Top Of The Range, Right!

Gill Peters of Range Right explains how the business has changed in 22 years

Since Range Right first started up business in 1996 they’ve become a well recognised name in the UK firearms trade. Gill Peters has been the driving force behind the company’s growth for over two decades now. From bedroom-based admin and sales and dispatches from a garage, the business quickly grew and soon moved to commercial premises in Harrogate to distribute exclusive brands.

“The business has not really changed in terms of ethos or service,” explains Gill. “I have always believed that if it isn’t broken, there is no reason to fix it. I think the difference is our focus on our own exclusive brands. We are a general wholesaler with an awful lot of brands, and we have been building up a lot of relationships with exclusive brands for the UK, as well as supporting other wholesalers by way of reciprocal business.”

With several such deals in place – including exclusive deals with Konus, Kral, Sabatti and Huglu – Range Right have certainly marked themselves out. “We haven’t been working with Huglu for long; they have been exclusive since the autumn of last year,” says Gill. “It’s a partnership that is still in its infancy, and one we are very excited about. as they continue to grow, so do we.

“We also work with Sabatti. the main change there has been their increase in rifles. They are bringing a lot of innovative technology to the industry. They are a long-established brand, however they have not been distributed efficiently in the UK. This will be our sixth year working with them, and although it is difficult to re-establish a brand that is out of the public eye, they are an excellent family business that want to work with the UK market.”

With so many brands to juggle, it’s no small task ensuring that suppliers are well served – a task that Gill knows only too well. She laughs: “I recently had this very thought to myself. I deal with all suppliers. I had a number of enquiries over the bank holiday and it is becoming more difficult. it’s like spinning plates – the more brands we work with, the more time is required. Some queries take five minutes but other take much longer. For example, new Sabatti products have highly technical specifications, but that said, we do give all of our exclusive brands an even crack of the whip.

“We also have other non-exclusives but they are equally important for us. It’s ingrained in the Range Right ethos that stocks and service are of a high quality. Non-exclusive brands are equally important to the suppliers as they have established a ‘one stop shop’ for the trade.

Range Right now employ 11 people covering sales, marketing, operations, warehousing and customer service. Gill’s son, Jake peters, drives sales, organises dealer days and works closely with dealers to establish Range Right’s successful infrastructure. He is impeccably supported by Rob Saville, who looks after operations and logistics on a day to day basis.

Since Keith retired 10 years ago, the business has continued to grow and evolve. “[Keith] used to pop in for a cup of tea and comment on how big the business was growing,” says Gill. “We didn’t have any exclusive brands 10 years ago. We have increased the business premises to stock more goods, and this has enabled us to take on more exclusive lines.

“We really wouldn’t have been able to work with the brands that we do today if we didn’t invest in the premises and staff to do it. Looking ahead, we are hoping to increase the sales force; this role will help us get exclusive brands in front of customers.

“We have quite a young team. They are enthusiastic, and they are all keen on shooting themselves. As keen shooters, they want to see Range Right go from strength to strength and keep on growing, whereas I’m looking to wind down a bit. I’m not retiring any time soon, I hasten to add…”

Range Right manage a vast portfolio, shifting their marketing in accordance with market dynamics, seasonality and competitors. “Everything we sell gets an equal marketing push. We are able to do this as our brands do not compete with one another,” comments Gill. “Everything goes into our colour catalogue, so we make sure that everything gets fair representation. Of course if a business brings out something new, we tend to hone in on that.

“We do give extra attention to our exclusive brands. Where we have an exclusive in the UK we focus on careful, long-term development of the brand within the market,” adds Gill.

In the two years since we last caught up with Range Right, the key brands – Crosman, Sabatti, Kral et al – have been joined by Konus, a popular addition. “We are proud to distribute all of the products that we do. however, a brand that really excites me is the Konus,” says Gill.

“This is because they are a growing company, and not only do they supply excellent optics but their depth of products is brilliant – not just their optics. We have been a distributor for coming up to two years (in September) and they have ranges for binoculars, riflescopes and they are even branching into clothing lines. They really have their finger on the pulse.”

Also embracing the digital era, the business has diversified its marketing across a range of different platforms including a revamped website. “We have invested [in the website], regularly updating it and making it fit for purpose. this in turn helps us to be more proactive with marketing. i am keen to develop and expand on what we have already achieved along with maintaining and nurturing our core business,” comments Gill.

“We do have more exciting exclusive UK distribution deals in the pipeline. although, like two years ago, I can’t really expand. we currently have something exciting on the table and I am flying out to see them in a few days – I can’t say where. I hate the cliché ‘watch this space’ but I am always cautious until the ink is dry on the contract. Hopefully we will be bringing some exciting new brands to the UK soon, but we will still have things coming through with our existing exclusives.

“When we are looking at new brands we initially look at the quality and brand reputation. innovation is also a consideration. We also assess the possibility of exclusivity, the margin for the retailer and how it will complement our current product range.”

“I believe retail businesses should consider us because we are user friendly, and are not dictatorial. we pride ourselves on being friendly, knowledgeable and professional. We strive to make life as easy as possible for the dealer. We have invested in our after sales service, of which we are immensely proud. nothing is too much trouble.”

“We offer a friendly service and we are very efficient. orders before 2pm can be dispatched the very same day and we pride ourselves on keeping very well stocked. I can’t promise that we will have absolutely all items of stock five days a week but we generally have everything you will need ready to go. We are 22 years old, so we aren’t new to this game. the success of the business is down to a good strong infrastructure.”

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