June Shooting Industry: Sell Experiences, Not Products To Millennials/GenZ

Their sizable economic force has established millennials and Generation Z as a key demographic for several industries, the shooting sports included. The June issue of Shooting Industryreveals the ways dealers are meeting the challenge of engaging this burgeoning group of consumers to create lifelong enthusiasts.

A focus on creating experiences rather than pushing products is one way ranges have thrived in attracting the next generation of shooters. Themed events and staying up on digital marketing trends is helping the businesses featured in “Generation Next: Sell Experiences, Not Products” introduce the shooting sports to younger generations.

“We realized a significant portion of millennials’ only experience with firearms was through playing video games or watching them in movies. So, we created events to help simulate these scenes within the safety of our range,” shares Paul Bastean, managing director at Ultimate Defense Firing Range and Training Center in St. Peters, Mo.

Unusual offerings like 7.7 Japanese and 6.5 Carcano have their place among the 9mm and .45 ACP cartridges at Frank’s Gun Shop in Gloversville, N.Y. After 60 years in business and watching the market ebb and flow, Owner John Havlick takes a shrewd approach when it comes to stocking shelves with ammunition and reloading supplies: “Carry the odd stuff. When you get people in the store, they’ll buy other stuff.”

Added features in the June issue include Doug VanderWoude’s “Tips For Expanding Sales At Your Range” — in some cases it’s as easy as driving activity with … activity! In tandem, Southwick Associates provides a closer look at range sales with “Preferences & Motivations Of Indoor Range Users.” Aiming to increase bowhunting profits? Carolee Anita Boyles explains why adding products associated with this category to your inventory is worth considering.

Rounding out the issue, the Personal Defense Market column highlights the winning combination a Northern California range has found by offering firearms, archery and training. To successfully reach millennials and GenZ, the Everyday Marketing installment lends tangible tips to tap into this unique group’s buying power. The Well Armed Woman’s Carrie Lightfoot outlines tips to better connect with your female customers in the Arms & The Woman column.

The June issue is available in its entirety online at Have a thought while reading the issue? Let the SI team know at or