Blue Ridge Golf Cars relocating to W.J.
Last modified: Nov. 21
After more than three years in Warrensville, Blue Ridge Golf Cars will return to West Jefferson later in November.
"Our plan is to be opening in the new location on Nov. 27," said Blue Ridge Golf Cars Vice President Anna Warner. "We closed on the building in mid-October and we're excited to get started."
Among the high country's leading golf car dealers, Blue Ridge Golf Cars sells golf car parts, accessories and service.
Warner's father, Steve, purchased the business in 2003 — and his daughter, Anna, joined the company in 2007 and helped re-locate the business to Warrensville in 2009.
"I think we sort of anticipated the economic slowdown, and moving to Warrensville was great for us in that climate," said Warner. "At the time, we covered 12 counties and most of their golf courses including sales, service, rentals and repairs."
Despite relocating the business during what Warner called her business's slow season, she said the move was necessary because of the growth in sales over the past three years, and specifically e-commerce sales.
"It's no doubt an awkward time of year to be making our move," said Warner. "It's seasonal, and yeah, things get slow in the winter but we have definitely outgrown our current location. It was either cut back on production or move, and the building in West Jefferson sort of fell into place."
Despite a slight decrease in sales among local clients, Warner said Blue Ridge Golf Cars has benefited from a significant growth in online sales through the company's website http://www.BlueRidgeGolfCars.com.
"On the e-commerce side, we are growing," said Warner. "We've recently shipped to Belize and Turkey, and we're growing our sales internationally, so we're feeling good about right now."
Warner said she began experimenting with growing BRGC's online revenues when the company's business started to slow down in 2009.
"After making the move to Warrensville, things started to slow down so we started to dabble a little on the Internet," said Warner. "We're really happy how it's grown from there."
The company has more than 1,500 products available for purchase online, and Warner said she probably has an additional 5,000 that need to be listed.
"It's a work in progress," said Warner. "We're seeing what works and what doesn't.
Right now, our online sales make up right at 50 percent of total sales and that's a market that we've only developed over the past three-and-a-half year. It's been very exciting."
With the move into West Jefferson, Warner hopes to encourage more local business.
"We hope as we move back into town we'll be able to couple our online success with local trade and move forward," said Warner. "We're also going to try a little bit of a different direction this time. Before, we were built more for the golf market but we're starting to offer more custom cars, including the XRT (a 4x4 utility vehicle), including sales, service and accessory installation."