IT'S NO SECRET that the tanking economy has businesses suffering through lackluster sales. Luckily, most economic gurus were predicting that Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales would entice shoppers to part with their hard-earned cash. For the most part, they were right: Bloomberg reports that sales climbed 3.1 percent after Black Friday.
Our Top 100 dealers also report stronger-than-average sales. Hoosier Harley-Davidson of Elkhart, Ind., says it had a strong turnout despite slashing $15,000-plus in advertising dollars to promote the event. “All in all, we considered it a successful day, considering our area unemployment rate is approaching 20 percent and our expenses were cut significantly due to budget constraints,” says Brad Simkins of Hoosier H-D.
Here’s what other Top 100 Dealers had to say:
“Our black Friday sale was down from last year, but our average ticket was up.”
-- Bob Weaver, Bob Weaver Motorsports & Marine, North Tonawanda, N.Y.
“All I can say is amazing! In the four years I have been GM, we have never had a turnout like this. We actually had people waiting at our door at 7 a.m. on Black Friday. We had a very aggressive ad campaign that included TV, print and Internet advertising. In the week of Black Friday, we actually grossed as much as we did during entire month of November 2008. As far as Cyber Monday, we had never participated/promoted it until this year. We used Facebook and e-mail blasts, as well as in-store advertising. It was not huge, but, we did have a significant increase in online orders today.”
-- Eric Slagle, Powersports of Joplin, Joplin, Mo.
“We had a great Black Friday. I think we did close to $10,000 just in clothing and accessories. We were very fortunate to have the country band Telluride here for the noon hour and collected food for the food bank as a cover charge. I advertised in the local paper and on the radio. I had a total of $1,200 in advertising and hot dogs. Very good day for us with about 380 for a door count. I hope it continues.”
-- Vaughn Penrod, Penco Power Products, Kalispell, Mont.
“While our advertising was scaled back considerably for the event (we only did direct mail, Internet, and e-blasts, opting to forgo $15,000 in radio as in past years), we still had a strong turnout. We had free coffee and bagels, Early Bird Specials, and select merchandise was marked up to 70 percent off. Morning traffic was especially busy, with crowds tapering off midday. All in all, we considered it a successful day, considering our area unemployment rate is approaching 20%, and our expenses were cut significantly due to budget constraints.” -- Brad Simkins, Hoosier Harley-Davidson, Elkshart, Ind.
"Our Black & Orange Friday was SPECTACULAR. People were waiting at the front door for awhile, and when we opened people were racing around to get the items that they had come for. We had all-day sale items and items that were on sale at certain times that went very well. We just about doubled what we did last year in sales."
-- Aleia Mahurin, Frieze Harley-Davidson, O'Fallon, Ill.
"We don't do aBlack Friday sale, but we do host a reception and sale on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. This year we sold nearly 30 percent less in total dollars versus 2008. 2008 was off 35% versus 2007 so, while the post Thanksgiving traffic has stayed approximately the same we have see a decline in spending two years in a row."
-- Don Jeka, Great Bay Motorcycles Inc., North Hampton, N.H.