Story, Photos and Video by Bobby Bushcraft
The Pistol Parlour in Mesa, Arizona has been in business since 1979. They are a full-service firearms dealer with a large variety of manufacturers, ammunition, knives and accessories.
I recently dropped in to see the new retail store, next door to their existing shop. The new retail space is called “The Vault at Pistol Parlour” and has been many months in the making.
Pistol Parlour President, Clyde Helquist, and his staff developed the idea of an upscale, high-end exclusive customer service-based store. The theme for this new store was straight from the John Wick movie franchise.
In the third installment of the John Wick series, there is a vault inside the Continental Hotel. This large walk-in vault contained a battery of firearms and ammunition, in an environment filled with luxury and class.
Clyde (the store manager), Eddy Rodriguez and Clyde’s two sons (Jaden and Logan) discussed and developed the idea, over a period of time, to recreate the vault from the movie.
Clyde said people have always had an appreciation for fine, quality guns. Although there have been upscale gun stores for hunters and collectors—featuring beautiful rifles, handguns and shotguns, fitted with magnificent woods—Clyde had never seen an upscale or fine firearms store catering to the more tactically inclined.
The staff set a budget and then set out to find a local contractor who would be able to do the buildout of the store’s interior, based on the John Wick movie theme. They found a contractor who initially didn’t know, or had never seen, any of the John Wick movies but did a great job in replicating the environment, based on their budget.
Clyde and his staff are extremely pleased with the outcome of the new space. From concept to design to completion it was a lot of work—under a budget and in an uncertain political landscape for the firearms industry—which they kept a secret for many months.
The idea is to create an environment that lends to the shopping experience, without creating a corporate or common looking gun store. They wanted something different.
Clyde said one of the biggest problems they had, while waiting to rent the space and build out the new store, was inventory.
Although they had been purchasing the inventory for the new store as it was being built, they opted not to sell it in their current facility, choosing instead to wait for The Vault to open.
It was difficult sitting on stock of high end manufactures like Heckler and Koch, Knights Armament, FN, PWS, Radian, Q, Geissele, Noveske, Wilson Combat, LWRC, Daniel Defense, Nighthawk Custom, Christensen Arms, Atlas Gun Works, Taran Tactical, Zev Technologies, CZ, Staccato/STI, Dan Wesson, Springfield, Agency Arms, Night Force Optics, Leupold, Vortex, Aimpoint, Trijicon, Surefire—with lasers, night vision and illuminators on the way—and the list goes on.
They managed to hold this inventory, without making any sales, while still running the Pistol Parlour and providing product to the end consumer. Not easy to do in this day and age, when they would have very easily been able to sell out of all of the aforementioned products over the many months they spent waiting for the new retail space to be up and running.
Clyde considered where his customers were coming from geographically, with Mesa being a city in the Phoenix Metroplex, situated almost in the center of Arizona, stating that he wants the store to be a destination point.
Since many of Pistol Parlour’s customers drive four hours or more to shop at their store, they are going to accept appointments to shop at the Vault, allowing them to provide unapparelled customer service and give their customers their full attention—especially considering the significant cost of the higher end firearms.
Purveyors of fine firearms, The Vault is the go-to place for guns and accessories, for the discerning firearm enthusiast who truly knows what they want. K&G
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The Vault at Pistol Parlour(480) 835-6643IG: @PistolParlourIG: @TheVaultAtPistolParlour
Bobby is a retired Police Sergeant, US Army Veteran & Boy Scout Leader—with over 34 years of outdoor experience in hunting, firearms, archery, hiking, camping and survival. He is also a photographer, avid knife collector & enthusiast. His company, Vida Pro Productions LLC, provides photo & video content to various media outlets and publications in the outdoor, knife and firearm industries.
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