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Tracking the trends in retail

Reluctance to invest in training by accessory shops and independent garages, and motor factors providing quicker local parts delivery than franchised dealers, are the key findings of the latest CAT Parts Distribution Trend Index report, published by Trend Tracker.

The Trend Index report is the result of telephone research conducted on 400 managers of businesses operating across the accessory shop, motor factor, franchised dealer and independent garage sectors.

When it comes to training, franchised dealer parts managers rate its importance far more highly than the other three sectors analysed, with 92% of respondents ranking it as “very important”. This compares with 42% of accessory shops, 30% of motor factors and 17% of independent garages.

Motor factors are able to provide quicker local parts delivery than franchised dealers because they carry a broader range of parts locally, and franchised dealer parts departments are geared mainly to feeding parts to their own workshops.

Brian Taylor, director of Trend Tracker, says that independent garages are prepared to wait for stock from franchised dealers as their labour rates are still lower than the dealer, meaning they can pass on the cost to the customer.

Taylor sums it up: “The report has highlighted issues we all knew were there, but it puts measures on it, rather than just relying on hearsay and second hand knowledge.”

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