How has your dealership recently been affected by Big Box competition and what changes have you made to stay competitive?

“Our dealership has carried Snapper lawn products for decades. We noticed a few years ago the direction Snapper was headed. We have since ordered less and less Snapper products each year, weaning our customers away from Snapper toward other products.

“We formerly carried the Dixon zero turns for years as well. Once Husqvarna purchased Dixon, we had product reliability issues right away. It was all the little things. One customer who had Dixon products for over 15 years told me one day, ‘This is a cheap imitation of what Dixon once was!’ We quit stocking the Dixon product 2 or 3 years before they finally discontinued the product. I believe the product name will come back, but on a much more economy, cheaper unit and sold at a Box store. 

“We have focused on durable, commercial-grade products. As a dealer, we add value to the product and we are here to stand behind the product. It is a shame that the manufacturers don’t value the relationships or the value added to their products. They would rather make a cheaper, less reliable product in hopes to sell quantity over quality.”

—   Mitch Merz, Merz Farm Equipment, Falls City, Neb.