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Old 02-14-2014, 07:42 PM   #1
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Camping World in my city?

"Lexington, KY opening in late 2014" (March issue of Motorhome Magazine). From recent history, I assume this means Affinity Group Inc. (Camping World) is in the process of purchasing one of the two existing dealerships here. The one I have frequented for the past several decades for parts & service claims to be the largest one in the state and the other is right across the highway. I'm not a Camping Word hater, and have shopped for items in their stores when on the road. However, I am concerned from the many posts here describing what happens when they purchase an independent dealer. Assuming they purchase the larger dealer I frequent, I wonder what will be become of the excellent service and great small parts selection I have become used to. Does anyone have any experience with Camping World purchasing a local dealership in their area?
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Old 02-14-2014, 09:27 PM   #2
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We used to have a Camping Time RV, which was the closest RV parts, sales, and service place near me, in Snellville GA. A few years ago they became a Camping World and within a year they moved it 100 miles down I-75 to Byron GA. I now use Apalachee RV in Auburn GA (about 30 miles away). I get some parts from Peco Trailer sales in Tucker GA (about 3 miles from home).
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Old 02-15-2014, 10:39 AM   #3
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Hi George Schweikle,
Gut feel says you have nothing to worry about. Based on what you mentioned, CW will have a "business relationship" with the current dealer. CW uses their name. They will take control of the retail store, making it like all their other stores. CW will operate the sales and service. However, behind the scenes they may own nothing but the retail store inventory. The original dealer continues to purchase units (from CW). The profits are shared between CW and the original dealer.

Publically, this looks like CW bought out the original dealer. Behind the scenes, the original dealer remains a silent partner, mainly on the $s side of the business. If CW and the original dealer ever part ways (which has happened), CW just packs up their retail store inventory and leaves. The original dealer continues on, business as usual. The original dealer re-erects their signage and all is back to pre-CW days.

This is how CW has been able to expand so rapidly without going broke financing the expansion. I'm not saying all CW expansions are handled like this, but some have been and are handled this way.
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Old 02-15-2014, 10:46 AM   #4
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Hi Retired and Happy,
I know Peco! I have friends a couple of miles away from Peco and visit them when I can. Peco has a small store, but they always seem to have what I need. It's a small world.
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Old 02-15-2014, 12:16 PM   #5
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Camping world purchased a local dealer near Raleigh, NC. They are in the process of expanding the store and service departments. It's a win for that area.
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Old 02-15-2014, 02:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retired and Happy View Post
We used to have a Camping Time RV, which was the closest RV parts, sales, and service place near me, in Snellville GA. A few years ago they became a Camping World and within a year they moved it 100 miles down I-75 to Byron GA. I now use Apalachee RV in Auburn GA (about 30 miles away). I get some parts from Peco Trailer sales in Tucker GA (about 3 miles from home).
Same thing here camping world bought camping time in oakwood georgia went down hill. They lost most of their good techs to RV world in Buford Georgia.
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Old 02-15-2014, 02:47 PM   #7
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They did that here in Northern Ohio (Sirpilla RV) now they moved 20 miles further south.
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Old 02-15-2014, 03:37 PM   #8
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I would expect the good tech's to be the first to go. IF, and I expect it is a big if, CW will pay a competitive wage it may be OK. I'll bet with in a year the top tech's will move on. All about money with CW.
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Old 02-15-2014, 05:27 PM   #9
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Hi slick60,
Movement of the techs is very unique to each situation. In eastern Tennessee, when CW move from I40 to some forsaken remote location south of Knoxville, some very good techs made the move from another local dealer to the CW facility. It just depends on each situation.
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Old 02-15-2014, 06:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
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They did that here in Northern Ohio (Sirpilla RV) now they moved 20 miles further south.
Where did they move Camping World (Spirilla) to?
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Old 02-15-2014, 07:21 PM   #11
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Hi George. I really hate to see Camping World come in and buy either of the dealers. I shop mostly at Northside and I have always enjoyed their small town friendliness and I was pleasantly surprised when Northside enlarged their sales lot. If Camping World buys them I can see only bad things happening.
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Old 02-15-2014, 07:35 PM   #12
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Where did they move Camping World (Spirilla) to?
The good old Spirilla's RV used to be well north of Akron in Hudson. When they opened their new location it's now south of Akron. More freeway exposure...that was years ago. CW before they bought out Spirilla's RV was located in Brunswick about 25 miles NW. of Spirilla's RV, for awhile they sold RV's there too. But that closed down. Not sure how long ago it closed. Never got a good vib there...Got the feeling they wanted to sell the higher profit RV's. Even now at last months Cleveland RV show they picked up the Aerolite line, and I was told they wouldn't carry any hybrids Aerolite offered.
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Old 02-15-2014, 08:36 PM   #13
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The good old Spirilla's RV used to be well north of Akron in Hudson. When they opened their new location it's now south of Akron. More freeway exposure...that was years ago. CW before they bought out Spirilla's RV was located in Brunswick about 25 miles NW. of Spirilla's RV, for awhile they sold RV's there too. But that closed down. Not sure how long ago it closed. Never got a good vib there...Got the feeling they wanted to sell the higher profit RV's. Even now at last months Cleveland RV show they picked up the Aerolite line, and I was told they wouldn't carry any hybrids Aerolite offered.
Thanks I have been to both of those places. I thought you ment Spirillas had moved recently. I liked the Brunswick store much better.
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