SEMA recently visited two WD shows on opposite ends of the country in order to find out from jobbers how their businesses are holding up despite today’s down economy. While it was expected that many would claim sales are down, nearly one-third of the small sample of jobbers surveyed said business was flat while a surprising 28% said business was actually up.
Well over half of jobbers surveyed
at two recent WD shows said that
their current business was at least
the same or even up from last year.
Jobbers attending the Competition Specialties Inc. Mega Show in Auburn, Washington, or Racer’s Equipment Jobber Show in Warwick, Rhode Island, were asked several questions about their current business activity as well as current challenges they face today. Besides the current U.S. economy affecting their businesses, jobbers noted that cash flow and legislative threats pose major obstacles for their businesses today.
As far as competition, more jobbers state that the Internet and mail-order companies are their greatest competition, even more so than other jobbers.
Besides the current U.S. economy
affecting their businesses, jobbers
noted that cash flow and legislative
threats pose major obstacles for
their businesses today.
Jobbers surveyed said that Internet
and mail-order companies were
their toughest competitors.
Most of the jobbers surveyed operate one shop (83%), and while there are challenges facing their business, their small size has allowed them to focus on the small niche consumers they serve. Several jobbers noted that business was up because their enthusiast consumer base spends money on modifications regardless of the economy.
Other jobbers noted that they have diversified into new markets for them, such as looking at older vehicles on the road. Also, despite their focused customer base, these jobbers surveyed said they rely on manufacturers and WDs for general business and industry information, 38% and 28%, respectively.
SEMA plans to attend several more WD/jobber events to get a true sense of how jobbers throughout the country are faring in today’s challenging economy times. Regular data will be presented in order to help manufacturers and WDs better understand their jobber customers as well as give jobbers some information to help make better business decisions. — SEMA Research & Information Center
For more original SEMA market research, visit www.sema.org/research.