Defender records 20 percent sales growth in 2006

WATERFORD, Conn. – Defender Industries’ 2006 sales increased 19.5 percent compared to 2005, the discount marine supplier said recently in a statement.

Same-month sales in December were up 18.8 percent, and Defender said 11 out of the 12 months of 2006 were all-time records in its 68-year history.

“Sales increased in all 18 of our product categories with the largest percent increases in electrical, powerboat supplies and navigation,” said executive director Al Knupp, “Defender had a strategic initiative in 2006 to improve the overall customer experience. We attacked this initiative from many different angles.

“Specifically we challenged our warehouse to ship same-day all orders for in-stock products received by 4:00 pm; reduced the transit time for outgoing packages; increased the product-specific training for all of our employees; reorganized and made several major physical improvements our warehouse outlet store; introduced a “Low Price Promise;” expanded the number of products we stock; expedited customer e-mails so they are answered within hours of receipt during normal business hours; and improved our in-stock levels.

“The bottom line is we focused on the basics of providing better service to our customers, and we were rewarded with this record-breaking sales achievement.”

Of the company’s three primary sales channels, e-commerce posted the biggest increases, followed closely by catalog sales, according to Stephan Lance, vice president.

“Electronics continued as the highest volume product category, followed by inflatable boats and outboard motors,” Lance said. “Unique visitors to were up 28 percent for the year and catalog requests have increased even more than that this month alone, both very positive leading edge indicators of future business.”

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