Thu May 23, 2019
Author: RV News Staff
RV Retailer LLC has grown rapidly through acquisitions since its founding in 2018 and the company’s chief executive says more is in store in 2019. The Fort Lauderdale, Fla., company has a network of 17 stores in Texas, Florida, New York and Iowa, through last year’s acquisitions of RV One, ExploreUSA and Motor Home Specialist.
“We are off to a great start with 17 fantastic stores,” says RV Retailer President and CEO Jon Ferrando.
More expansion is likely. Ferrando says that could begin in the company’s core Texas and Florida markets due to the management infrastructure already in place. He sees both states as RV growth markets. Expansion will come through a combination of more acquisitions and some greenfield developments. Ferrando says RV Retailer is developing some greenfield dealership sites, but is not ready to make any announcements.
“Our vision is to create an industry-leading RV retail company with a focus on customers,” Ferrando says. We want to represent our manufacturing partners. From a sales perspective with new RVs, we want to focus on servicing the customer after the sale and building strong long-term customer sales.”
Ferrando describes his company’s overall sales as “solid,” with the type A diesel market being the most challenged. He says some of the type A difficulty may be a result of stock market volatility during the fourth quarter of 2018, affecting the market early in 2019.
“We were able to grow about 10 percent during the first quarter and we are very pleased with that performance,” he says. “You have to look at it in context. The industry has been kind of nervous with the adjustment in OEM shipments. There has been an element of relief that the customer traffic so far is good.”
Ferrando says he takes a long-term look and sees a great industry with excellent demographics.
“We are in business for the long term,” he says. “We feel good about the RV industry over the next decade. It’s in an adjustment period.”
Strong consumer confidence and the fact that credit is available bodes well, he says.
“We are planning for the industry to be down 5 percent. We have been growing, and for various reasons we are looking to outperform the industry. Smart retailers will be disciplined on their inventory purchases.”
Ferrando says he is intrigued by the growing consumer preference for lighter units. It could be a good demographic and segment going forward, he says, noting that millennials are interested in these types of RVs. He says a lot of “cool” products are being made.
RV Retailer seeks to differentiate itself by providing stellar service, Ferrando says.
“Service is a huge focus for us,” he says. “We want to expand our service business across all of our locations. Having the benefit of scale allows us to service customers where they are. We have added Chris Glenn, who ran service for AutoNation. He came on to lead our service and parts business. We are looking to hire technicians and improve processes and handling and handle warranty repairs as well as AutoNation does.”