The November issue of TireNews is now available online. You can flip through it here, but first, a few words from the Editor in chief of TireNews, Jack Kazmierski.
Let it Snow!
Canadian consumers still don’t believe winter will come this year.
As we put this issue of TireNews to bed, most of Canada still hasn’t seen a healthy dose of winter. Worse, we’ve seen an unusually warm fall. Add to that a number of lackluster winters in recent memory, and it would seem that some Canadians are hoping that maybe winter won’t come this year or, when it does, it will be less aggressive than it should be here in the Great White North!
While a warm fall and a less-than-brutal winter is a delight to most of us, it’s bad for the tire business in general, and for winter tire sales in particular.
Frankly, it doesn’t make sense. Even if we don’t get blasted with winter in November, we know the snow, ice and bitter cold that are part of the winter season here in Canada are inevitable. If we don’t get blasted in November, we’re sure to see winter in December or January, and certainly February! So like it or not, winter will be here sooner or later. It’s a given.
If we all agree that winter will be here, sooner or later, then what can you do in the meantime? According to the experts I’ve spoken with, tire retailers have two options. One, you can try to get ahead of the rush that will inevitably come (right after the very first snowfall) by doing what you can to get your customers in before the panic sets in.
Can you offer “Specials” to customers who come in now? Can you encourage them to get in early via a friendly email or a phone call or with an online or in-print campaign?
If you’ve tried all of the above, but with little success, then option two is likely your only choice: Get ready now to handle the rush, because it will come.
To prepare effectively you’ll need to line up two things—the extra help you’ll need to handle the rush, and an ample stock of the winter tires you know you’ll likely be selling this season.
Once the crowds pour in, you’ll be able to close more deals if you have the tires they want in stock. True, you can put their vehicles on a hoist and call your supplier to ask them to ship ASAP, but don’t you think your suppliers will be in panic mode as well?
I’m not saying you’ve got an easy job. Trying to anticipate customer needs when the weather isn’t cooperating is frustrating, to say the least. But as the saying goes, when life gives you lemons…
You’ve got to make the most of the weather situation, and according to the industry experts I’ve spoken with, preparation is your best bet.