‘Laid off employees, doing 15 percent of what we should be doing daily’

Outdoor Power Equipment Magazine dealer readers are finding that attempting to operate a retail business during COVID-19 is fraught with a myriad of challenges, according to the Q1 Outdoor Power Equipment Magazine Dealer Survey.

The survey, conducted in late March, represents a range of more than 100 independent servicing OPE dealerships from 30 states, with the following annual revenue breakdowns in a typical year by dealer respondent:

  • Less than $500,000 — 31%
  • $501,000-$999,000 — 24%
  • $1-$2 million — 15%
  • $2-$3 million — 12%
  • $4 million or more — 18%

A total of 84 percent of dealership owners and operators replied “yes” when asked “Has coronavirus affected your dealership’s business?”

Following are some of the replies from dealers that replied in the affirmative:

  • Slowed down repairs
  • Owners only working; laid off all hourly employees
  • Less traffic as coronavirus impact worsens
  • Reduced staff and hours
  • Sales for new equipment way down compared to previous years.
  • Being closed
  • Our otc/diy is way up the last few weeks
  • Working through a locked door presents many challenges
  • Very little traffic, much time dedicated to cleaning
  • People not looking to buy
  • Busy on repairs, however slow on sales & foot traffic
  • Very few customers daily, people won’t pick up serviced units. A few people have been buying new units, but as a whole, people are wanting to see what happens with the virus and jobs in the near future
  • Slowed foot traffic to a halt
  • Low consumer and commercial activity for sales and service
  • In store traffic sharply declined
  • People stuck home, afraid to go out
  • Operating limitations
  • Poor sales
  • Massively reduced new sales and service
  • It affected our 2020 open house, and business slowed a little
  • Not yet, we are allowed to stay open in our state
  • Laid off employees, doing 15 percent of what we should be doing daily
  • People are scared
  • Less foot traffic. More emails and phone calls.
  • Ground it to a halt.
  • Closed us down because we are not a necessary business
  • Governor closed our showroom
  • Lack of traffic
  • Landscapers are getting pinched by their customers so the next place to go is to the dealer for extended terms, deeper discounts or cut back on purchasing
  • People afraid to interact
  • Considered non-essential business in our state
  • People don’t come in to get repairs done as much.
  • Drastic drop in sales, parts and service. Doors might as well be closed
  • Our state is shut down — no retail
  • No real way to tell, but stay at home has to be affecting us.
  • People holding back with the uncertainty
  • Poor customer count resulting in less sales
  • Business has dried up
  • Lack of in-house traffic and slower than normal sales of complete goods
  • Busy with repairs but people are scared and staying away
  • I think people are holding on to their money
  • Slowed way down, but the grass hasn’t started yet
  • Every area/you name it has been impacted
  • Stock market crash has killed off about half of the Kubota purchases
  • One store is temporarily closed
  • Almost non-existent
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