364 S Arlington St.
Arkron, Ohio 44306
Dennis and Candace Laidig
“We are orange bleeders through and through,” said Candace Laidig, who co-owns Holeshot KTM with her husband Dennis (Denny) Laidig. That would be clear to anyone who set foot inside the couple’s Northeast Ohio dealership. Swathed in orange and silver, the 2,400-square-foot boutique is an ode to its product line. Though the company is working in a small space, it does big business out of its parts and accessories department with an extensive online store and a mail order parts business, which it advertises nationally. A motocross and Hare Scrambles rider with a machinist background, Denny Laidig started Holeshot in 1970 because he wasn’t able to get the service and care he wanted from existing local dealers. Candace Laidig joined the business in 1975 when the two were married. Denny Laidig has put his technical background to use at his dealership and for KTM, servicing KTM bikes at many riding events. He was the first Master Orange Tech for KTM North America. Candace Laidig specializes in the sales, finance and advertising part of the business. Holeshot KTM lies at the intersection of three major highways, making it easy for the dealership’s riders to get to the store. The store is an exclusive KTM full-line dealership and the two companies have a strong relationship. “KTM USA headquarters are located less than one hour from our door,” Candace Laidig said. “Denny and I have grown up with most of the people who work in Amherst (Ohio) at KTM.”
Little expenses can add up quickly. “The expense of everything is a great concern for everyone right now,” Candace Laidig said. At Holeshot KTM, a lot of expenses are incurred with its parts business. Every year, the dealership averages more than $40,000 in shipping charges sending parts across the country, sometimes for a rush order. The company also racks up expenses getting credit cards accepted. One thing Holeshot KTM has learned is that credit card processing companies charge merchants higher fees for credit cards that have points or airline miles attached to them. To avoid credit card fraud, which has become a concern for many consumers, Holeshot KTM only ships its products to the card’s billing address.
For Holeshot’s off-road enthusiasts, the two-stroke 300 XC-W has been the model of choice recently. On the street side of things, the dealership has received positive response for KTM’s 990 Super Duke. Anticipation is high at the dealership for the forthcoming RC8.
CUSTOMER BUYING TRENDS
Online retailing is where more customers are turning for the ease and convenience of it and Holeshot KTM has a pretty good corner on the niche it feels it can fill. “We are seeing more and more riders using the Internet to purchase their KTM parts,” Candace Laidig said. “Our riders like the ease of ordering their parts from the comfort of home. We make it easy to place that order and stay on track for (a customer’s) busy day.” Holeshot KTM plans to launch an online newsletter at the beginning of July to drive even more consumers to its Web site. The dealership’s Web site is user friendly and eye-catching thanks to the help of the Laidig’s son, who is a Web design specialist.
PARTS AND SERVICE
“We started our online store around 1998,” Candace Laidig said. “Long before the Internet, we were strong in parts sales. We found that most dealers cannot afford to stock parts, but all riders need their parts yesterday. So there was our niche.” Holeshot KTM’s service department is home to three KTM certified Orange Techs, two of whom are Master Orange Techs.
PROMOTIONAL HOME RUNS
“For each of our parts orders that we shop out, we include LifeSavers candy,” Candace Laidig said. “Why? We advertise that Holeshot is your KTM parts Life Saver. The candy gets a chuckle. I can’t tell you how many times riders say, ‘Now don’t forget the LifeSavers’ when they place their orders with me.”
WORDS OF ADVICE
“I would say do not be afraid to make a living. Do not think you are buying friendships or loyalty by extending credit or lowering prices to riders,”?Candace Laidig said. “There is nothing evil about selling at retail. We are retailers. We are not discounters.”
— Lisa Young
Copyright 2008 Powersports Business