Final Flight Outfitters Spreads Its Wings in Union City, Tenn.
Brothers Tripp, Jon Ed and Kelley Powers turned their lifelong interests and hobbies into a thriving business, opening Final Flight Outfitters in 1998. Based in Union City, Final Flight Outfitters’ retail store is home to the area’s largest selection of top-quality, name-brand hunting gear, as well as boating, auto and ATV accessories.
“If you’re a duck or goose hunter and you need a product, chances are we have it,” says Kelley, who is a world goose-calling champion. “We have a full-service shop with approximately 70,000 items in stock, which is a lot for a rural retailer. We have an extensive and varied selection of firearms, hunting accessories, and casual outdoor lifestyle clothing and footwear, and we carry popular brands like Under Armour, Columbia and Patagonia. Even if you’re not a hunter, we probably have something for you.”
Connections and Experience
Kelley’s experiences competing at a high level in the goose-calling arena helped the brothers get their business up and running, thanks in part to the connections he made with large companies like Higdon Motion Decoy Systems and Duck Commander, which have become increasingly well known due to the TV series Duck Dynasty.
“We had some friendships in the hunting industry, and we started selling some of their products as representatives and attending trade shows,” Kelley says. “That’s really how our store started.”
As their inventory grew, the brothers began selling their merchandise out of a small storage trailer on their parents’ farm, then relocated to their current storefront – a former convenience store owned by their grandparents, located just across the street from the farm.
“Once we established our storefront, we decided to fix it up and create a showroom so we could display our products,” Kelley says. “At first, we were only open from Nov. 1 until Feb. 1, but after about a year or so, we decided to have our doors open year round. We’ve truly been growing since day one, and we’re showing no signs of slowing down.”
Family-Owned and -Operated
Today, Final Flight Outfitters serves customers both locally and across the U.S., with their products available via a mail-order catalog and online.
“The mail-order catalog is about 160 pages, and it’s sent to just over 40 states,” Kelley says. “It mainly features products related to waterfowl hunting, which we consider our specialty.”
To enhance the in-person shopping experience, the brothers recently expanded their retail store, expanding their showroom to more than 25,000 square feet. Another recent addition is their outdoor shooting range, where customers can test handguns and archery equipment before making final purchasing decisions.
In addition, the Powers brothers have recently enhanced the Final Flight Outfitters online shopping experience by enabling customers to purchase items online and pick them up in store the same day.
“We want to make the shopping process as easy as possible for our customers,” Kelley says. “All they have to do is select what they want and add it to their virtual cart, and we’ll pull the products and have them ready when they come through the door.”
Save at Final Flight
When discussing plans for the future, Kelley says he and his brothers want to continue expanding Final Flight Outfitters’ product lines, and he predicts the company’s screen-printing services – typically used by local athletic teams and schools – will soon expand to serve some of the large brands the store carries.
Kelley says Final Flight Outfitters is also growing its customer support services, offering concealed handgun carry classes taught by a retired law enforcement officer, and the company now has a gunsmith on staff to help customers with firearm cleanings, repairs and restorations.
Despite the potential for even more growth opportunities in larger markets, the Powers brothers remain dedicated to their community, and they currently have no desire to leave Union City.
“Because we’re in a rural community, people have urged us to move to a location with higher traffic,” Kelley says. “That makes a lot of sense on paper, but there’s something nostalgic about walking into a country store. Plus, we’re fortunate to have a loyal customer base, and we take a lot of pride in knowing our customers. We’re pretty happy right where we are.”
If You Go...
Location: 5933 Martin Hwy., Union City, TN 38261
Hours: Monday-Saturday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Phone: (866) 354-4489