Lawn and garden industry participants are inclined to stock up on new low-cost models based on a positive summer selling season, according to survey results released by GE Capital, Commercial Distribution Finance (CDF).
* 54% of industry participants said the popularity of lower-cost models will have the largest impact on sales this year, compared to 43% last year.
* One quarter said reduced levels of inventory will impact sales, down 1% from last year.
* 7% pointed to long production lead times impacting sales, down from 20%.
"Pent-up demand for machines may have driven both consumer and commercial sales this year," said Michael Horak, commercial leader of CDF's outdoor products group. "Dealers have told us they feel good about the recent selling season and, based on current conditions, they're planning to order more new equipment for next year."
In fact, nearly half--49%--said this is a good time to consider re-stocking, up from 40% last year. About a third--34%--had mixed feelings, down from 40%.
Respondents were generally optimistic about sales trends next year, as well:
* 38% said their sales would grow 5-10%
* 23% said 10-15%
* 23% said 15% or more
"From the inventory financing point of view, we've seen strong liquidations and outstandings have been reduced to levels equivalent to this time last year," Horak said. "At the same time, inventory turns have increased to a very healthy level."
The lawn and garden industry survey was conducted Oct. 23-25. The 164 respondents were composed of:
* retailers and dealers - 27%
* manufacturers - 23%
* distributors - 15%
* other industry participants - 35%
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