|February 2004||Volume 29 - Number 7|
About the Author:
Bob is available for consulting services, seminars, and writing assignments. You can reach him at 978-461-2143 or via e-mail (email@example.com).
A story appearing in the December issue of RV Business, highlighted as "RVBs News Exclusive: Holiday Holdings" on the front cover of the magazine distributed at the Louisville show, calls the new company a nationwide retail alliance. Im not sure how this qualifies as an exclusive when both companies have the same boss, Affinity Group Inc.s Stephen Adams.
I would guess that RV News and RV Trade Digest were not under consideration by Mr. Adams to showcase his newest trophy for his RV collection. So the company provided an "exclusive" that was little more than damage control for the devastation that such a company could generate for the industry.
The first victim has been identified and acknowledged by many of the acquired companies, their membership with friends and business associates in several Twenty Groups that covered their general business administration, sales, service, and F&I. One Holiday Holdings member said it was the most difficult thing he ever had to do in business. I suspect there are others who feel the same way.
business information with each other and probably never thought that the information might be used against them if several of the companies were suddenly on the opposite side of the line of scrimmage. Instead of mounting offensive and defensive plans that would allow them to grow their business and increase profits, they now head up to the line and see the very people who have been in their huddle, going to the other side of the field.
It will be interesting to see what, if any, action groups such as REDEX and ARVA take to protect the confidentiality of information and support among their members who are not selling their dealerships to Adams and HHC. Understandably, this has caused concern and discomfort for many.
The principal beneficiary of the many years of historical and current information on RV retailing will now be Mr. Adams and a host of RV-related companies that sit under the Affinity Group banner. Holiday Holdings has already acquired enough RV dealerships to have their own twenty-something gathering.
Wouldnt you like to be the proverbial "fly on the wall" when this august group of industry professionals, who have built some of the best RV dealerships in the country, get together to share their industry expertise and information?
Under the day-do-day direction of Marcus Lemonis, the company has already forever changed the landscape of retailing RVs to the general public. Perhaps this new venture will be different. We would be the first to admit that they have acquired excellent properties and owners who are wellrespected in the industry by manufacturers and their peers.
For now, everything is coming up roses.
But what happens if Lemonis repeats the destruction and carnage he left behind in Florida with the failed Holiday RV Superstores experience? It wont be just a few dealerships this time around. It will be a very large percentage of the best RV dealerships, and major revenue source for many manufacturers. HHC has already acquired companies that have combined revenues of over $600 million and climbing quickly. It will not be long before HHC is the largest dealership organization in the industry, surpassing La Mesa RV and Lazydays for the national championship.
Another unintentional victim of circumstances may be RVDA. Many of the principals of dealerships now under the HHC umbrella, have been very active and instrumental in their support of the dealers association. You cant have the association being dominated by any one company. It will be a challenge for the Fairfax, Virginia association to balance the needs of all dealers and continue to attract the top quality talent that has made it the voice of all dealers, and not a chosen few. This will be a good time for others to come forward in support of the associations programs, committees, and the new RV learning center.
I guess the only thing left for Steve Adams now is to purchase a manufacturer. Lets see how long that takes.RVN
|© Copyright 2005 by D&S Media Enterprises, Inc., Tempe, Arizona
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED