Dealer Outlook: “We believe that there is a significant pent up demand”

Boating Industry recently asked dealers to take a few minutes and author a short outlook for 2011 to provide the industry with thoughts and insights from the people who make things happen at the retail level.

We asked what they expect to experience in 2011, how they plan to approach the year, what challenges they think will be the most pressing, and what can be done to address those challenges.

We will be running these responses during the following weeks.

Legendary Marine

We believe that the economy, consumer confidence and the stock market are headed in a positive direction. Accordingly, our team is pretty bullish on the overall sales for 2011.

We believe that there is a significant pent up demand, particularly in the Northwest Gulf coast. Last year’s oil spill caused an unknown number of potential customers to wait “one more year.”

Despite our optimism, the downturn of 2007-2009 has firmly embedded a more cautious inventory formula in our budget planning. We believe many other dealers are taking a “wait and see what the spring shows are like” before committing to significant inventories. If we are right and spring sales are robust, inventories will quickly diminish and manufacturers will be challenged to produce additional inventory.

To reduce our dependence on “difficult to predict” new boat sales, we have enhanced existing profit centers and expanded into additional revenue generating marine opportunities. Marina management and service centers at existing dry storages that do not presently offer service efforts allow us to expand our overall sales, service, parts and accessories footprint. Additionally, the service efforts provide access to a loyal segment of boaters that did not abandon boating during the recession.

Seminars provided at the recent MRAA conference clearly detailed many areas where we can improve. We have enlisted the services of one of the speakers at the conference to provide us with an overall evaluation and a more structured approach to training our sales, service and marina staffs. The messages regarding social marketing were loud and clear at the conference and we have added a new person to our marketing department to accelerate our social marketing effort.

Fred Pace, Managing Partner, Legendary Marine

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