Marc, now that the showroom has reopened, how does it feel to be able to welcome clients back to Pensbury Place?
It feels absolutely fantastic to have the doors open again. The reason we do this job is that we are devoted to Rigby and it’s a great pleasure to interface with customers and enthusiasts who want to come to the shop and who are equally as passionate as we are. Thanks to online and phone orders, we’ve been extremely busy and able to keep in touch with our customers throughout 2020, in spite of everything. Having people back in the store now is a well-deserved boost for the whole team, who have worked extremely hard and remained very positive.
How are the new team members settling in?
They’re doing absolutely great. The guys do such a great job and they’re the beating heart of Rigby, I’m very proud of all of them. The biggest issue we have at Rigby is being able to keep up with the order book, so we’re regularly looking for new talent to bring on. I’m very passionate about supporting young people – I was given an opportunity in the gun trade when I was young, as most people are, and I really feel it’s important to give back and to get as many young people through as possible. It’s part of our longer-term plans for the future too.
The Rigby Experience was also back at West London Shooting School last month, how did that go?
It was fantastic. Sadly, I wasn’t able to be there myself, but Jamie and David from the gunroom were and they did a great job. Again, it’s just lovely to see people and to show them what we do properly. When you can allow guests to fire one of our rifles, as opposed to just showing it to them in the showroom, it makes one hell of a difference in communicating what Rigby’s all about. Some range time always leads to further interest and perhaps to buying a rifle. The Rigby Experience at the West London Shooting School is a great way to showcase what we do.
What’s new in the Rigby online store?
Traditional English Guncases (TEG) are now making us a greater variety of products now that they’re part of the Rigby family. There are some beautiful new canvas and leather gun bags with blue sheep’s fleece linings, which are spectacular. I’d say you’d struggle to get a better quality gunslip anywhere. The best way to describe them is to say they ooze old school safari romance. I’m really proud of what TEG has come up with.
In general, there are always new items being added to the shop at the moment. Tony Sinnett, who looks after our shop for us now, is always on the scout for new products. We’ve got some new Rigby ties coming in soon, which are very exciting and something that people have been requesting for years.
Have you been out in the field this month?
I’m managing to get out in the fallow rut at the moment, which is a great time of the year to be out hunting these magnificent animals. I won’t be going up to Scotland this year for the stags, but many of my family are up there at the moment and I am looking forward to getting out with the shotgun a bit more in the lead up to Christmas.