Jim-Bows Archery started in 1999 by Jim Johnson, an avid archer for over 30 years in Calgary, and a second location was opened in 2014 in Edmonton, Alberta with co-owners Carson Toy and Dave Schlottke. The Calgary location is housed in an 8000-square-foot building with a 4,000-square-foot range with 24 lanes that go out to 20 yards. This shop employs four full-time employees and three part-time workers. Jim-Bows Archery offers a variety of stock including Mathews, Bowtech, Hoyt, Excalibur, Gold Tip and Victory. About 75 percent of the shop’s annual revenue is generated by bowhunting gear, while services and lessons account for the other 25 percent.
Jim-Bows archery thrives on excellent customer service, which makes them stand out from other shops in the area. Jim Johnson has high standards for his employees, but also treats them as best as possible by offering perks like advancements, free equipment, higher-than-average pay and time off for hunting and shooting tournaments. This has created long-lasting relationships having many employees pushing twelve years at the shop.
Excellent customer service and a great staff have been key factors in this shop’s success, but it is still necessary to try and draw in new customers. Jim-Bows Archery does this through things like junior programs, kids’ summer camp, and the Hunt Weiser Program, which are courses ran in conjunction with a cross fit gym next door to the facility. This program combines archery technique with an added exercise routine to keep them fit and accurate throughout the entire year with programs in the spring, summer and winter. These courses along with other events such as the biathlon- where shooting ability is being challenged with an elevated heart rate and shaky arms- keeps archers in good shape and is excellent practice for hunting. 35-40 percent of their students end up bowhunting.
Jim-Bows Archery also works with different schools because archery is a part of the curriculum in the area. Many high schoolers will come in for instructed sessions and there are junior programs throughout the winter. They offer beginner to advanced lessons with a volume of 85 kids in each session with volunteers and donations to help. Instructors focus on proper form, safety, and most importantly, having fun so they return to keep shooting. The kids’ summer camp has aspects like the Hunt Weiser Program with exercise incorporated, and they also shoot from a variety of positions like sitting, leaning, one foot up and one foot down, etc. to stimulate different types of terrain. In the six-week course, an indoor 3-D target course is set up to practice aiming for hunting. Jim-Bows Archery’s number one focus is on the customers, and it has worked phenomenally for them.
Visit Jim-Bows Archery’s website for more information.