Royal Distributing Inc.
“If you have it, they will come” is a slight variation on the bible verse but sums up the Royal Distributing Inc. sales philosophy. As Ontario’s leading supplier of powersports parts and accessories, the company strives to have exactly what customers need for their powersports vehicle and ship it to them overnight.
John Mochrie, his wife Marion and business partner Paul Messier started the Ontario-based company in 1990 as a supplier for after market parts and accessories for snowmobiles and ATVs. At the time, he envisioned the project as a hobby but ended up creating the first mail order powersports company in Canada.
Today, Royal Distributing has grown into four retail stores with nearly two hundred employees. Its state-of-the-art warehousing and shipping facilities cater to customers across Canada. While the company focuses on after market parts and accessories, it also carries engine and suspension parts and riding and protective gear.
The Canadian Business Journal spoke with CFO and founder John Mochrie about how the company achieved success, what keeps the customers coming back and some of its products.
Buy Right, Sell Right
Customer satisfaction is the company’s main priority. It has built a reputation on filling orders quickly and accurately. “We rely on a very strong warehouse. If there’s an item in our catalogue, we strive to have it in stock at all times,” Mochrie says. “People have gotten used to depending on us, and having fair prices, and being able to get it to them in a realistic time.”
Royal Distributing guarantees most items to customers overnight. This is essential because vehicles breakdown and customers require parts quickly. “The biggest key is to try to have a fill rate of over 90% on a day-to-day basis. It’s the old saying: ‘If you have it, they will come,’” Mochrie says. “Customers want it in that 24-hour span.”
When Royal Distributing first started, the market for parts grew so rapidly that the plan to remain an online mail order service only quickly evaporated. Three years later, the company opened its first retail store in Barrie and then in Guelph, Sudbury, Innisfil and Whitby, Ontario. All the retail locations bring great products, prices and service to the major markets in all corners of the province.
Royal Distributing’s operation hub is the Guelph location on Woodlawn Road. Today, it carries all the ‘toys’ for sports enthusiasts of any age. From protective gear, including jerseys, gloves, pants, helmets and boots, to casual wear and accessories. The Guelph location is a 97,000-square foot building that is home to the mail order operation, a huge warehouse and distributing centre and retail showroom.
The Royal Distributing retail showrooms are modern and contemporary. They have “bold coloured graphics and attractive displays are eye-catching” so “customers can’t help but notice the motorcycles, snowmobiles and watercrafts that are cleverly displayed throughout,” the company website says.
Exactly What Customers Need
As the powersports population ages, companies are adapting to the demands of these consumers. In particular, Royal Distributing recognizes the demand for comfort items, such as three-wheel motorcycles and heated clothing, seats and grips.
“There are two or three companies building three wheel motorcycles now versus two wheels. If your legs are getting weaker and you don’t want to stabilize the bike anymore, you still have the option to ride,” Mochrie says.
“Companies are also building four wheelers that are closed in and have heat. Demands for a product that is easier to use and the comfort zone expectations are getting higher.”
Keeping with its low-price promise, Royal Distributing offers “Royal Weekly Specials” and sells discounted and non-current products, such as Fox Racing Motocross Helmets, Leather Joe Rocket Jackets and snowmobile suits from companies like FXR.
A new product that currently has people talking is the Crank Plus, a multi-function power supply. The Crank Plus has a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery that produces more power, is light weight and compact, and has flashlights for charging in the dark. It cranks anything from lawnmowers to diesel trucks, including electronics. Crank Plus offers additional cranking power, so it gives vehicles enough power to start, even in frigid temperatures.
The retail stores carry a wide selection of clothing for men, women and children from popular lines, including Fox, Joe Rocket, Shift, Thor and more.
Royal Distributing’s employees are key to its success. “The strength of our company has been our employees,” Mochrie says. “Their passion and strengths have really pushed it ahead.”
For individuals who are passionate about powersports, Mochrie encourages them to pursue their dream and work in the industry. “We need those enthusiasts that would like to work in the business,” he says. “The powersports industry is driven by passionate fun-loving outdoors powersports customers.”
Royal Distributing recently joined forces with Wellington County to create a family sports centre called Royal Distributing Performance & Activity Centre. Wellington County residents will have the opportunity to participate in organized sports and healthy leisure activities in this state-of-the-art sports and recreation facility. Royal Distributing is very proud of the sponsorship because it can give back to the local community.