed a few times).

Any new store that starts with idealism and customer service as a main objective will have an uphill battle, IMO. You'll be struggling to get the word out and build your reputation, and then you'll still have to deal with all the B.S. that the other corner shop places face on a day to day basis.

I would graciously accept and patronize a store that gets it right, but I don't hold out much hope that it would last longer than a few years.

Sorry,
Gilt/Joe


That has been my experience unfortunately. Most gun shop are typical assholes that have no business in a retail enviroment. I realize it will be an uphill battle, but everything in the retail world is. Geniune people that have an interest in the customer's needs and wants will have a HUGE impact in this region IMO!


Here's the question. Can you afford to have a $3K Larue OBR sitting on the shelf for two months? Can you afford to have a $2400 SCAR not move out the door for months?

You can be a high end tactical shop but you won't move product like you think you will. Secondly you cannot specialize in everything, keep the prices competitive with big box/Internet shops. For example, I just bought that Flash hider for my FAL for $52.00 shipped
To my door from Midway. You can't beat that especially if I have to drive STC to get it.

I'm saying if you want to specialize in something pick something and just sell the rest. If you want to specialize in accessories do it, that might be where it's at. Then sell rifles. If you want to specialize in high end OBRs, ACRs, SCARs, FS2000s etc go ahead just know that you might end up having to "make a months profit on one sale" as Jerry(I think) mentioned.

If I were going to start a gun shop right now I would find a place that is lacking a serious gun shop but has the sustained income to support a shop, and I would offer something they can't get in a few miles drive. That thing would be variety. I wouldn't deal much in Fudd guns but would have an open catalog/PC(kiosk) sitting on my counter so they could order if they want. My main offerings would be custom "to your specs" ARs. I'm not talking stupid high end rifles that you order online, wait 3 months, and finally get it. I'm talking simple rifles that the customer can outfit, tweak, and "design" on their own sitting/standing in the shop. Much like you can do at brownells, midway, DTI, etc.

And you know what I would carry? Freaking ladder rail covers in black, green, and tan. I can't find any anywhere in a shop. I would carry them just to say I did. Haha.


Where in the St. Louis area has a serious gun shop? I can't think of one! I do agree on variety...I am thinking of carrying stuff you can't get at the big box stores, have the capability of getting anything the customer would want, have some high end stuff, maybe have a specialty in customization and gunsmithing. Reloading is something I would want as well. Again I am just brainstorming here and when I do it I want to do it right. I have the $$$, but I want to do it right the first time.
Link Posted: 9/11/2010 10:31:12 AM EDT
I think it's called Mikes in St Peters is a nice, no nonsense, shop. Tons if pistols, ad a good selection on rifles from AKs to Socom 16: to ARs. There are others and Cabelas/Bass Pro have the "Fudd" market cornered. 417 guns in Springfield has a right idea. They know they cannot beat BP in hunting sales so they only keep a few hunting specific rifles on the shelf and specialize in the tactical sector.

As bad as I hate to say it I think the gun shop business has hit bottom for a while.

Originally Posted By STLMags:
Originally Posted By lunyou:
Originally Posted By STLMags:
Originally Posted By Giltweasel:
A gun store that feels like a gun club. Or a gun club that also contains a store-in the mold of what naked_prophet is describing.

I also believe we need another good reloading shop in the area.

An indoor range, a good classroom/outdoor range facility, and the ability to bring in instructors would be a great feature.

As far as location, I'm partial to the west county/270/44 idea. Columbia does have an indoor range/gunshop. But in my experience they were typical gun store assholes. I like Nick's in Washington, and I've had good dealings at Ruby's Guns in Sullivan. I also can't complain about Pacific Gun and Archery in Gray Summit.

Sharp's, which was in Gray Summit back in the day, had good inventory and prices most of the time, but the owner suffered unpredictable mood swings. I think he eventually got burned out on the business as a result of piss-poor employees, a generally stupid customer base, and increased bureaucracy and risk(he was robbed a few times).

Any new store that starts with idealism and customer service as a main objective will have an uphill battle, IMO. You'll be struggling to get the word out and build your reputation, and then you'll still have to deal with all the B.S. that the other corner shop places face on a day to day basis.

I would graciously accept and patronize a store that gets it right, but I don't hold out much hope that it would last longer than a few years.

Sorry,
Gilt/Joe


That has been my experience unfortunately. Most gun shop are typical assholes that have no business in a retail enviroment. I realize it will be an uphill battle, but everything in the retail world is. Geniune people that have an interest in the customer's needs and wants will have a HUGE impact in this region IMO!


Here's the question. Can you afford to have a $3K Larue OBR sitting on the shelf for two months? Can you afford to have a $2400 SCAR not move out the door for months?

