Halfway Point Check-In: Distributors Talk 2012 Sales

Kerry Malkerson Marr BrothersTerritory: TX, LA, OK, AR, MS, NM

It’s a little better than last year because we have had a little rain, but it’s still not back to where it was before it stopped raining.

Dealers are not placing any inventory orders, but buying as they need it. I think they are at the end of their season now. With July, August and September dry and hot, there is not much going on.

Mark Deshetler Florida Outdoor Territory: FL, GA

We were a little dry up until early June when we got a lot of rain. We had a great June. Our biggest retail months are June through September which is different than most areas. So if we continue to get rain, our dealers will have a good year. We’ve had second and third inventory orders but the sizeable ones just started in the last two weeks of June.

I think our dealers will have a good year. We’ve had strong retail finance programs all spring, along with sales on several high-volume items. We’re going to continue to offer promotions during our busy summer selling season.

Most our territory was dry in May which is pretty normal. We got rain in most our territory, even in the drought areas at the end of June, so the stores are busy.

Glenn Beyerl KPM Exceptional, LLCTerritory: mid- VA, MD, DE, NJ, PA, NY, New England

Our dealers report they are generally experiencing some nice retail sales increases in their spring business. Naturally, some dealers tend to run on a contrary cycle which is more closely tied to their customer patterns. Overall, the direction is quite positive.

Through late June, we at wholesale have experienced multiple reorders from our dealer network. We do find that the dealer network seems to be much more careful in their inventory management area. Despite terms that support strong stocking, they remain very careful, and we are in full support of dealers looking to manage their businesses prudently. Tight inventory management does not come without risk, however. That is, the risk of a lost sale from a backordered product.

With continuing moisture through summer, the spring-summer business should finish strong and can hopefully make up for a disappointing winter of 2012 that lacked any significant snowfall. The fall business, primarily the debris business for us, can only be better than 2011. A hurricane (Irene) in August and a 15-inch snowfall in October really clobbered any hopes for a fall debris season last year.

Stan CraderCrader Distributing Company and Blue Mountain EquipmentTerritory: IL, MO, NE, KS, OK, TX

Sales to dealers and dealer’s reported retail sales are well ahead of last year. The reason for this increase is both an early, warm spring and normal to above precipitation across most of the area. Most dealers have depleted their spring orders and are placing significant additional orders.

Donald JohnsonGardner Inc. Territory: IN, KY, WV

Most dealers in my area had a strong and often record-breaking March and April due to the early spring start. Wholegoods and parts have moved well, with several nice reorders.

Some dealers have suffered from lack of rainfall since early in the season, mainly in western Kentucky and southern Indiana. Things started leveling off by mid-June. Unfortunately the hot, dry weather is beginning to slow business across the entire area. The year could be good if the weather cooperates. We certainly had a great start.