Dear Retailer, Know Your Bags:
4 Important Things To Tell Your Customers When Choosing a Concealed Carry Purse
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.
That said, it’s very important that your staff understand the ins and outs of purses designed for concealed carry, regardless if the preferred weapon is lethal or non-lethal. Carrying a weapon in a “normal” purse is both dangerous for the carrier and can quickly ruin the purse with snags and wear. Above all else, a purse for CCW must include a dedicated pocket for the gun! This both keeps the gun safer and prevents the carrier from pulling out her hairbrush accidentally in an emergency. But customers may have other questions as to why they should choose one bag over another. Because they are taking the time and money to purchase a purse that will help them feel protected, it’s important to be knowledgeable about what really matters in choosing and owning a purse with a concealed compartment.
Let us offer you 4 key things you should make sure your retail staff knows about CCW bags so they can be of most help to your customers:
- Make Sure It’s Made Well
First and foremost, we know you want to offer your customers quality products. A good carry bag allows the woman to conceal a tactical weapon, but also allows for quick and easy access. Cheap materials and shoddy construction can be the difference between life or death in a crisis situation.
Why should your customers spend their hard-earned money on a beautiful fashion accessory just to have it break? Offer her purses that have been well tested both in-factory and by industry experts who can ensure that a weapon can be safely and easily drawn from the bag. Having been in the luggage business for 35 years, we know how important it is to test all products before they hit your shelves. We stretch the leather, pull the strap, work the zipper again and again . . . we TRY HARD to break our handbags. Then we ask real experts in the field, including instructors who regularly train folks in the FBI and Navy Seals, to put the bags through the paces.
Other things to know about the construction of the purses you offer and to review with the customer in the buying process:
- Does zipper to the carry compartment open easily? (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?
- Is the material durable leather (that will get suppler with time)?
Durability matters. They might pay more up front, but it will last for years and they’ll remember your store for carrying quality fashion merchandise.
- How Does She Wear a Purse?
Each woman carries a purse differently so you should be asking her 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?
Asking these questions will help retail staff to find the perfect purse for her specific needs.
- Tell them to Practice Practice Practice
You can’t buy a CCW bag and expect to easily draw a weapon from it the first time you 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. Make this point very strongly, letting them know their empowerment matters to you.
- Inform Them of Rules
Before she leaves with her newly purchased CCW fashion accessory, make sure the customer knows what local concealed weapon carry laws are, for both lethal and non-lethal items. Every state, municipality and establishment may have its own set of rules. We encourage retailers to proactively point customers to where they can find local information about this issue, or even have print outs ready to hand them when they purchase the bags. Let your store be their teacher, positioning yourself as an expert and, again, as someone who cares about their safety. It will be great public relations for your brand.
What did we miss? Do your customers ask questions about CCW purses that we didn’t consider in this blog post? We’d love to hear from you!