Face it, most gun stores suck. Big time. Far too many of them are dark and dingy, poorly stocked, located in iffy neighborhoods and staffed by cranky, greasy-fingered old bastards as friendly as Brezhnev and sorely in need of a Tic Tac. Or six. It’s bad enough dealing with stores like that if you’re a reasonably experienced “gun person.” But can you imagine what shopping there is like for a rank noob? Let alone a woman wanting a little advice for buying her first gun…
But there’s no earthly reason it has to be that way. Here, in a medium-sized metropolitan area, we have our share of retailers with those depressing storefronts displaying guns in dark glass cases like the condoms and Playboys at the corner Rexall. Those places have been around for years but I won’t spend my money there and can’t figure out why anyone else does.
But we also have gun stores that are clean and bright with the guns attractively displayed. The owners have obviously done a little research into effective merchandising. They’ve figured out that if you display ancillaries like holsters, magazines, cleaning supplies, etc., in an easily accessible, attractive manner, you actually sell more of them.
I’m not saying that gun stores need to be as sleek and attractive as an Apple store. Wait, come to think of it, why the hell not? Clearly, you can’t leave the heaters out for customers to pick up and try out on their own. But why can’t they be displayed well, lit attractively and have things like, oh, prices in plain view?
Are there gun sellers you won’t patronize because they’re staffed by jerks that make you feel like an idiot? Stores that make you want to take a shower when you leave? What is it that makes a gun store good in your book?