WHEN RALLY SEASON is in the rearview and weekend rides start getting chilly, a lot of bikes will go into hibernation. Winter can put a chill on hobby riding that cuts through to businesses in colder climates, and that has some dealers looking outside the box for diverse business lines that bring in new customers, cross-market to regulars and help weather lean seasons.
At Westside Motorsports in Spokane, Wash., customers strolling the aisles are likely to see motorcycles on one side of the aisle and hot tubs on the other. At Scooterz N’ Shooterz in Uniontown, Ohio, customers walk past used motorcycles, scooter and motorcycle gear, and a wide selection of firearms on their way to the humidor. And patrons of Higgins Powersports in Massachusetts stroll through glass divider doors to warm up in the new fireplace showroom, courtesy of the dealership’s “energy alternative” business.
Adventurous retailers around the country are diversifying into product lines that might, at first blush, seem incongruous with the core. But they may be considering the advice of 2012 Dealer Expo keynoter Kevin Freiberg, who exhorted dealers to “innovate or die” and gave example after example of retailers who have found extra financial security by adding unexpected products to their mix. (Continued)