According to the results of the study, 40 percent of respondents expect specialty product sales to stay the same as what was seen in 2012 - if not improve. Another 40-plus percent report sales could increase between 1 percent and 10 percent in 2013, compared to 2012 figures.
Similarly, more than half of survey respondents believe gross margins will hold steady. One area that is not steady? Inventory splits. Fifty-two percent report that the majority of their inventory is national brand products, while only about one-fourth report an equal split between national and private label brands.
"Internet sales are also taking a hit in this segment, with 78 percent of respondents reporting they make no specialty product sales over the Internet, while 10 percent report 1 percent to 5 percent of their specialty sales are made online," explained Krista McNamara, managing editor, Aftermarket Business World. "Specialty customers continue to value parts availability and quality above all else, with OEM form, fit and function and price also being deemed significant considerations."
Full-line suppliers are important to specialty retailers, with about one-fourth each saying they are very important, important or somewhat important because of customer demand for quality products and product availability.
The complete results of the Aftermarket Business World Specialty Product Study are published in the magazine's February 2013 issue and can be accessed at: www.aftermarketbusiness.com/
The Aftermarket Business World Specialty Product Study was fielded via email invitation to readers who distribute specialty aftermarket products. Study results are intended to show general market trends, not statistical certainties, and should be utilized as such.
If you'd like to schedule an interview with Krista McNamara, contact Boris Chernin, marketing director, at 310-857-7632 or email Boris at firstname.lastname@example.org.