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POWER PROFILE – Pier 47 Inc.

October 19, 2004
Filed under Features

PIER 47 INC.

CONTACT
30001 Wildwood Boulevard
Wildwood, NJ 08260
609/729-4774
www.pier47.com

OWNERS
Rick and Janet Traber

BUSINESS PROFILE
Founded in 1984, the dealership is currently being remodeled to 31,800 sq. ft. When finished, it will include a 5,600 sq. ft. showroom, a 4,200 sq. ft. second floor with offices, and a 22,000 sq. ft. building for rack storage. It is one of the largest marine dealerships in the area that is not part of a chain. Carries Yamaha WaveRunner personal watercraft, jet boats, and outboard motors; Kawasaki Jet Ski personal watercraft Sea Pro fishing boats; Carolina Skiff boats; and Triumph small fishing/ski boats. “Naturally, we sell more personal watercraft because they’re less expensive,” says Rick Traber. 12 full-time and eight part-time employees.

GREATEST CONCERN
“There are so many regulations, sometimes it’s hard to stay in business,” says Traber. “We’re right on the water, and it’s hard to get permits for dredging. Everything has to be done in a special way, so it’s very expensive.”

WHAT’S HOT?
Hot at Pier 47: the Yamaha FX 140 high-output cruiser PWC, the Yamaha AR 230 jet boat (skiing) and the SX 230 jet boat.

CUSTOMER BUYING TRENDS
“More people are financing today than ever before. Partly it’s because of good OEM programs, but due to advertisements for car, furniture, and electronics financing, everybody expects some kind of deal. That might be low interest or no payments for a set amount of time. We don’t see that so much with the bigger boats. Those people just want a fair, long-term interest rate, not necessarily the gimmicks.”

PARTS AND SERVICE
Pier 47 has five mechanics and two service managers/writers: one for boats, one for PWC. Two staffers are devoted to parts.

PROMOTIONAL HOME RUNS
Traber says a lot of Pier 47’s promotion is via word-of-mouth. “We do advertise in all the local boat magazines, and exhibit at the Atlantic City Boat Show in the Winter. Our dealership is on the major highway into town, so we get a lot of exposure that way.”

WORDS OF ADVICE
“We have the philosophy that we’re in the fun business and our motto is, ‘Making the Water More Fun,’” says Traber.

—Julie Filatoff

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