Author: Jackie Holbrook
Snaps on social media and word-of-mouth reviews build hype around #ATA2019. But because it’s a members-only event, your customers count on you to bring home the excitement when you stock your shop with the latest products from the Show. From AXCEL sights to Zeiss optics, Atomic Rods to Zink Game Calls, and everything in between, the ATA Trade Show is packed with products ready for purchase.
“Our customers are always looking for the Show stopper, so we will see what that is this year,” said Mark Kruizenga, owner of Kruizenga Archery in Mattawan, Michigan. Besides looking at what’s new, crossbows and crossbow accessories are at the top of Kruizenga’s buying list this year because of the rising number of hunters using crossbows in his home state.
Are broadheads on your purchase list this year? Photo credit: ATA
Some retailers attend #ATA2019 with a very narrow focus. “My job is to purchase broadheads for the shop,” said Larry Whiffen of Whiffen Archery. Whiffen is a broadhead connoisseur; he has a collection of over 5,000 broadheads. He says his customers count on him to find the right broadhead to get the job done.
Whiffen says he places most of his orders at the Show and tries to get a variety of broadheads stocked in the shop for all ages. “I preferred a fix blade for kids,” Whiffen said. “What we found from talking to the kids in the shop is that the mechanicals didn’t work for them.”
Some retailers like to take it all in before placing orders at the Show. “We actually don’t come looking for anything specific,” said Troy Thielbar of Trophy Hunters Supply in Seymour, Wisconsin. “We’ve got our eyes open for anything. So, whatever is new that we think is going to sell in our shop, that’s what we’re looking for.”
In the weeks leading up to the ATA Trade Show, Thielbar looks at the shop’s best-sellers to get an idea of what’s popular with customers. “For instance, lighted nocks, we sell a lot of Nockturnal lighted nocks and there’s a Glory Nock out there that I think is better.”
What arrows are you excited to see this year? Photo credit: ATA
New nocks and other arrow accessories are popular with a lot of retailers. The newest lineup of arrows is also a big draw at the Show. “I want to look at the new Easton Arrows,” said Jacob Vallee with Reedy’s Archery in Middleborough, Massachusetts. “I’d say the new taper design from 6 millimeters down to 4 millimeters.”
“Everywhere I look there are new products I want to see,” said John Hudson with Deadhead Archery in Queen City, Texas. “I get a lot of 3-D shooters in the shop, and they’re always looking for some kind of advantage with arrows or a rest. So, every time I come they want to know about the newest and best.”
There are many bows being featured this year. Check them out! Photo credit: ATA
Many archers are drawn to the shooting lanes to give their best shot at testing the 2019 lineup of bows. “I’m really interested to see the 2019 models from Gearhead Archery,” said Tony Warden of Warden’s Outdoor Supply in Dearborn, Michigan. “They’ve come out with some pretty neat stuff.”
Warden prepares for the ATA Trade Show by reviewing sales and inventory, reading trade magazines and conducting online research. “I go through all the different exhibitors and then check off the ones that I really feel that we need to look at. By day three, that’s when we start signing deals.”
Warden does about 90 percent of his yearly buying at the Show. “I find that if I get the deals here we can take advantage of the special buys and it really helps our bottom line.”
Tina Jenkins with Archery Spot Guns & More in Camden, Michigan does about 75 percent of the shop’s orders at the Trade Show. “This year we are looking at the BIGshot Video Range system.”
Retailers who have a good idea of what they’re looking for can use the official 2019 ATA Trade Show mobile app for a complete list of exhibitors. The app has booth numbers and a map that allows you to map the booth location and find your location on the floor.
What’s on your wish list this year? Share your favorite new products on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram with #ATA2019.