Some Retailers See Surge in Revenue in 2013

by Mark Friedman  on Monday, May. 26, 2014 12:00 am  

Kathy Deck

About half of the retailers on this year’s list of Arkansas’ largest private companies enjoyed increased revenue in 2013.

Of the 17 retailers among the 75 largest private companies, eight reported increases over 2012 figures, four remained flat and five reported lower revenue.

The list is dominated by auto dealers, which reported increased sales in 2013.

“As the recovery has continued, auto sales have been one of the strong places when you look at retail sales,” said Kathy Deck, director of the Center for Business & Economic Research at the University of Arkansas’ Walton Business College.

She said that while year-over-year same-store sales for general retailers haven’t been that strong, auto sales have boosted sales in the retail industry.

The largest privately owned retailer headquartered in Arkansas is RLJ McLarty Landers Automotive Holdings LLC. The Little Rock firm reported revenue of $1.278 billion, which was up 10.8 percent from the previous year.

One of the biggest jumps came from Everett Buick Pontiac GMC of Bryant. Its revenue climbed 21.5 percent to $446.2 million in 2013.

Part of the increase can be attributed to the company opening in late September its fourth location, Everett Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram dealership in Springdale. The family-owned business sells about 60 percent new vehicles and about 40 percent used, said a manager who asked not to be named.

Landers Auto Sales of Little Rock also saw its revenue increase to $468.5 million in 2013, a jump of 19.2 percent over the previous year.

Auto dealers are seeing an uptick in revenue because consumers didn’t buy vehicles during the Great Recession. During the recession about 60 auto dealers in Arkansas went out of business.

“It’s been a great recovery,” said Dennis Jungmeyer, president of the Arkansas Automobile Dealers Association. “Today, with a few fewer dealers, we’ve got about a third more sales.”

Another reason that auto sales are up, Jungmeyer said, is that credit for autos is easier to obtain thanks to a 2010 amendment to the Arkansas Constitution. That amendment created 17 percent as the state’s cap for loan interest rates, rather than the previous cap of 5.5 percent.



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