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#3127701 - 01/16/13 10:57 PM New Outdoor Business
6 Point

Registered: 01/01/13
Posts: 786
Loc: Murfreesboro, TN

I'm thinking about opening an outdoor shop. I'm wondering if there are any forum members who currently own one or have any experience with it. Any input is appreciated!
No hunt is all skill. If not for a little luck, no one would hunt.

#3127726 - 01/16/13 11:24 PM Re: New Outdoor Business [Re: jlmustain]
10 Point

Registered: 08/22/06
Posts: 2701
Loc: Bartlett, TN

I've haven't seen many small shops stay in business. In the Memphis area, I've seen a half dozen or so crater after 5 or 6 years (tops) of running. The biggest problems I saw with the smaller shops was the seasonal shifts. They would have shelves full of expensive winter hunting clothes, and around March of course none of it would sell. It's hard to move through inventory when you are just getting started, and the inventory for outdoors businesses is typically expensive. Heck...for that reason alone, steer clear of extensive hunting clothes selections! Fishing gear is cheaper and good for all seasons, but hunting stuff can be a headache.

I think the main reason is that folks primarily shop with their eyes fixed on the price tags. If a big chain like Bass Pro can get better deals with strategic pricing agreements and/or buying in bulk, then they can sell the same item for less.

Big outdoors stores use the same tactic as regular retailers - they sell a few things at low prices to get folks inside, and the rest of the stuff is either regular priced or marked up. No one says "I'll drive across town to that little shop to save 3 dollars on this pair of socks", so they just go ahead and get the pricier stuff while there.

All that said, if you were in a situation where there was little or no competition, OR you could find some items to sell that put you on the map (specialty stuff, locally produced, etc.), then you might have a shot.

Another good idea might be to integrate a related business into your building. Two examples that jump to mind would be if you had an indoor archery and/or gun range at the back of the store. Those aren't so common, and one side of the business would increase traffic to the other.

If you pull the trigger on this, hire yourself a college kid that does web design to push your business on the social media side of things. Most folks are passionate about the outdoors stuff but know nothing about advertising, then lose a lot of their money on the front end from lack of business.

Good luck, and be sure to let us know if you move on this!
I'm hungry and tired. Don't poke my belly.

#3127770 - 01/17/13 03:18 AM Re: New Outdoor Business [Re: Crosshairy]
Michael Waddell stunt double
10 Point

Registered: 09/25/11
Posts: 4160
Loc: Cunningham TN

Some good advice there I would say
#3128093 - 01/17/13 10:17 AM Re: New Outdoor Business [Re: TRIGGER]
4 Point

Registered: 10/21/09
Posts: 159
Loc: Chattanooga, TN

I love Academy but a lot of local guys shut down when they come in town.
#3128153 - 01/17/13 10:58 AM Re: New Outdoor Business [Re: Crosshairy]
14 Point

Registered: 11/06/09
Posts: 9856
Loc: Memphis

 Originally Posted By: Crosshairy

All that said, if you were in a situation where there was little or no competition, OR you could find some items to sell that put you on the map (specialty stuff, locally produced, etc.), then you might have a shot.

In the day and age of the internet, I'd say you don't have any more of a shot even without local competition from big box retailers. They're on the web and deliver anywhere.
Everything important in life was learned from Mary Jo Kopechne.

#3128234 - 01/17/13 11:37 AM Re: New Outdoor Business [Re: TAFKAP]
16 Point

Registered: 08/10/06
Posts: 11641
Loc: Knox

You have to have a niche. Great idea on gun / archery range. Another idea would be to partner with it at least have a Ton if info on outdoor experiences,
Like hunting/ fishing outfitters, river rafting tours , zip lines, hiking options.
Become an expert in those things and when people come in to find out about those things sell them the equipment they need or want..,,

#3128256 - 01/17/13 11:48 AM Re: New Outdoor Business [Re: leader]
14 Point

Registered: 11/30/00
Posts: 7579
Loc: Murfreesboro, TN

My brother and I checked into the idea thirty years ago. It would even be harder and much more expensive than it was back then. In today's market, every manufacturer either changes their product line or adds to their existing line, making a least some of "last year's" models obsolete. If you have half a million just sitting around for starters and you don't need a paycheck for a few years, go for it.
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