It’s the most wonderful time of the year as you start to hear the cash registers ringing and ringing! When customers start flooding your stores during this busy shopping season, it’s important for floor staff to step up the customer service and help people pick the perfect gift for the women in their lives. As the latest data from 2019 shows, women are wanting concealed carry options. In 2019, women made up 26.5% of permit holders in the 12 states that provide data by gender, and permit numbers grew 101% faster for women than for men. And these numbers don’t take into consideration women who carry non-lethal weapons such as pepper spray, taser, etc.
As women are looking for more ways to protect themselves, they also need the fashion products that give them off-body protection options. If you’re a retailer who has chosen to offer your customers handbags that are designed for concealed weapon carry, we applaud you! That is a big step to acknowledging the value of the female market potential in your area and we appreciate each and every retailer who is committed to the safety and empowerment of women.
As you get women into your store this holiday season wanting to buy a weapon for self-protection – or the men who love them in your establishment looking for gift ideas – it’s a great opportunity to sell them handbags. But all purses are not created equal. Here are our recommendations for helping your customers choose the right handbag for their specific needs.
- Talk to Them About Weapon Safety and Accessibility
Make sure they choose a bag that is built around the holster/gun, not the other way around. If they have to get through several layers and the protection (gun, pepper spray, taser stun gun) isn’t easily drawn, the result can be devastating. Other safety items to encourage them to compare and consider:
- Only nylon coil zippers should be used on the gun compartment. Metal zippers have a higher rate of defects. (and make sure it pulls down not up)
- Is the strap slash-proof?
- Gun compartment size: can she get her hand around the pistol grip or handle of her specific weapon of choice?
- Talk About Fabric Durability
Assuming the buyer will be using their handbag for many years, they need something that lasts. The best handbags are made of durable, luggage-quality leather that will get suppler over time. Straps should use wire reinforced leather so they are cut resistant and strong enough to carry the weight of the purse when it contains a firearm, an extra magazine and all the other stuff a lady typically carries in her purse.
- Ask Questions About How She Carries a Purse
Each woman carries a purse differently so you should be asking customers a series of questions when helping them shop. Whether she likes to wear it cross-body, on her back or slung over one shoulder matters greatly in how she can draw from it. Additionally:
- How much weight does she normally put in her purse to carry around?
- What weapon does she plan to carry most often?
- Is she right or left-handed?
- Also, women might need to wear the bag differently than usual when carrying a weapon for easier access to the weapon. Is she OK with that?
- Tell them to Practice Practice Practice
Before ringing up the order and sending them on their way, discuss with the customer the importance of practice. No one can buy a CCW bag and expect to easily draw a weapon from it the first time they may feel threatened. Muscle memory is needed. To truly care about the safety of women who shop in your store, you need to proactively encourage them to go to the range and practice over and over again drawing their weapon of choice from the purse. And they should do this on a regular basis, not just once but a few times a year.
Your customers care about women in their lives, and about their own safety and empowerment. They have purchased a quality gun (hopefully in your store), shouldn’t the same amount of thought be put into how she carries it? Show how much you care by giving the gifts of confidence and protection this holiday season.