Profits sprinkle on lawnmower sales but retailers are still thirsty

By Sarah Falson

SYDNEY: Sydney’s recent spots of rain have not been enough to relieve water restrictions, but lawnmower resellers in New South Wales are stocking up in anticipation of longer grass across the state.

It’s no secret that lawnmower manufacturers felt a pinch from lower-than-expected sales over the summer months, but optimism is once again in the air with some retailers selling lawnmower units faster than suppliers can provide them.

Suppliers are feeling the joy too with increased retailer orders, which is a sure sign that the grass is greener on the other side of the rain.

“March is usually the beginning of the downturn in the [lawn-mowing] season, but in late February and early March in New South Wales our sales were up,” said Victa CEO, Andrew King.

“In terms of month-on-month sales, our sales during this period were 50 per cent better than we would have expected otherwise, in New South Wales.”

Business is firing for those with lawn-mowing businesses, too, with one Greystanes business-owner telling the Sydney Morning Herald that he can’t keep up with customer demand.

“Since we have had this rain business has just boomed. I’m doing seven or eight lawns a day. I don’t have time to mow my own,” said A Greener Look owner, Glenn Bewert.

Specialist lawnmower reseller and repairs centres are also relieved.

“Six weeks ago a lot of [mower] shops were wondering where the next dollar was coming from. Now we are all working overtime and double shifts,” said Sydney Roller Mower Centre owner, Greg McLaren in the article.

However, those north and south of the border still aren’t right as rain, with Victa’s King reporting that sales in Victoria, South Australia and South Queensland for the period remained low.

“[These locations] experienced very poor months,” he told Current.com.au

Furthermore, Victa has had to hold back stocks of its new EcoTorque environmentally-friendly two-stroke mower until it sells its existing stock.

“Because it’s been a poor season, we have to run out older engines across our range,” said King, whose business is forced to look elsewhere for its profit when the rain doesn’t rate.

“We have had too many of these periods where all the [states] aren’t firing at once – we’re drought prone. We’re a national company and we depend upon weather conditions in all states.

“[At the moment] we are increasing our sales in New Zealand. We also have other exports and some products in our range do not rely on the weather, like the new Vac and Blow product,” he said.

Retailers typically replenish their lawnmower stocks two weeks after rain, according to King, which bodes well for Victoria which last week experienced several days of on-and-off rain.

North Queensland on the other hand is usually consistently safe, due to its tropical weather and monsoons.

Current.com.au asked King if he was nervous about yesterday’s tsunami warning off the coast of the eastern seaboard in far North Queensland, which could potentially flood lawns with detrimental salt water.

“I’m not too worried about it,” he said.

“Though it wouldn’t be good for us, maybe it’d be good news for my friends who make pumps.”

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