Bert’s Mega Mall
Jan Plessner, Contributing Writer
December 28, 2012
Filed under Power 15 Dealers
As a retailer of powersports vehicles from 15 different OEMs, Bert’s Mega Mall has few customers who can say “You don’t have what I’m looking for.”
Instead, principal Ron Seidner has a different issue at his dealership, a member of the inaugural Powersports Business Power 15.
“We have a problem with buying too much,” Seidner said. “We are never out of anything.”
The advantages of carrying such a breadth of product start and end with keeping customers happy by sending them home with a product they came seeking in the first place. And because of their range of product, OEMs and aftermarket companies know that they’ll see product turns at Bert’s.
An employee force of 160 full-timers is exceptionally strong, but Seidner estimates that it’s a downturn of about 55 percent from its pre-recession height. Even so, Seidner admits that his current staff makes Bert’s the dealership of choice for its customers.
Seidner says the dealership ranks first nationally in sales in many categories by various OEMs, and is among the top 10 in sales with others.
“We pretty much dominate in almost every category,” he said. “We’ve been here longer than most dealers in California. We have the best selection and we are open seven days a week. That is a big thing now.”
Seidner maintains that the dealership sees bottom-line growth by offering such customer-friendly hours.
“We get so many deals on Sundays and Mondays,” he said. “Before everyone was open seven days and then when things got tight, dealerships went back to a five-day-a-week schedule. We stayed with the same program. We work hard and we match deals. We stay in the game and we continue to take trades. We do what we were taught from day one. Our business philosophy hasn’t changed.”
New unit sales are “still dominant in our store, even though we have a huge used bike business.”
Seidner says financing doesn’t provide the gross profit it once did, but he’s seeing a rise in the number of customer loans getting bought.
“Make sure you do your disclosures,” Seidner advised. “Stay up to date with all your new policies and regulations. It’s not as good as it used to be in F&I; the banks don’t advance as much as they used to, but it’s still okay.”
Bert’s uses a showroom layout that allows customers to either shop for bikes, or shop for PG&A.
“We have a full separate division in our store that is a completely different face,” he said. “Our success with PG&A is that the sales guys sell the bike and then the accessory people meet and greet the customer and then help them in that department.”
“You have to take care of your people who come in for service,” Seidner said. “And we do that by keeping a good aged team, and stay consistent with staffing. We seem to keep a pretty good team.”
Bert’s relies heavily on events to drive customers into the dealership, and takes marketing one step further by offering demos several times a year.
“We do two or three off-site events per year and we try to invite as many activities inside the dealership, such as open houses or having clubs come by,” Seidner said. “We are having a blood drive coming up very soon at Christmas time. We really try to do as much as we can.”
In addition, Bert’s partnered with Yamaha to do a demo event at Azusa Canyon, and it’s connecting with Polaris at an event in Glamis over New Year’s.
Bert’s turns to factory floorplan offers, and is capitalizing on the benefits of more order periods per year and shorter flooring terms.
“It’s helpful that way because you know if you miss one, you don’t have to wait an entire year before you can order again,” Seidner said. “There are still a few companies that are obsolete by doing the annual ordering and it’s getting a little old. I think we are all getting more conditioned to order every two weeks, or every month or every quarter.”
What attracts employees to your dealership?
“If they are aggressive and they have a good skill set, they can do well at our dealership. The phone rings and the door swings a lot here, so a guy who is good can make good money; on the floor or in service, he can do well.”
Location: Covina, CA
# of Locations: 1
Full-time employees: 160
Year founded: 1958
Principal/Owner: Ron Seidner
OEM brands: Arctic Cat, Can-Am, Ducati, Honda, Husqvarna, Hyosung, Kawasaki, KTM, KYMCO, Polaris, Sea-Doo, Suzuki, Triumph, Victory, Yamaha