You can be a high end tactical shop but you won't move product like you think you will. Secondly you cannot specialize in everything, keep the prices competitive with big box/Internet shops. For example, I just bought that Flash hider for my FAL for $52.00 shipped
To my door from Midway. You can't beat that especially if I have to drive STC to get it.

I'm saying if you want to specialize in something pick something and just sell the rest. If you want to specialize in accessories do it, that might be where it's at. Then sell rifles. If you want to specialize in high end OBRs, ACRs, SCARs, FS2000s etc go ahead just know that you might end up having to "make a months profit on one sale" as Jerry(I think) mentioned.

If I were going to start a gun shop right now I would find a place that is lacking a serious gun shop but has the sustained income to support a shop, and I would offer something they can't get in a few miles drive. That thing would be variety. I wouldn't deal much in Fudd guns but would have an open catalog/PC(kiosk) sitting on my counter so they could order if they want. My main offerings would be custom "to your specs" ARs. I'm not talking stupid high end rifles that you order online, wait 3 months, and finally get it. I'm talking simple rifles that the customer can outfit, tweak, and "design" on their own sitting/standing in the shop. Much like you can do at brownells, midway, DTI, etc.

And you know what I would carry? Freaking ladder rail covers in black, green, and tan. I can't find any anywhere in a shop. I would carry them just to say I did. Haha.


Where in the St. Louis area has a serious gun shop? I can't think of one! I do agree on variety...I am thinking of carrying stuff you can't get at the big box stores, have the capability of getting anything the customer would want, have some high end stuff, maybe have a specialty in customization and gunsmithing. Reloading is something I would want as well. Again I am just brainstorming here and when I do it I want to do it right. I have the $$$, but I want to do it right the first time.


Link Posted: 9/11/2010 10:53:38 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/11/2010 10:57:20 AM EDT by STLMags]
Originally Posted By lunyou:
I think it's called Mikes in St Peters is a nice, no nonsense, shop. Tons if pistols, ad a good selection on rifles from AKs to Socom 16: to ARs. There are others and Cabelas/Bass Pro have the "Fudd" market cornered. 417 guns in Springfield has a right idea. They know they cannot beat BP in hunting sales so they only keep a few hunting specific rifles on the shelf and specialize in the tactical sector.

As bad as I hate to say it I think the gun shop business has hit bottom for a while.

Originally Posted By STLMags:
Originally Posted By lunyou:
Originally Posted By STLMags:
Originally Posted By Giltweasel:
A gun store that feels like a gun club. Or a gun club that also contains a store-in the mold of what naked_prophet is describing.

I also believe we need another good reloading shop in the area.

An indoor range, a good classroom/outdoor range facility, and the ability to bring in instructors would be a great feature.

As far as location, I'm partial to the west county/270/44 idea. Columbia does have an indoor range/gunshop. But in my experience they were typical gun store assholes. I like Nick's in Washington, and I've had good dealings at Ruby's Guns in Sullivan. I also can't complain about Pacific Gun and Archery in Gray Summit.

Sharp's, which was in Gray Summit back in the day, had good inventory and prices most of the time, but the owner suffered unpredictable mood swings. I think he eventually got burned out on the business as a result of piss-poor employees, a generally stupid customer base, and increased bureaucracy and risk(he was robbed a few times).

Any new store that starts with idealism and customer service as a main objective will have an uphill battle, IMO. You'll be struggling to get the word out and build your reputation, and then you'll still have to deal with all the B.S. that the other corner shop places face on a day to day basis.

I would graciously accept and patronize a store that gets it right, but I don't hold out much hope that it would last longer than a few years.

Sorry,
Gilt/Joe


That has been my experience unfortunately. Most gun shop are typical assholes that have no business in a retail enviroment. I realize it will be an uphill battle, but everything in the retail world is. Geniune people that have an interest in the customer's needs and wants will have a HUGE impact in this region IMO!


Here's the question. Can you afford to have a $3K Larue OBR sitting on the shelf for two months? Can you afford to have a $2400 SCAR not move out the door for months?

You can be a high end tactical shop but you won't move product like you think you will. Secondly you cannot specialize in everything, keep the prices competitive with big box/Internet shops. For example, I just bought that Flash hider for my FAL for $52.00 shipped
To my door from Midway. You can't beat that especially if I have to drive STC to get it.

I'm saying if you want to specialize in something pick something and just sell the rest. If you want to specialize in accessories do it, that might be where it's at. Then sell rifles. If you want to specialize in high end OBRs, ACRs, SCARs, FS2000s etc go ahead just know that you might end up having to "make a months profit on one sale" as Jerry(I think) mentioned.

