How Dealers Cope With the Economy
Optimism was the prominent sentiment among dealers who made it to CES after struggling through the worse quarter in recent memory. With that behind them, they are determined to tough out the road ahead by belt-tightening where possible while still spending on things with a clear return on investment.
At the show’s outset, dealers were met with CEA’s State of the Industry statistics, a mixed bag of data showing sluggish sales, but also pointing to some bright spots in high-growth product categories. Dealers polled heading into the show said they were upbeat about some encouraging post-holiday sales trends and had already begun to execute their recession business strategies well before boarding their flights to Vegas.
Dave Workman, executive director of the 16-member PRO buying group, recapped the group’s 2008 sales performance, reporting that “overall business was up through mid-September, but the aggregate was down one percent in the October-November-December period versus the same period in 2007. But