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Aftermarket accessories distributor Coast Distribution System Inc. lost $454,000 during the three months ended Sept. 30, but that represents an improvement over the $957,000 it lost during the third quarter of 2000.

The company, which serves the RV and pleasure boat industries, reported its third quarter sales declined 3% to $35.9 million.

During the first nine months of this year, Coast lost a total of $1.2 million, compared with $233,000 lost during the first nine moths of last year.

The Morgan Hill, Calif.-based company’s sales declined 11% during the first nine months of this year to $114 million.

“Our service levels to our customers are improving and we are confident that we will be able to recapture any market share lost during the implementation of our supply chain strategy,” said Thomas R. McGuire, chairman and CEO. “Our inventories at the close of the third quarter were $4.5 million (13%) less than the prior year and we have reduced our SG&A (sales, general and administrative) expenses by $1.7 million (9%) in the nine months ended Sept. 30, as compared to last year.”

Coast’s supply chain strategy involves carrying smaller inventories, which lowers interest costs and reduces the amount of warehouse space that the company requires. Coast closed a warehouse in Portland, Ore., in September and will begin operating in January from a smaller warehouse in nearby Wilsonville, Ore., McGuire said.

“We will continue to downsize our facilities as efficiencies and lease renewal dates coincide,” he added.