Earlier this month, Wilkins Harley-Davidson of South Barre, Vermont, announced to its 9,000 Facebook followers that it would be permanently closing its Wilkins North Harley-Davidson location in Essex Junction, Vermont. Wilkins had acquired the former Green Mountain Harley-Davidson location in Essex in November.
The South Barre location has been in operation since 1947 and is now in its third generation of ownership, with Barbara Wilkins, Ann Lyon and John Lyon at the helm.
The Facebook post announcing the new has generated 176 reactions, 143 comments and 86 shares.
Despite some customers now needing to ride just shy of an hour to reach the South Barre location, they seem to up for the task. As a few commenters said:
“Wilkins H-D is the best no matter where they are. We will always be Wilkins friends and customers.”
“Will go wherever you are, thank you all for being there for us.”
Suffice to say, this reaction and show of support hasn’t been the case at some of the other recent Harley-Davidson dealership closings. How would your dealership’s customers react if you made the decision to close one location but keep another? Would they pass other dealerships along the way to make sure they continue to do business with your shop?
Wilkins Harley-Davidson was named a Powersports Business Power 50 dealership from 2014-2018.
— Dave McMahon, editor