Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: What about a new Archery shop in Alaska?

  1. #1
    New member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    8

    Default What about a new Archery shop in Alaska?

    I have a full service archery shop here in ky and am looking to move back to Alaska next year. I worked the slope back in the 80's. Is the archery busy in alaska a robust business or is it a 2 month out of the year business. I am looking at kenai pennisula but not sure may go other direction up mat-su valley. Are there a lot of box stores up there? Any thoughts? Thanks

  2. #2
    Member fishingyoda's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Palmer
    Posts
    538

    Default I don't know slot about business but

    There's some competition sportsmans has it cheaper there's a newer shop one in anchorage screaming eagle and one more in wasilla fletchers shut down one in north pole one in Fairbanks and I believe one or two in Kenai plus a new sportsmans. I'd like to open one just for the love of the sport but they don't seem very profitable with as few dedicated archers up here I really wish there was a good range maybe a walk around and pavilion style or some 3d targets. I used to shoot at on in Arizona that had 14 walk around hunter course and 14 regular walk around and a pavilion range with targets out to 100yards

  3. #3
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Eagle River, AK
    Posts
    13,393

    Default

    I'd love to see another shop try to make a go of it in Eagle River, but I'm assuming there is a financial reason that the previous one (Archer's Den) didn't make it more than a few years. Yes, there are two shops in Anchorage and one in Wasilla in addition to the box stores, but I'd love to have a local shop. Archer's Den always seem reasonably busy, but I suppose the margins are tight enough to make it a tough business.

  4. #4
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Talkeetna
    Posts
    5,714

    Default

    I've been an archer for 22 years now. I've been involved in the family retail hardware/lumber business for 30 years and have owned it for 12. I know a thing or two about low margin business Through the years I have analized the archery business and have tried to make the numbers work, but I just can't do it. There are several things against it, and I could writet pages on why I can't get it to work in the Anchorage or Eagle River area. I certainly hope that Full Curl in Anchorage can pull it off, but I doubt there is much room for more shops. The Mat-Su already has two shops and a Sportsman's Warehouse. Anchorage has two shops and a Sportsman's Warehouse. I have no clue what's available on the Kenai. You biggest competition is not the box stores, it's the internet. I do 95% of my archery spending online because I am 60 miles from the nearest shop and they aren't open when I can get to them.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

  5. #5
    New member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    8

    Default

    Thats the problem here as well. Shops are closing all over because the economy down here is really bad. I am busy from late august to maybe the middle of november then maybe some xmas sales and then thats it. No income tax purchases nothing. I also have a FFL and carry about 100 firearms and do a little gunsmithing or else i would have went out of business long ago. I have been in business 21 years. Internet doesn't bother me as most people either want to feel it in there hand or there an impulse buyer. I have a 2 lane range in the basement and that helps. But my store has lousy parking being on main street. Well thanks for your help, maybe I can get a job with sportsman warehouse ha ha (NOT)

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    2,587

    Default

    I think if you operated a really good range, at a cheap price, you might have a chance. Full Curl is WAAAAY to costly to just go up and shoot. I live like a few hundred yards away, but I won't go in there. I'm thinking about winter coming on, and I would really like to have an indoor place to shoot, but it's not happening. I just came up here after a 2 yr stint in FL where I made friends with an archery shop owner. He said he had to sell one bow a week to be able to pay himself anything. Don't let yourself get in to that spot; the other guys here are right about Sportsman's, etc.

  7. #7
    Member jkb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Big Lake
    Posts
    1,466

    Default

    I thought full curl was reasonable for what you get I just live way to far away to shoot there. Also I think Most Alaskan hunting does not lend it self to archery like down south. You can't sit in a tree stand and expect 10 critters to walk by in a day. There also are so few archery only opportunities. Now maybe a late September/ October open moose hunt could get a few more folks into it. Some archery only nelchina caribou permits would help the industy as well.
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming-----WOW-----what a ride!
    Unknown author

  8. #8
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Eagle River
    Posts
    2,162

    Default Could a different business model succeed?

    Here's a past thread which I thought did a good job of laying out some of the specific realities, economic and marketing facts about the return on investment in bow shops: (http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...-range-in-town) and included these posts:

    "...Construction costs or even lease costs for a building the size you will need for a 60 yard range are astronomical in the Alaska market. To rent space in the Wasilla market you are looking at $1.40 to $2.00 a square foot per month. With that lenght of range you are looking at over $10,000 a month just in rent. Now you have to heat it, insure it, and light it. Have fun with the fire marshal too. The is simply not enough customer base up here to sustain it. " -AKDoug

    "...A range that size in anchorage would require about 180,000 a year in rent or mortgage payments, so you would have to get 16.4 customers spending 30 dollars each 365 days a year just to pay the rent. Figure you'll have double that number of customers for utilities insurance and somthing left to pay the help. Funding is going to be tough with the price real estate and utilites in anch. " -jkb

