The basic rules of “Hungry Hungry Hippos” are known to anyone who has played the tabletop game. Your goal is to capture as many marbles as possible by pushing down on the spring-loaded tail quickly. To collect more marbles than your competitors, you must collect more marbles than your competitors. The player with the most points wins. As a result of the RV parts shortage, companies like Camping World, General RV, and Lazydays buy up independent RV dealerships. Similarities can be drawn between the game and the rapid takeover of dealerships. Acquisitions are good for RV businesses when done correctly.
The Camping World
In May 2021, Camping World’s CEO Marcus Lemonis commented on their expansion plans. Their 170 locations cover 38 states as they strive to operate a recreational dealer platform in all 48 contiguous states.
The RV in general
Ashland, Virginia, is General RV’s 13th location in the Mid-Atlantic. Rather than flooding the country with many dealerships, Ed McNamara, General RV’s General Manager, focuses on strategic placement. Near the Canadian border, Ashland is located along the I-95 corridor. With 48 percent of the country’s population within a 10-hour drive, we’re in a sweet spot.
In the past three years, Lazydays has expanded rapidly in Tampa Bay, Florida. The Smoky Mountains were Lazydays’ first area of presence when it acquired Chilhowee RV outside of Knoxville, Tennessee. Its brand now resides in a hotspot for RV vacations during camping season as a result of the strategic buyout. By 2022, 16 dealerships are expected across the country. The first acquisitions will take place in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Minnesota, Tennessee, Texas, and Nevada. Seffner, Florida-based Lazydays RV started in 1976. Their service, selection, and parts department are well known. “Big Time RV” is one of their Travel Channel shows.
Retailer of RVs
A new RV retailer based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is led by Jon Ferrando. In 33 RV locations in eight states, his company, which he owns, is utilizing the lessons he learned as an executive vice president at AutoNation. Aside from Arizona and Colorado, RV Retailer sells RVs in Florida, Iowa, New York, North Carolina, and South Carolina. With plans to expand into the Sun Belt, half of their locations are in Florida and Texas.