January '20

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64 THE SHOP JANUARY 2020 \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ ighty-three percent of automo- tive specialty equipment retailers report stable or growing sales in recent years, dispelling reports of a retail- pocalypse and showing that the more than 3,000 Specialty Equipment Market Asso- ciation member retailers are primed for continued growth, according to the new SEMA Retail Landscape Research Report. The internet and ecommerce are becoming a normal part of the retail busi- ness, with many specialty automotive retailers selling products online or using the internet to advertise and promote their businesses, the report found. However, retailers surveyed report that most 2018 sales were made through in- store purchases and believe that offering personalized advice to their customers is the key to helping them succeed in the future. "The SEMA Retail Landscape Report shows that the heavily publicized death of traditional retail is greatly exaggerated," said Gavin Knapp, SEMA director of market research. "The positive news is that most retailers in our industry are doing well. While the internet and ecommerce have impacted their businesses, savvy retailers are learning how to incorporate online sales into the mix and finding great success." For specialty automotive retailers who find opportunity online, 54% sell products through their company's website and 39% sell their products through an online mar- ketplace such as Amazon, eBay or Walmart. The web and social media are vital for marketing, the survey found, with 81% of retailers using social media to market their businesses. Facebook and Instagram are the main—but by no means the only—plat- forms used, while 71% of specialty auto retailers use their company's website to advertise the business. SEMA has also worked to identify poten- tial profit areas for its members, including selecting its Vehicles of the Year prior to the 2019 SEMA Show in association with show exhibitors. The winners were: • SEMA Car of the Year: Ford Mustang • SEMA Truck of the Year: Chevrolet Silverado • SEMA 4x4/SUV of the Year: Jeep Wrangler • SEMA Sport Compact of the Year: Audi RS 3 • SEMA Powersports Vehicle of the Year: Polaris RZR "The SEMA Show is where the newest and most innovative aftermarket products are seen first," said Mike Spagnola, SEMA VP of OEM & Product Development. "SEMA Show exhibitors are the innova- tors and experts who drive the $45 billion industry. Knowing what they believe are the best vehicles for accessorization helps to forecast trends." To learn more about the state of retail in the specialty automotive aftermarket, down- load the SEMA Retail Landscape Report for free at EDITOR'S NOTE: This ar ticle originally appeared on THE SHOP's website. Sign up for our free eNewsletter that brings after- market industry news to your inbox daily at Automotive Parts Retail Stores Still Thriving E \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ ONE MORE THING... The heavily publicized death of traditional retail is greatly exaggerated, according to a new SEMA report.

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