Archery Retailers vs. Archery Manufacturers

The 2011 Archery Business Dealers of the Year weigh in on some of their industry “pet peeves”—including how gear manufacturers can help pro shop retailers survive.
Archery Retailers vs. Archery Manufacturers

Archery Business: What are some of your archery industry “pet peeves”?

Timothy Cherok, Ultimate Outdoors, Plum Boro, Pennsylvania:

“The one issue that we seem to scratch our heads over every year is why the bow manufacturers are so concerned with introducing the new bows so early in the year. After all, most of the bow companies aren’t even ready to ship the new product within a two-week lead time until early spring anyway. I think I’d rather see the manufacturers keep busy building the products for the year up until the ATA Show, so they will be ready to ship promptly when the orders are placed at the Show.

archery problems“Coincidentally, the accessory companies aren’t completely ready to ship their new lineup until spring anyway. So it seems to me that if the bow companies and the accessory companies would work in harmony, sometime in early spring, a consumer could actually set up a new model year bow with the latest choices in accessories. Oh yeah—and I’d actually have time to sit in a tree and enjoy the remainder of my hunting season without having to worry about when the new bows are coming out. If you’re [a pro shop retailer and] not completely burned out by the end of October, then please pass along your secret to me.”

Jason Kindzia, Ultimate Outdoors, Plum Boro, Pennsylvania:

“I get to vent a little!”

Peeve #1—“Archery business requires knowledge and quality service. Even though I [believe] pro shops should not compete with chain stores, I do believe that too much archery product is available at chain stores. But, of course, the required level of service is not available at those stores. Unfortunately, a lot of people getting into archery do not realize that the service is so important. Eventually they may learn that they need better help and may seek out a pro shop. But, I feel we should have that business from the beginning. I would imagine there are too many archers who purchased from a chain, and think their bow is set up properly. They may never know that the bow could be shooting so much better. I commend the bow companies who will not put their product into chains at all. In general, I think archery product manufacturers should do a better job in product placement.”pet peeve

Peeve #2—“Bow companies should not introduce new bows until January or after the ATA Show. I don’t think any dealer really wants to think about new product during the tail end of the extremely hectic and stressful busy season. I also think it would be less stressful on the bow companies themselves. They could also concentrate on finishing the current archery season, and then have a break to prepare for the new introductions. My guess is there would be fewer imperfections with the new models if they would wait a few months. It would also give us the ability to sell more of the current-year product inventory.”

Peeve #3—“As the product quality has increased over the years, warranty claims, especially with bows, have drastically decreased. However, they still exist, and with a busy shop like ours, we unfortunately have to deal with more than we would like. In so many facets of industry, warranty repairs are compensated by the manufacturers—but not in the archery world. Most people who purchase a product that becomes defective will automatically go to where they bought it for warranty service [a pro shop], even though [the pro shop] did not manufacture the product. With our business, we want to offer that service for the customer, but feel that we should be compensated for a time-consuming process.”

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