If I were going to start a gun shop right now I would find a place that is lacking a serious gun shop but has the sustained income to support a shop, and I would offer something they can't get in a few miles drive. That thing would be variety. I wouldn't deal much in Fudd guns but would have an open catalog/PC(kiosk) sitting on my counter so they could order if they want. My main offerings would be custom "to your specs" ARs. I'm not talking stupid high end rifles that you order online, wait 3 months, and finally get it. I'm talking simple rifles that the customer can outfit, tweak, and "design" on their own sitting/standing in the shop. Much like you can do at brownells, midway, DTI, etc.

And you know what I would carry? Freaking ladder rail covers in black, green, and tan. I can't find any anywhere in a shop. I would carry them just to say I did. Haha.


Where in the St. Louis area has a serious gun shop? I can't think of one! I do agree on variety...I am thinking of carrying stuff you can't get at the big box stores, have the capability of getting anything the customer would want, have some high end stuff, maybe have a specialty in customization and gunsmithing. Reloading is something I would want as well. Again I am just brainstorming here and when I do it I want to do it right. I have the $$$, but I want to do it right the first time.




I will have to check out Mikes as I have never been there. I can't even find a website for them.
Link Posted: 9/11/2010 12:04:28 PM EDT
Originally Posted By STLMags:

I will have to check out Mikes as I have never been there. I can't even find a website for them.[/div]

Thats the funny thing about all of this talk. Mike's is so well known and liked that they dont need no stinking website. And a website FOR THEM would only raise the cost and time of operating. I would stay away from a website unless you plan to use it to sell both on-line and brick n motor. Yellow pages and word of mouth, esp via word of mouth if you have this super customer service. Then the word will get out about your shop.

BTW STLMag, I dont think anyone is busting your chops, just trying to help you see all angles. And someone else said it, but it needs to be said again. At this time with consumer confidence running low. Some people are holding off making purchases. Others due to the changes in CC policies are trying to pay down their CC balances. So the amount of free dollars to spend on such things has diminished.

Link Posted: 9/11/2010 12:17:37 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Max-Paul:
Originally Posted By STLMags:

I will have to check out Mikes as I have never been there. I can't even find a website for them.[/div]

Thats the funny thing about all of this talk. Mike's is so well known and liked that they dont need no stinking website. And a website FOR THEM would only raise the cost and time of operating. I would stay away from a website unless you plan to use it to sell both on-line and brick n motor. Yellow pages and word of mouth, esp via word of mouth if you have this super customer service. Then the word will get out about your shop.

BTW STLMag, I dont think anyone is busting your chops, just trying to help you see all angles. And someone else said it, but it needs to be said again. At this time with consumer confidence running low. Some people are holding off making purchases. Others due to the changes in CC policies are trying to pay down their CC balances. So the amount of free dollars to spend on such things has diminished.



Mikes is pretty well known and every time I would ask where to go while in the area Mikes was the winner.



Link Posted: 9/11/2010 12:51:05 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Max-Paul:
Originally Posted By STLMags:

I will have to check out Mikes as I have never been there. I can't even find a website for them.[/div]

Thats the funny thing about all of this talk. Mike's is so well known and liked that they dont need no stinking website. And a website FOR THEM would only raise the cost and time of operating. I would stay away from a website unless you plan to use it to sell both on-line and brick n motor. Yellow pages and word of mouth, esp via word of mouth if you have this super customer service. Then the word will get out about your shop.

BTW STLMag, I dont think anyone is busting your chops, just trying to help you see all angles. And someone else said it, but it needs to be said again. At this time with consumer confidence running low. Some people are holding off making purchases. Others due to the changes in CC policies are trying to pay down their CC balances. So the amount of free dollars to spend on such things has diminished.



I appreciate the input. I would want a website to market outside of the St. Louis area. I have in no way shape or form thought anyone has been busting my chops. I want to see everything from all angles especially from you guys!
Link Posted: 9/11/2010 1:04:24 PM EDT
I like Mikes as well because he has the best prices and gives the best money for trades ... however a first timer isn't going to be impressed when they walk in. Nassau right up the street is more impressive, but I don't like dealing with them nearly as much. Top Gun in Imperial has a very nice new shop and range, but they way they tried to ass f**k me on my last trade I won't ever be going back. Then the new On Target is a very nice setup as well, and nice people running the show.

I can't imagine a new gun shop having much success, you'd have to create a new angle and be very aggressive in getting the word out through as many channels as possible. The combination of a great gun shop experience along with an Outfitter could be successful, but the overhead and startup costs would be enormous. Maybe if you took a great gun shop, get a top notch Gunsmith on staff as well to do the work right there, and throw in the Outfitter angle ... then you might really have something. You can always stock high end stuff, and if it doesn't move in a few months list it on Gunbroker for your cost.

You could easily offer made to order AR's while you wait ... like getting a new pair of glasses. Just keep a few different lowers assembled to chose from, and build from there. Starting with an assembled lower it's no problem to finish one off in an hour.
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