    "...Making every square foot pay for itself in something that large would be tough month after month. In the summer, everyone is on the Kenai or in the valley fishing, for instance. It can get very LEAN just when you expect to be busy" -Marc Taylor

    "...-The margin on bows is next to nothing...-The margin on accessories is not much better and while Alaskans talk a good game about buying local they still tend to make big accessory purchases online" -Erik in AK

    "...research how many ranges (of every type) are here and how many failed over the last ten years and listen to the many recommendations in this thread.... - we are trying to save you some serious cash and help you out" -AlaskanOutdoorsman

    Paul Asman's first shop (Archer's Den) in Eagle River seemed to have the whole package - range, full-service shop, great technical knowledge, terrific personality, active hunter... active leagues. Sure do miss that shop. But nowadays, with a big-box competitor (SW) nearby and ready internet competition, the market for bowshops has become even more competitive.

    Some successes: Some local small businesses do work, at least in other lines. I wonder if some of their business/marketing strategies could be applied to local/Alaska archery market? I have no insider knowledge or expertise in this area, but things that seem to contribute to other local, successful small businesses:

    1. Internet business: If you can keep transportation and storage costs down probably

    2. Niche marketing: Gear/services tailored to the local market: Out of towners seek out a few local small shops, Barney's, Wiggy's, (and formerly) McAfee's (probably Mossy's, but I don't know) for local knowledge and great gear for AK outdoor pursuits. I'm guessing that a lot of these folks don't take the time to shop in a variety of places, perhaps because their time is too limited - plus they can afford to one-stop shop maybe.

    3. Exclusive distributorships: A few specialty items not available elsewhere - I've found a few items in local small shops, that I would not have bought online without seeing (and sometimes trying on) for myself: base layers, ultralight cots, fluorocarbon tippet at small local shops. I think in each case, the owners worked hard in the off-season, at trade shows, etc, to bring the best of the market to Anchorage. Local exclusive distributorships however are not always controllable by local businesses. For instance, I like to shop at Stewarts Camera on 4th Ave. Looking at replacing my Pentax Optio soon, I learned Pentax no longer sells through Stewarts b/c Pentax now limits its distributorships to outlets that reach a certain annual sales figure ($10,000, I think). The manufacturer's make the rules. Some small shop owners seem to have some influence on manufacturers, but not always.

    Fairbanks area shops, one thread:
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...Fairbanks-area

  9. #9
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Talkeetna
    Posts
    5,714

    Default

    I think if you operated a really good range, at a cheap price, you might have a chance. Full Curl is WAAAAY to costly to just go up and shoot. I live like a few hundred yards away, but I won't go in there. I'm thinking about winter coming on, and I would really like to have an indoor place to shoot, but it's not happening. I just came up here after a 2 yr stint in FL where I made friends with an archery shop owner. He said he had to sell one bow a week to be able to pay himself anything. Don't let yourself get in to that spot; the other guys here are right about Sportsman's, etc.
    - I found Full Curl to be the best shop I have been to in a long time. $10 a day is F'n cheap. Any cheaper and they couldn't afford to keep the lights on. They also give a military discount. One bow a week to be able to pay himself? Try one bow a day, minimum. On a top end $1000 bow they are probably only making $200 in profit after shipping. I don't know about you, but even $200 a day doesn't pay the bills once you pay the shop overhead. I have no clue what Full Curl pays in rent but I bet it's a minimum of $3000 a month. Now add heat and lights and you're knocking on the door of $4000 a month. Now add inventory, wages, insurance and other business expenses and it's not hard to think that they'd better sell a couple bows a day AND keep that range full.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

  10. #10
    New member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    14

    Default

    I agree with you AKDoug, Full Curl Archery in Anchorage a great shop and very well maintained with even better prices to keep the archery legacy moving in to "right" direction here in Alaska! The archery community is very close up here in Alaska and it seems like everyone knows everyone, and of course you have great and amazing people that you can't say enough things about once you get to know them, and on the other you have some real A-Holes that judge every single person that picks up a bow in a negative way! Full Curl is a shop that has a massive variety of different equipment and honor both new archers and more experienced as well. They are truly not your everyday "Mom n' Pop" archery shop and will do what they can to meet your needs! The only downfall for ME is their location on the south side of Anchorage, but that still will not harbor me from driving across town to their shop. There are a few world class shooters that call Full Curl a home and will take their precious time to help anyone with absolutely no bias!

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Palmer
    Posts
    153

    Default

    I like the idea of a one stop shop for archery, guns, gunsmithing and shooting range. I was shooting outdoors all winter long in Wasilla. Go outside shoot, run inside, go out shoot and back inside. I can say I like the idea, but I have not looked at the numbers. With all the archery shops that have closed over the years it has to be a tough market.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •