Marine distributors’ sales growing

ESSEX, Conn. – Boat sales may be weak, but the marine accessories market continues to show some strength, according to a recent statement from the National Marine Distributors Association (NMDA).

The association’s annual State of the Industry Survey revealed that 68 percent of U.S. and Canadian marine distributors representing sales of over US $500 million say their sales volume increased in 2007 compared to 2006.

The 19 NMDA distributor members responding to the survey also expect the upward trend to continue, with 95 percent projecting higher sales next year. The 2008 marine accessories purchasing cycle officially started at the annual NMDA Sales, Training, Education & Purchasing (S.T.E.P.) Conference in Las Vegas last month.

However, the NMDA survey also revealed that distributors plan to keep a firm grip on their inventories, the associated said. Seventy-four percent say they’ll maintain their current inventory levels, compared to 63 percent expressing the same sentiment last year. Only 26 percent plan to add to their inventory in 2008.

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