RVIA Economic Impact Study

The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association commissioned an Economic Impact Study on the RV industry, released on June 7, 2016. The study found that the RV industry contributes about $49.7 billion in economic output or 0.28 percent of the Gross Domestic Product. Through its production and distribution linkages, the industry impacts firms in 426 of the 440 sectors of the United States economy.

Nationwide, the industry is responsible for 216,170 jobs, both directly and inderectly, creating an economic impact of $37.5 billion. The full study results, along with each individual state and congressional district's economic impact is available on the website by clicking here .

CW Opening Second Tech School, Expects to Double Profits in Five Years

Thu Aug 9, 2018
Author: Jessica Machetta

During a recent investors' conference call, Camping World Inc. Chairman Marcus Lemonis outlined the company's current business health, immediate goals for RV sales, and strategic purchasing plans for the next several years.

"Look, it has taken us 15 years to build the RV business into where it stands today, at the end of the quarter with 132 dealership locations and we believe the investments we are making in our people and our infrastructure have positioned us to double the number of RV dealership locations over the next five years," Lemonis said. "We will continue to efficiently invest in the aggressive growth of our RV dealership platform through opportunistic RV dealership acquisitions like we’ve always done. New store openings and the addition of Gander RV Sales dealerships in our existing Gander locations."

Lemonis said the strategic launch of Gander RV Sales has provided Camping World, Inc., the opportunity to rapidly expand its RV business in key states such as Wisconsin, Minnesota, Texas, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, New York, and Illinois, "which, by the way represent nine of the top 16 RV states according to Statistical Surveys Inc. and accounted for nearly 35 percent of all registrations over the last 12 months."

He stressed the importance of pacing purchases, store openings, and RV dealership integrations, and says he's confident in a solid ROI when those stores and dealerships are fully mature.

"In fact, while we will continue to make opportunistic RV dealership acquisitions, we think this is a very efficient and attractive way to expand our RV dealership business as compared to the cost of building new stores with high land and building costs," he said.

As the RV industry continues to grow, Camping World is "making meaningful human and facility investments to increase our service capacity and to make sure that we have the best-trained technicians in the industry," he said.

Camping World's second-quarter revenue totaled a record $170.8 million in RV service, repair, maintenance and parts revenue.

"We are in the process of opening up our second technical school to train service technicians and we’re looking at regional service centers to increase our service capacity into markets," he said. "In an effort to widen our RV prospecting funnel, we have made investments in the development and the acquisitions of web-based businesses centric to the outdoor lifestyle customer base."

E-commerce revenue for the quarter was more than $41 million. Lemonis says that was an all-time high, but he still expects significant growth in the e-commerce sector, and that means making additional investments in technology and distribution to support that growth.

"Later this year, we will be starting the move to a single-web platform that will allow us to consolidate all of our inventory and distribution capabilities across all of our brands and channels," Lemonis said. "This will allow us to streamline our process, dramatically improve scalability and allowed us to ship anywhere in the U.S. in one day, thereby opening the door to becoming a direct and preferred seller on Amazon in addition to our own e-commerce business. We believe the completion of this strategy allows our company to become the most comprehensive retailer of outdoor products anywhere."

Camping World's customer base is more than 4.2 million compared to 3.3 million two years ago but seeks to reach an estimated 6 million more customers by offering a full assortment of RV parts and accessories in all Gander locations by the end of this year.

"This would allow RV owners to access Camping World’s and Good Sam’s full product offering and service offering at over 200 locations nationwide," Lemonis said.

The company's early Gander RV relocations in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Roanoke, Virginia, and Fayetteville, N.C. have out-performed expectations, a result Lemonis believes is due to finding new customers with an affinity for the outdoors.

"We have seen shocking success and being able to attract those consumers to the RV lifestyle who maybe never knew about it before," he said.

And with that customer growth, Good Sam Club membership has kept pace.

"We believe that in the next 30 to 45 five days we will have broken the 2 million member mark, which is a big milestone for our company and we're growing now at a pace that is double maybe even triple than the club has ever grown," Lemonis said. "So that story is starting to become clear that we are an outdoor company and whether you hunt, fish, camp, do whatever you do, you do it in an RV. You drive there in an RV, you stay in an RV, you do your activity and you drive back, and that's really how the story has gelled for us internally as well--new people who didn't know, who now are taking advantage of it as well."

Lemonis says the company goal is to become brand agnostic.

"...We really look at how many brands can our company own either nationwide or in the same market, Camping World, Gander, we have RV World... We own some today and we operate them we're opening a few more," he said. "And we have independent RV dealer names like Nelson's or whatever it may be, John’s RV, and so we're not married to one brand, we're married to growing our file size, growing our database, and growing our market share and doing it with the most efficient use of capital."