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Bair’s, Inc. – Canton, OH – June 2, 2003

June 2, 2003
Filed under Power Profiles

CONTACT
6956 Portage Street NW
North Canton, OH 44720
330/499-4544
www.bairsonline.com

OWNERS
The Cheyney Family

BUSINESS PROFILE
Approximately 20,000 sq. ft. dealership founded at present location in 1940; has carried Polaris since 1967 (including Victory motorcycles). “Only about 10 dealers have been with Polaris as long as we have,” says Brad Cheyney, president. Also carries Toro, Wheel Horse, Walker, and Steiner lawn and garden equipment. Largest-selling powersports segment is ATV, “by a wide margin.” 20 employees.

GREATEST CONCERN
“My biggest concern is keeping up with growth to continue to satisfy the customer the way I want to,” says Cheyney. “On a national level, it’s exciting to see more and more ATV trails. It’s family entertainment. And people are now trailering ATVs to a hotel to ride. It’s the few who aren’t law-abiding who are my concern.”

WHAT’S HOT?
Blazing a trail at Bair’s: the Sportsman 500 and 700 ATVs are “the hottest,” says Cheyney, “and the new Predator and all youth models are doing very well. In snowmobiles, the XC SP models are hot. We had a pretty good winter, but the market is still saturated — supply and demand is still off kilter.”

CUSTOMER BUYING TRENDS
Bair’s is in North Canton — an hour south of Cleveland — home to Hoover vacuum cleaners, Timken roller bearings, and the Football Hall of Fame. “Polaris has been around long enough that we’re getting second- and even third-generation customers,” notes Cheyney. “We’ve been in business 52 years, and repeat customers are a huge part of that. Polaris loyalty is tremendous.”

What trends has Cheyney seen? “We used to work a whole lot harder for the sale. Today so many people are very familiar with Polaris quality and products.”

PARTS AND SERVICE
Bair’s has three full-time, Polaris-certified service technicians. “We did major renovations this winter, and grew the work area tremendously,” notes Cheyney. “We have two or three lifts per mechanic. If they’re working on a vehicle that needs parts, instead of pushing it in and out of the shop, they can leave it and jump to a vehicle on another lift. Or if one customer is not in a big hurry, and another one is, it helps tremendously. We’ve made the shop a much nicer environment for the mechanics.”

WORDS OF ADVICE
Cheyney has three pieces of advice: “Satisfy the customer. Satisfy the customer. Satisfy the customer. Make sure you don’t give the store away, but meet all the customer’s needs. Go the extra mile. When you do that, he’s thrilled.”

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