I’m feeling pretty low right now and I have been for quite some time, along with just about every other motor dealer I have the pleasure of knowing. We are going to form “The Miserable Motor Dealer Club”, subscriptions should be brisk at just a Pound, and in fact we expect to be full within the week!
But seriously to say it’s bad out here would be a severe understatement (as if you didn’t know that already) and in less than two weeks time it will be Christmas again. Imagine going in to work every day, opening up the office, shop, or showroom, turning on all those expensive lights, cranking up that expensive heating, greeting you’re (also less than happy) work colleagues, and then sitting down at your desk or cash register and staring out of the window for the next eight hours or more. In between the mind numbing boredom you shuffle a bit of paperwork, do some photocopying, drink lots of tea and coffee, tidy the shelves, check the stock, make lots of seemingly pointless phone calls, chase all of those leads (if you have any that is) desperately looking at the sales targets you know you are never going to reach, and generally despair!
Sound familiar? Welcome to the wonderful world of “Retail” It matters not if you have just found the elusive “Water into Wine” formula either, because nobody’s buying!
We keep hearing that the country is on the brink of recession? come off it Gordon, who’s kidding who here, from a retail point of view it feels as if we’ve been in a recession for months now.
From supermarkets to clothes stores, from double glazing to CD’s you can’t miss the “Buy one get one free” offers, even the motor industry has been at it, with well documented news that one American brand was attempting to gain a foothold in an ever decreasing UK marketplace by offering just that, buy one, get another Free!
It worked up to a point but it probably attracted more headlines than real customers, and anyway to the rest of the industry it all looked just a bit too desperate. The point was people did take notice and the manufacturer in question did sell some metal, the trouble is that it’s left a bit of a bitter taste in the mouths of the rest of us, why so you may ask, isn’t it just a case of sour grapes because they did it first? Well no actually, When the story of this (what seemed) remarkable offer first broke back in November a well known motoring publication asked its readers in an online forum what their reaction to it was and, more importantly, would it really make them buy that particular brand? Well the results are in, and of all the replies that were submitted, and there were many, the one from Mr Colin McLean of Staffs sums up the problem perfectly, and I quote:
“Yes, I definitely would be interested, however, the type of brand I’m interested in buying is probably never going to go down this gung-ho type of dealing route anyway, hopefully as I’m in the marketplace to buy soon things will get worse and more tempting offers will come along!”
Well guess what Mr McLean, things have got worse! And you’re right about the second point as well. The “Brand” you’re interested in buying is never going to offer “Buy one get one free” deals, even in these harsh times no main stream market leader such as Ford, Vauxhall, Peugeot, VW and the like are even remotely thinking along those lines and although it’s been said here many times before, while you and countless others sit on the fence waiting for further stagnation the really great offers are being snapped up by those that know a good deal when they see it.
All sectors of the retail industry are struggling right now, you only have to watch the news regarding Woolworths and MFI to see that, but waiting until things are at their worst is a bit like waiting until the end of the January sales, when you finally do decide to venture into the marketplace all the best styles and sizes are long gone!