Little Shop of Horrors

Been in a gun shop lately? How was the customer service? I ask because customer service is a fast-disappearing aspect … Continued

Been in a gun shop lately? How was the customer service?

I ask because customer service is a fast-disappearing aspect of the American retail experience. Here’s an example: a friend interested in a new deer rifle walks into a store where he encounters two salesmen engaged in conversation with a customer. As my buddy politely waits his turn, he realizes the “customer” is a friend of the countermen, and the “transaction” in front of him is merely an extended bull session. He leaves without receiving any acknowledgement whatsoever from the staff.

“How does a store like that stay in business?” he asked me.

I dunno.

My pet peeve—besides not being greeted by the staff—is to walk into a poorly lit retail operation and realize the shelves haven’t been dusted since the end of the Bronze Age.

I’m not alone in this assessment.

Miles Hall, owner of H&H Gun Range & Shooting Sports Outlet in Oklahoma City, says, “Frankly, a lot of gun stores are dark, depressing and intimidating.”

Hall, who is an enterprising fellow, realized that to attract the next generation of shooters his store needed to appeal to the younger shooter’s sense of style. So he looked at how the stores at his local mall looked. He then changed the style, color and feel of his store accordingly. Guess what? His business is booming.

All of which tells me there’s no need for us to endure rude countermen and shoddy customer service—like the guy I heard about who tried to pawn off a .338 as a varmint rifle! So, tell me your retail horror stories. I don’t need the name of the store, just how you were treated.

–Slaton White