Appointments and Service Charges

Changes to Customer Service at Merlin Archery - Loughborough

Beginning 1 April 2020, the Loughborough branch of Merlin Archery will start a 3-month trial of a new appointment system for customers visiting the shop who require technical assistance.

If you’ve visited our shop on a busy day, you may have noticed that there are times that you need to wait for personalised help from our assistants, especially our senior technicians who are experienced in bow set up, arrow selection and tuning.



Our new appointment system will allow you to book a slot with one of our senior technicians at a time that suits you during the shop’s opening hours. This way, you can plan your visit more easily and we hope that you find our service even more efficient than it is now!

It will also free up our assistants and junior technicians to help anyone that decides to visit us to look at our products or purchase particular items more quickly if they visit us without an appointment, since we know that people will always want to pop in to see us at short notice and we remain dedicated to providing a service to anyone that visits us wherever possible.


Service charges

Did you know that over 90% of our customers that visit require help selecting or using the product they wish to purchase?

On one side this is wonderful, since we enjoy setting bows up and helping customers choose the right product.  We have built our reputation on exactly this and wouldn’t want it any other way. 

On the other side it is getting tough for us to manage the flow of customers.  We never know what to expect!

One thing that is certain, we will not compromise on the time and skill required to properly set a bow up for a customer. There are no short cuts, and you need the right advice.

But here is the dilemma.  We also sell online and are committed to low pricing. 

It is well reported that bricks and mortar shops in all industries up and down the country are struggling to compete with online sellers. 

The reason should be obvious – The costs of running a physical shop, fully staffed with good people is far more expensive than shipping an on-line order.

Some of you may remember that we used to have dual pricing for on-line vs in-store prices.  This was abolished a couple of years ago as it didn’t feel right to be offering different prices for the same item.

This is not going to change for us.  Same price in-store as on-line.

However, the role of our shop is changing.  We no longer feel like a traditional retail shop, where a customer helps themselves to an item off a shelf and pays for it at the till.  Our shop is developing into an archery technical centre.  A place where people come for our advice and expertise, bow set-up, problem solving, as well as a place to buy equipment. 

As our visitor numbers continue to grow, and if we are to continue selling in-store at the same price as on-line while still delivering one-to-one service, we need to adapt.

We have taken the decision to implement a charge for appointments with our senior technicians. These are set out below:

£5 for 30 minutes

£10 for 1 hour

£20 for 2 hours

For reference, a standard recurve bow purchase takes approximately 2 hours.  We would charge £20 on top of the component prices when doing a full bow set up.

For this charge, you can be assured that you will receive:

  • Knowledgeable advice and guidance from an experienced bow technician who will work with your best interests at heart;
  • The opportunity to try out your purchase to make sure that they truly suit you as an archer and work to their best advantage;
  • Timely appointments, providing that they are booked using our booking system, so that you can plan your visit more easily.

Please note that these subsidised charges are based on the understanding that visitors are purchasing items. For example, if you have pre-existing equipment and required technical help there would be additional charges.

Our team of senior technicians are all experienced staff who enjoy giving advice and guidance to visitors, whether it be buying a bow, help with arrow spine, testing a stabiliser or choosing a tab. I’m very proud to have some of the best bow technicians in the country working for us. 

The technical team do not earn commission on sales and are there specifically to help you choose the appropriate equipment.  Of course, they are there to sell products, but we are very aware of the trust put in us, so it has always been our philosophy to act as if we were spending our own money.  This is a core value here at Merlin Archery and something that will never change.

We also don’t want the time we spend with you to be governed by how much you are spending.  It takes the same amount of time for us to set up a bow kit that costs £200 as one that costs £2000; in fact the cheaper the equipment, the longer it can take, since the cheaper products often require a little more 'love’ to get it right.

One thing that is certain, we will not compromise on the time and skill required to properly set a bow up for a customer. There are no short cuts, and you need the right advice.

We are finalising the booking platform and procedure will have it operational shortly.

On balance, I feel a service charge is the best and fairest solution and I would welcome your feedback.


Ben Jones