Harley-Davidson dealerships take 1, 2, 3 at Friday night event
Harley-Davidson dealers hit the trifecta last night, winning the top three awards at the Dealernews Top 100 awards ceremony, an invitation-only event held at the Indiana Roof Ballroom.
Doc's Harley-Davidson, based in the St. Louis suburb of Kirkwood, won the grand prize for 2007 for its commitment to best practices in retailing.
"While Doc's was not necessarily the most spectacular dealership entered in this year's Top 100, it had a penchant for doing things the right way, from displays to advertising and marketing programs, to being greatly involved with its community," says Top 100 program organizer and Dealernews publisher Mike Vaughan. "Doc's Harley-Davidson is simply a solid, cohesive retail outlet from top to bottom."
Doc's Harley-Davidson will be the featured cover dealer in the March issue of Dealernews.
Two big Harley dealers, Shenandoah Harley-Davidson of Staunton, Va., and Colorado's Thunder Mountain Harley-Davidson (Dealernews cover profile, January) were first and second runners-up, respectively.
While Big Four Japanese branded stores, especially Yamaha and Honda dealers, tended to dominate the competition in years past, Harley-Davidson dealers stepped up to make it the most successful OEM brand in this year's Top 100.
"While Harley dealers generally account for a high number of entries, this year an astounding 86 percent of H-D dealer entries won a Top 100 spot," says Vaughan. "This is a testament to the kind of dealers that Harley-Davidson has been recruiting and establishing for the past 20 years."
Several of the Top 100 judges said that many Harley stores tend to look alike, using the same interior colors and merchandising themes. A Harley dealership that presents unique design approaches and is tied closely to its community and customer base will likely stand out from its brethren, they noted. (Top 100 judges are recruited from the industry but are not publicly identified for the competition.)
Honorable Mentions went to Erico Motorsports, a Denver dealer of European motorcycle and scooter brands (Dealernews cover profile, September 2006) that has placed strongly in the Top 100 in recent years, and J&L Harley-Davidson of Sioux Falls, S.D. Another Sioux Falls dealer, MidAmerica Motoplex, took home the grand prize in 2004 and, like other Grand Prize-winning dealerships, is in the Top 100 Hall of Fame.
Ducati Seattle's small showroom merchandising approach was honored for Best Use of Space, while Harley-Davidson of Naples (Fla.) swept the media categories, winning the prizes for both radio and television advertising campaigns. J&P Cycles won again for best nonfranchised dealer.
J&W Cycles of Washington, Mo., won Best Community Involvement Program. Interestingly, J&W is the only dealer that has placed in the Top 100 every year since the award program's inception back in 1990.
The Dealernews Top 100 program is a qualitative competition, honoring powersports retailers in the areas of store design, merchandising, promotion and customer service. A complete list of Top 100 winners and special category award recipients is given on this page.
Visit the Top 100 Gallery in the main lobby of the Convention Center this weekend during Dealer Expo.
The 2007 Top 100 Yearbook and Merchandising Guide will be mailed to dealers in mid-April.
The deadline to enter next year's competition is Nov. 1. Entry forms and instructions will be available in April at www.dealernews.com — Mary Slepicka