As traders packed away at the end of the British Shooting Show 2014, Nicola Turner asked them how the show had gone and whether the three-day format was a success
Lewis Fenwick, Gilsan Sports
What’s been selling best is probably the Grade One Berettas, and second-hand guns have been very good. The Hatsan Escort has done well, too – we’ve sold out of left-handed versions of that, and we’ve sold out of Beretta sporters as well. Although the show was three days rather than two, we did the same amount of business. But the flow of people was steadier, which meant we could speak in detail to each potential customer.
Back on the sales front, Silma guns have been going well, particularly the M70 game gun, and the M80 sporter – those have sold very well. They’re a relatively new gun, and haven’t been sold here for a number of years. We’ve also been running an offer, where you get a free shooting lesson at Honesberie when you buy any gun over £1,000, which has been very popular.
It’s been fairly busy on the whole, though never completely frantic – things have been evenly spread out over three days rather than two.
Angus Cockle, Francis Lovel & Co
The show has been good. We’ve sold what we thought we would, maybe more. It does feel quieter than last year, though that’s maybe because people are spread out over three days.
It’s been mainly the cheaper side of things that’s been selling, and we’ve sold more clay guns and semi-autos. We have sold a few rifles, but it’s been mainly shotguns. We do this show and the CLA, but we specialise in old English guns, so we tend to find we get more of our clientele for that at the CLA. Both are definitely worth doing, and it’s good to get your name out there.
Liam Dean, Aim Fieldsports
On Sunday there haven’t been as many people spending as there have been on the other days, but overall it’s been a better show than last year. We’ve actually sold out of a couple of types of shooting mats and a couple of colours of kit bag – it’ll be a case of judging the demand better next time.
Overall it’s been a good show, especially compared to the original venue at Newark. As an exhibitor, the ground was a nightmare – it was like a quagmire to try and park and then get all your stuff in – so this is a lot better.
Darren Harris, Swillington Shooting Supplies
It’s been a decent show; there are plenty of people about. The Ridgeline clothing has been one of our best sellers. But what’s been really good is the chance to get lots of feedback from customers. We’ve been running a show offer, where if we don’t have what the customer wants with us, we’ll post it for free back from the shop. It’s worked really well for us. We’ll definitely come back next year.
Paul Bant, Wildhunter
Business has gone very well. There’s been a great interest in the new ATA guns. It’s the first time we’ve exhibited but it’s been a great success. We’re just exhibiting as a supplier to build interest, not selling directly, but it’s still been a very healthy show for us. It’s been more of a brand awareness exercise, but it’s worked very well, and it helps support our retailers.
Sean Wilson, Cheshire Gun Room
We’re on track for our best show to date, and we usually have big stands at the big three game fairs. We’re on track to sell about 400 guns across the two stands (one in gunmakers’ hall and another specialising in airguns in the airgun expo).
The fact it’s been split into three days means you can get better access to the products and staff – it’s not so crowded, so we’re able to talk to more people and they can get a better look at what they’re interested in, and it’s a bit more relaxed. The layout is good – it’s easy to find what you want.
Across the board everything’s been selling well. Berettas and Brownings go well – at one point we couldn’t replace stock in the gun rack fast enough. People were taking them up to have a look as soon as we brought them out. On the air rifle stand, Air Arms and Weihrauch have done well, and we’ve sold a ton of Deben accessories.
David Craze, Ronnie Sunshines
We’re happy with the show – we’ll probably come back next year. It’s our first time at this show, and it’s probably done what we were expecting with regards to trade. We specialise in BSA guns – those have gone well, and the R10 has done best.
All things considered it’s been fine – it’s all been agreeable, and the show’s been easy to work. It’s fluid and relaxed, not too regimented like other venues.