Retail stores are always looking for promotional campaigns to attract customers and drive sales, never more so than during the holidays when competition is intense, as consumers hit the stores with long lists and tight budgets.

In this kind of climate, when store owners seize on any gimmick or give-away, Deland’s Downtown Goldsmith Jewelry and Engraving has hit on a winning combination with a unique offer.

Customers who spend $450 or more on a piece of jewelry from a select collection are eligible to receive a free 12-gauge shotgun worth about $270, but must pass a federal background check before they can claim the firearm.

Owner Jessie Czerok says the offer appeals to both men and women shoppers. “Men are notoriously late shoppers, so Christmas Eve is always busy. The offer gives husbands the incentive to buy something for their wife and get something for themselves, too.”

But women shoppers have also taken advantage of the offer, says Czerok. “We’ve had a lot more women coming in this year, either buying themselves a piece of jewelry and giving the gun to their husbands or buying men’s rings and keeping the gun for themselves”

Although Czerok expected some backlash because guns are currently a “hot button” issue, she says the shop’s annual “Fire and Ice” sale is proving even more popular than the past three holiday seasons. The store had already given away 30 shotguns by Christmas Eve and ordered 20 more to cover last-minute shoppers.

Customers gave the promotion high marks.

“It is kind of a weird promotion I guess – kind of exciting though,” said one shopper,

“My wife loves jewelry and I get a gun — first one in 20 years. So, you have the best of both worlds,” customer Bill Seabrease told a local NBC News affiliate.

Deland’s Downtown Goldsmith Jewelry and Engraving opened 14 years ago in the community of 30,000 about 40 miles north of Orlando years, and began selling firearms in 2012.

So far, there is no evidence that other stores are jumping on the “free gun with purchase” bandwagon, but that may only be a matter of time.

Threats of increasingly stringent regulation of gun ownership and even confiscation, gun sales across the country are at an all-time high.

The store also runs the promotion in early February during the busy Valentine’s Day shopping season.




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