December 31, 2009, 12:00 AM

With new niche markets, Power Equipment Direct continues growth

With shipments of snowblowers to Canada along with other new niche markets, Power Equipment Direct is continuing to rack up strong growth in sales, founder and CEO Jon Hoch says.

 

With shipments of snowblowers to Canada along with other new niche markets, Power Equipment Direct Inc. is continuing to rack up strong growth in sales, founder and CEO Jon Hoch says.

Hoch notes that in the third quarter, Power Equipment Direct generated record sales despite the down economy and the fact that last year’s Q3 numbers were boosted by a busier hurricane season that created demand for its power-generating equipment. The Bolingbrook, IL-based web-only retailer operates nine niche e-commerce sites, including PowerGeneratorsDirect.com, AirCompressorsDirect.com and SnowBlowersDirect.com. Its newest sites include MowersDirect.com, SumpPumpsDirect.com and LogSplittersDirect.com.

In one of its newest endeavors, Power Equipment Direct has already sold dozens of snowblowers to consumers in Canada. Following months of modifying its SnowBlowersDirect.com web site to accommodate Canadian shoppers, such as by letting them enter their province and postal code during checkout, the retailer teamed up with UPS to streamline the processing of Canadian taxes and shipment fees. “The biggest challenge was providing customers with accurate, real-time quotes before setting up an account,” Hoch says.

UPS simplifies cross-border shipping by providing a single invoice covering all Canadian taxes plus duties and brokerage fees. It also provides a separate shipping bill. “The process is painless,” Hoch says.

Power Equipment Direct is No. 354 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide (a PDF version of the company’s financial and operating profile can be ordered by clicking on its name).

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