From “The Hunger Games” to “The Avengers” and the new Pixar movie “Brave,” Hollywood has archery fever. But all of the attention bows and arrows are getting on the silver screen isn’t just helping concession stand sales; it’s also helping one Clark County small business.
Archery World, located at 803 North Grand Boulevard in Vancouver, has witnessed a 10 percent increase in sales since the release of those blockbuster films, according to shop owner Joe Mallicoat.
“It’s kind of like the new Twilight,” said Mallicoat when asked about “The Hunger Games” – a popular young adult novel turned Hollywood film that features an arrow-slinging heroine. “It’s been crazy, because everybody who has read the book wants to be a part of that.”
Further evidence of a “Hunger Games effect,” Mallicoat said his best selling products are entry-level or “traditional” bows, which range in price from $20 to $300. However, he said Archery World has also seen the sale of crossbows increase thanks to new laws that allow people to shoot them in designated places.
“Five years ago those laws weren’t in place,” he said. “Now there are laws that allow you to do that, so we sell a decent amount of crossbows because of it.”
Mallicoat, a former Marine gunnery sergeant, bought Archery World in 1999 from Max and Jenny Hall, avid archers who were looking to retire. He purchased the business at its current location and decided to remain there because he liked Grand Boulevard’s proximity to the Columbia River.
Catering to avid archery enthusiasts and to those who just want to get their feet wet, Archery World employs six employees, with about seven to eight during peak hunting season. The business prides itself on excellent customer service, explained Mallicoat.
“If you can’t give good customer service, [customers] can get the product somewhere else,” he said. “We believe customer service is our number one priority.”
A knowledgeable sales staff is especially important in the ever-evolving world of archery, explained Mallicoat, as bow and arrow sets become more advanced with new types of materials being used. These advances, he said, lead to higher prices and, at times, lower stock.
“Prices start at $20 for a youth set and go up to $2,000 for a full compound set,” Mallicoat noted.
When asked how an independently owned archery shop survives during a sluggish economy, Mallicoat said his business doesn’t go through many highs and lows.
“We stay pretty stationary because you have the people who have RV’s, or they have fifth wheels and motorcycles. If they’re going to put anything on the backburner, it would be those expensive things,” he said. “Archery may seem expensive at first, but once you get into it, it becomes something you will continue to do.”