Distributors optimistic amid sales increases

ESSEX, Conn. – The recent State of the Industry Survey conducted by the National Marine Distributors Association has found that 68 percent of US and Canadian marine distributors – representing sales of over US $500 million – say their sales volume increased in 2006 compared to 2005, NMDA said in a release yesterday.

The 22 NMDA distributor members responding to the association’s survey are also strongly optimistic about their sales for the 2007 marine accessories purchasing cycle, with 73 percent saying they expect sales to be up in 2007, compared to 2006.

That purchasing cycle officially started at the NMDA Sales, Training, Education, Purchasing Conference in Las Vegas last month.

“While there is some weakness in boat sales and some uncertainties in the economy, clearly marine distributors think there is quite a bit of strength in the accessories market,” said Mike Medart, NMDA president.

The sales increase most distributors expect in 2007 won’t necessarily mean increased sales for marine accessories manufacturers, however.

The NMDA survey revealed that only 23 percent of distributors plan to add to their inventory in the current cycle, while 63 percent say they’ll maintain their current inventory levels and 14 percent will maintain smaller inventories.

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