Most archery retailers have lots of experience prepping their stores for deer season, but preparing for turkey season might not come as naturally. If you’re stuck or short of ideas, ATA’s Kurt Smith, director of industry relations; and Nicole Nash, ATA’s range and retail programs manager, can help.
Use their tips to make the most of turkey season.
Consider having someone from the NWTF give a seminar on turkey hunting at your shop. Photo Credit: Republican Herald
Customers look to you and your team for expert advice on gear, hunting strategies and more. If you don’t know much about hunting or bowhunting turkeys, try to study up so you can confidently recommend products, discuss the sport, and build enthusiasm for it. Be honest about your experience. If you aren’t comfortable suggesting products, carry several options and explain their chief strengths to help customers decide. You could also hire a sales specialist to help.
Smith suggests retailers ask local experts to give seminars at their shop each winter or early spring. Contact a local National Wild Turkey Federation chapter for leads in your area. They might recommend a wildlife biologist or an experienced NWTF member. Manufacturer representatives might also help. Be sure they discuss turkey calls, habitats and hunting strategies, and demo products you sell.
Create a timely atmosphere for turkey hunters. Place decoys near your entrance. Hang pictures of strutting toms, and posters that identify shot placements on gobblers. Also make sure your range includes paper or 3D turkey targets. These enhancements build excitement for turkey season, and give your shop a competitive edge over other stores.
To further impress customers, Nash suggests creating a turkey-hunting setup on your range. Pop up a blind to help bowhunters learn how to move and shoot in tight spaces. Put up fake Christmas trees or other obstacles downrange. Offer a fun shoot or league that focuses on turkey season. Go the extra mile to help your customers succeed in the woods. It’s a great way to show you appreciate their business.
Place products specific to turkey hunting in the same area. Photo Credit: ATA
Stocking the right gear for turkey season is crucial, but strategically displaying these products boosts sales. Make sure you carry items your customers need, including blinds and broadheads designed for turkey hunting. And because turkeys have phenomenal eyesight, bowhunters need head-to-toe camouflage. Stock camo gloves, neck gaiters and facemasks throughout the season because hunters often lose or misplace them.
Once you have the right turkey-hunting gear, group the products in a display to help customers find them. Smith also recommends displays like end-caps or racks near the check-out counter to highlight products and trigger impulse sales. Place end-cap displays in high-traffic areas so they’re visible. Then use signs and turkey-hunting products to tell a story. Make sure the display is well-lighted and looks appealing from all angles.
To give turkey hunters a reason to pop in throughout the season, Nash recommends a “brag board” and/or “biggest bird” contest. These interactive efforts encourage hunters to share the fun of their success and connect with others. As customers check the results or submit their entry or photos, they’ll often browse and buy products from your eye-catching racks and displays. Win-win.
With a little work, you can maximize your store for turkey season and increase sales. Good luck!
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