Kimpex Launches New Exclusive Watersports Line at Annual Trade Show


Kimpex, Drummondville, Quebec, held its annual trade show at the Hilton Hotel and Suites in Niagara Falls, Ontario in October. Organizers say they're pleased with this year's show results and used the event to introduce an exclusive brand it now represents in Canada.

This year's show featured 60 vendor booths representing countless product lines.

"We are really happy with how the show turned out,' says Michel Côté, Kimpex's VP of Sales. "This is the second time we've been to Niagara Falls; we were last there in 2009. It's a nice venue and it's a pretty central location since we attract dealers from across Canada.'

Côté says business was decent this year because the company keeps adding new product lines. "Overall it was a very good season for Kimpex, and we expect another good season next year too,' he says. "We launched a new line at this year's show. We are now the exclusive distributor for Jobe for Canada, an extensive watersports product line that includes wakeboards, tubes, skis, rash guards and other toys for the water. There will be a really big push by the brand in Canada and in the United States in the near future.'

Many of Kimpex's customers are also powersports and motorcycle dealers. To keep up with orders, the distributor has made some improvements to its facilities. "We cover many segments of their business,' says Côté. "For us in general, business is very good. We have made a lot of changes in our operations over the last few years. We've modernized our warehouse with scanning technology that's much more efficient than before. This has also helped us to push our cut-off time each day to guarantee delivery times.'

However, Côté says there have still been a few challenges facing some of the company's customers. "Overall the cruiser market is down a little bit, he explains. "Dealers say their level of inventory is still high after the summer and in some places in the country, the weather has not been that nice.' Côté says this has more recently impacted the watersports business in some areas.

Still, the distributor is very optimistic about the future of the marine business. "People will always want to have fun and enjoy themselves when they have free time,' explains Côté. "It's up to us to provide consumers the toys that they need to enjoy their time on the weekend or in the evening. One of our biggest competitors is the electronics industry. We want people to go outside and have fun on the lake.'

Côté says the key to making that a reality rests in the industry offering consumers exciting product choices that better enable them to enjoy their favourite outdoor activities.

Presently, Kimpex operates an approximately 40,000 square-foot warehouse in Calgary, Alberta in addition to its 100,000 square-foot facility in Drummondville, Quebec. "We are able to provide good service to dealers coast-to-coast,' adds Côté. "We have 21 reps on the road and close to 10 customer service agents here in Drummondville that can service the dealers. So our setup is quite good. All orders received before 4:00 p.m. (EST) are shipped the same day.'

He says Kimpex can serve 80 percent of its market in Canada with next-day delivery. In the Maritimes, he says delivery could take two or three days depending on the location of the dealer.

No date has yet been decided for next year's Kimpex Trade Show, so stay tuned for updates.