New England-based Russo Marine is “right-sizing” its business by selling its Boston area flagship store and relocating north to a smaller building on a larger plot of land that is closer to the water and has more highway visibility — and subsequently slashing operating costs by 40 percent.
The move for the family business, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, might be a sign of the times in what the industry still refers to as “the new normal” six years after the Great Recession devastated it.
With real estate selling at a premium in the region and at a time when dealers carry a fraction of the inventory they used to, Russo Marine no longer needs a 42,000-square-foot showroom, said Larry Russo Sr., who runs the operation with his wife, Bea, and two sons, Larry Jr., and Alex, after taking over the business from his parents decades ago.
The dealership will move to Danvers, Mass., which is on the north shore of the state, into a building that is 25 percent smaller than the current one, but on a chunk of land that is 25 percent larger. Russo says the land area for boats is more important than interior space.
“It’s right-sizing,” Russo Sr. told Soundings. “Our inventory backup is significantly less than it was 10 years ago. When we moved into the Medford property we had 100 more new boats in stock than we do today.”