I hate to give away news you’ll soon see in Powersports Business, but this occasion merits it. For the first time since I can remember, the same store sales data that we publish courtesy of our friends at ADP Lightspeed shows some legitimate reason for optimism. The bottom of this dreadful run is behind us.
Or so it appears, according to the same store sales data that tracks more than 300 metric and V-twin dealerships throughout the United States.
Don’t get me wrong: Same store sales are still in the red. In other words, we’re still not meeting 2008 sales levels. But at least we’re out of the death spiral of earlier this year.
Same store sales started off decently enough in 2009, with January being just 8 percent below January 2008. But then the spiral began. February was down 21 percent. March was worse (minus-23 percent), April even more so at minus-31 percent and May was the crowning blow: off 34 percent from May 2008. June was just about as bad (33 percent off).
But then the slightest glimmer of hope came in July as sales weren’t quite as bad (off 31.5 percent). And now, August.
A legitimate reason to get excited that consumer confidence is restoring, even if it’s in measured doses.
How much better is August? I’ll let you guess at just where we finished. Remember: It’s in the red, but a marked improvement over July numbers.