Report: Showroom inventory moving fasterPosted on
Inventory is leaving showroom floors twice as fast today as it did a couple of years ago.
Thats according to Bruce Van Wagoner, president of GE Capitals commercial marine lending group, who gave an address on the state of the marine industry via podcast last week with National Marine Manufacturers Association president Thom Dammrich.
Thats a very promising indicator, Matt Gruhn, president of the Marine Retailers Association of America, told Soundings Trade Only. Weve traditionally been known as a two-turn industry, but I think its really a little less than two turns, so for us to be up and over that, it means were managing our inventory better.
Inventory more than a year old is at a historic low of 13 percent, compared with 47 percent at the recessions peak, Van Wagoner said in the podcast.
The decision to buy a boat can still be impulsive if consumers see what they want, Dammrich pointed out. Thats why dealers really need to make sure they have adequate inventory levels, Van Wagoner said.
The dealers risking losing a sale to a spontaneous buyer if what that persons looking for is not in stock or if they dont see a range of choices, Van Wagoner said. Inventory is one-third less than it was at its peak, he said.
Dealers must have a clear understanding of their specific markets and trends, Van Wagoner said.
Gruhn agreed that dealers should always stock according to their markets to meet demand. But he also pointed out that learning the new and often fluctuating market needs is challenging for dealers.
Theres still so much negativity in the mainstream media, and with all that uncertainty out there … its hard to imagine dealers wanting to stock up real heavily after what they learned during the recession, Gruhn said.
Im not suggesting dealers shouldnt add to their inventory, Gruhn added. If their market needs it, they always need to have an adequate amount of inventory. But the difficulty now is twofold. One, theyre still learning what the new market requires and, No. 2, were fresh off this recession where so many were caught with additional inventory and there was a lot of talk at the time of how we need to remember the lessons of this recession, and I think thats still lingering out there.