Book an Appointment

27th November update

Our Loughborough and County Durham shops will be OPEN FROM WEDNESDAY 2ND DECEMBER by appointment only.  To request an appointment, please see below.

Online sales and customer service are fully operational, and we are shipping as normal.  Please continue to order online at www.merlinarchery.co.uk

Click and collect is available through our Loughborough shop.  To use this service, please see instructions here https://www.merlinarchery.co.uk/click-and-collect

We will continue to update this page as the situation changes.

Thank you in advance for your ongoing support.

Wishing everyone good health and safe shooting!

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Customer Service Changes at the Merlin Archery Loughborough Shop

If you are planning to visit our Loughborough shop please be aware we have introduced an appointment system and service charges for technical help. 

This will allow us to continue to offer high quality, 1-to-1 service while maintaining our competitive online prices in-store.

Please review our FAQ before making an appointment. 

There will no doubt be a few adjustments needed along the way, but we hope this will allow us to serve you more efficiently. 

To request and appointment, please click the big orange button below! 

REQUEST APPOINTMENT (Loughborough and County Durham)

 

 

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What exactly is ‘Technical Help’? 

If you would like us to set-up, build, measure or show you how to use the product you wish to buy, this is considered technical help.   

What if I just want to get some advice? 

No problem!  No need for an appointment if you want to pop in for a browse and a chat.  Advice is free and we will happily show you products, discuss pro’s and con’s and talk about anything archery. 

How much will it cost? 

 £5 per 30 minutes 

We will offer quotes on a case by case basis, but examples of the type of work and estimated costs. 

  • Fitting of a new recurve string and nocking point £2.50 
  • Arrow selection, including draw length and draw weight check £2.50 
  • Fitting of a Launcher and D-loop £5.00 
  • Fitting and adjustment of a peep sight £5.00 
  • Fitting and set up of a new recurve rest and button £5.00 
  • Measure, set-up and use of a traditional bow or simple recurve kit £10.00 (Inclusive of all services) 
  • Measure, set-up and use of a comprehensive competition recurve bow kit £15-£20 (Inclusive of all services) 
  • Measure, set-up and use of a comprehensive competition compound bow £20.00 (Inclusive of all services) 

For these charges, 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, we will work to keep the charges as low as possible.  For example, if you are a family group buying multiple bows we can work much more efficiently and would reduce the costs.

Do I need to make an appointment? 

If you require technical help, we would encourage you to make an appointment. 

What if I need technical help and have not made an appointment? 

You will be served by the next available technician, but priority will be given to customers who have made appointments. 

If I know what I want, do I still need an appointment? 

No. We have junior technicians and assistants on hand to help you as normal.  

What if I am late for my appointment? 

It is important that you arrive for your appointment on time, since it is highly likely another customer will follow on from you.  We will do our best to accommodate you, but if the over-run would be substantial it may be the case that you will need to re-schedule or wait until the next available technician. 

What if you are running late? 

The goal of the appointment system is to eliminate waiting times, but in the real world we cannot guarantee this.   

We can only guarantee to reduce waiting times and would request your understanding that sometimes appointments can overrun.  We are not going to down tools and push people out the door, but we will do our very best to stay on schedule. 

Also please understand that we cannot guarantee 100% exclusive attention to the detriment of all others.  Selling archery equipment isn’t always straight forward. 

For example, if you are buying a recurve bow kit, the last part is the selection of arrows.  These arrows will then go to our fletcher to be built which will take approx. 45 minutes.  During this time, we will start the next appointment.  But when these arrows come back, we will have to break off from the current appointment to perform final checks and complete the transaction. 

If a new customer comes through the door, we will want to acknowledge them and say ‘hello’. 

If a colleague requires assistance, we will help. 

The reason I am saying this is to give realistic expectations of how your appointment may go and would appreciate your understanding that we are trying to streamline a non-standard process. 

Why are you charging me for technical help when I think it should be included? 

This is a big question and some background can be found in the section below.  But ultimately, we are maintaining online prices in-store, rather than increasing in-store product prices.  It is becoming clear that offering hours of quality 1 to 1 technical advice while selling at online prices is not sustainable. 

How much will you charge for helping me with items purchased elsewhere? 

We will quote on a case by case basis. 

What is the booking procedure? 

Click the big orange button at the top of the page, fill out the online form with some basic information and click ‘Submit’ 

We will review the information and get back to you within 3 hours to discuss your requirements, estimate the time needed and confirm a suitable appointment time with you. (During normal opening hours).   

WHY ARE WE MAKING THESE CHANGES?

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

Appointments 

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, we feel a service charge is the best and fairest solution and welcome your feedback.