June 2, 2003 – Clark named to head Biker’s Choice operation at Tucker Rocky Distributing

Walter Clark is a busy man. The new vice president of Tucker Rocky Distributing’s Biker’s Choice operation not only has been traveling around the U.S. meeting dealers and sales reps in an effort to learn what they are experiencing, but he also has been in the midst of moving half-way across the country, from a house in Maryland to a new home in Texas.
Clark, the four-year Mid-Atlantic regional manager (Region 4) for Tucker Rocky/Biker’s Choice, took over as vice president on March 24, 2003, filling the position opened by the departure of Bob Kay in June 2002.
Speaking with Powersports Business moments after leaving a meeting regarding product for 2004, Clark said Biker’s Choice, responding to dealer requests, is ready to drastically expand on a variety of fronts during the next year.
For instance, he said a committee at the meeting he attended had approved an unrivaled 99% of the products they were asked to examine for inclusion in the 2004 catalog. He declined to name any brands, but says the products were carefully sourced to allow dealers a “better than average” margin.
“It’s going to include everything from hard parts to apparel to luggage,” he said. “We will continue to be driven by what our dealers need and want, so clearly our direction is to have a broader line for them.”
A second area where Biker’s Choice plans to expand is in its on-line ordering system. The company implemented it’s new computer system — an off-shoot of the most recent Tucker Rocky system — at the Dealer Expo in Indianapolis, and Clark says it has received positive reviews.
“We’re still rolling dealers on,” he said, “but people really seem to like what it’s capable of. And, there’s still a number of things we could do with it.”
A motorcycle enthusiast since childhood, Clark worked at Union 76 for 25 years before starting at Tucker Rocky/Biker’s Choice in 1996 as branch manager in Chicago. Three years later, he moved to Maryland to take up the regional manager position.
Clark calls his management style “participative,” and says he likes to involve those affected by decisions into the decision-making process.
“I really feel like I work for our sales reps and our dealers,” he said. “I believe in giving people the training and the tools and just getting out of the way. We’ve got people who want to do a good job, so we just have to make sure that we give them everything we can to help them do that job.”
Bell recreation earnings flat
Bell Industries, Inc.,
(AMEX:BI), El Segundo, Calif., reported flat sales and earnings in its Rereational Products Group for the first quarter ended March 31, 2003.
Sales at Bells Recreational Products Group (RPG) increased 9% to $10.6 million for the current quarter, compared with $9.8 million in the corresponding year-ago period. RPG posted operating income of $61,000, compared with $75,000 a year earlier.
Bell attributed the sales increase to strong marine and recreational vehicle product sales, partially offset by weak sales in snow products early in the quarter as a result of mild winter conditions in the northern Midwest in late 2002 and early 2003. The group also recorded increased operating expenses in the current period due to higher initial distribution center costs following the move to a new facility in late 2002.
Consolidated net sales for the three-month period were $32.1 million, the same as that of the prior-year period. The company recorded a net loss of $912,000, or 11 cents per share, for the 2003 first quarter, compared with a net loss of $2.2 million, or 24 cents per share, a year ago. Results in 2002 included an accounting charge of $1.3 million after tax, or 14 cents per share.
For the 2003 quarter, the loss before income taxes was $1.3 million, compared to a loss of $1.5 million before income taxes and the charge for the accounting change in the prior-year period.

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