Queens Archery started out as a home-based business in 1962. The business moved into a retail establishment in 1988, where it is still located in New York City. The shop occupies a 5,000-square-foot facility. The majority of that space is devoted to the range, which holds 20 lanes that go out 18 meters.
Al Lizzio and his wife decided that there was a need for archery equipment in the area, so they began making strings, which they weren’t able to find in any nearby hunting stores or sporting goods stores. They also started cresting custom-made arrows, and that’s how it all started. It grew slowly because Al Lizzio was a professional shooter on the PAA Tour for 18 years. Al was also coaching the Women’s Varsity Archery Team at Columbia University for 20 years. On top of that he worked full-time in the construction industry. The archery business grew slowly as more of a hobby, and after about 25 years Al and his wife made the decision to create an archery range.
Al Lizzio acts as the store manager and employs one full-time and five part-time workers. About 80 percent of the annual revenue comes directly from range time, lessons and other services that are offered. The remaining 20 percent come through equipment sales. The shop stocks major brands in the industry such as the following:
- Bow Lines: Hoyt, Mathews, Mission, Elite, Bear, PSE and Galaxy
- Crossbow Lines: Bear, Mission, PSE and TenPoint
- Arrow Lines: Easton, Beman, Gold Tip and Carbon Express
What Makes Queens Archery Special?
Al and his wife have always run their business with a focus on recreational and competitive target shooting. The hunters come in during the hunting season, which is only a month or two a year. In any other place, hunting is what keeps businesses going more than the recreational shooting, but it’s always been the opposite for Queens Archery. For example, they’ve used Groupon about 10 years ago, and now they host 160 lessons per weekend through the program.
There’s only a small amount of equipment kept in stock, and if someone wants something in particular, they specially order it for the customer. They have collaborated with Kinsey’s and Lancaster, which act as a warehouse. They are able to get anything shipped in two or three days. Queens still sells equipment, but not a lot.
Key Factors to Success
Queen’s key factor to success is not focusing on the money. Al and his wife run their bbusiness because it is their passion. To them, when the money comes, it comes. Al has never lost a wink of sleep because of this business over the last 31 years.
The other key is to treat customers right and being 100 percent honest with them. It’s a small community, and they will find out if they were misled. Queens Archery strives to give customers a reason to come back and spread the word.
Learn more at Queens Archery’s website.