The future may hold far fewer and radically redesigned stores, analysts say.
A retailer tells how he dealt with a shift in lending philosophy.
DiscountRamps.com LLC sells a wide range of access ramps, storage containers and other loading, hauling and transport products for vehicles ranging from large trucks to golf carts to pet strollers. To keep all of that inventory of more than 10,000 unique products in stock, it takes several steps to ensure a consistent flow of financing, says president and CEO Joel Lederhause.
At the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition 2011, Lederhause will reveal how he works with lenders and adjusts his company’s operations to secure financing in a session called “Where to find lender financing—and how to negotiate the best deal.” The session takes place June 14 at 11 a.m.
“I’ll talk about some of Discount Ramps’ experiences in the lending arena both before and during the economic recession, and how the shift in lending philosophy has changed the landscape for small- and medium-sized Internet retailers,” he says. “I’ll share the difficulties we ran into and how we overcame them by negotiation, alternative lenders and changes in our buying patterns.”
Discount Ramps, No. 425 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, uses most of its lender financing to purchase the inventory it sells to consumers. The retailer also uses its inventory stock to secure financing of additional inventory, and in recent years it has reviewed how it manages inventory to ensure it has sufficient stock on hand to secure new financing, Lederhause says.
Internet Retailer’s editors asked Lederhause to speak because of his extensive experience in operating an online retail business. He founded DiscountRamps.com in 2001 while continuing his career as a full-time firefighter and EMT. Since then, the company has experienced double-digit growth year over year and has ranked in the Internet Retailer Top 500 for three years.In 2006, Lederhause left his career as a firefighter to become the full-time CEO of his company. DiscountRamps.com sells more than 10,000 products in the loading, hauling and transport industry and is continually adding products.