By Greg Gerber
Editor, RV Daily Report
Camping World today announced it will host its third “product vendor summit.” How special.
Emperor Marcus Eralius Augustus Tiberious Lemonis, the part-time CEO and chairman of Camping World, full-time Hollywood star host of The Profit television reality show, and part owner of more than 50 businesses unrelated to the RV industry, said this is a good thing for the RV industry.
“The objective of our annual summit is to create an efficient environment for vendors and suppliers to meet and communicate with our buyers,” said Lemonis in making the announcement.
What a novel idea. Only someone with the wisdom, testosterone and chutzpah of The Profit could come up with something so extraordinarily innovative as to create a efficient environment for vendors and suppliers to meet with the buyers of a wholesale distribution company.
My goodness, if Emperor Lemonis isn’t careful, the RV Industry Association will bestow upon him the next David J. Humphreys RV Industry Unity Award for bringing the entire RV aftermarket together for one industry-shaping event.
The problem is this type of meeting has taken place every single year I have been associated with the RV industry, so I know it goes back to 2000.
The RV Aftermarket Association’s annual executive conference was set up decades ago so that one-on-one meetings could take place between suppliers making parts and accessories and wholesale distribution companies that deliver the products to RV dealers.
In fact, the next such meeting takes place next week in none other than downtown Chicago, which, according to Google Maps, is precisely 33.1 miles from Camping World headquarters in Lincolnshire, Ill.
That begs the question as to why The Profit and his loyal minions can’t simply participate in that industry event rather than inconveniencing hundreds of other suppliers with yet another unnecessary meeting?
I am sure with enough advance notice the staff of the RV Aftermarket Association can outfit one of the meeting rooms with red carpeting and a gold throne so that suppliers can grovel before Emperor Lemonis and seek his favor.
You can never fail to underestimate the arrogance of the Camping World leadership who genuinely believe the entire RV industry revolves around their operation. Yet, their operation wouldn’t exist today without special pricing, sweetheart deals and extraordinary favors from key industry players.
To the best of my knowledge nobody other than The Profit has been able to extort three $10 million loans from the largest RV manufacturing company in the world, but that’s old news.
“So if you think you have what it takes to be the next Camping World vendor, come prepared to promote your product to our buyers with a 30-minute pitch,” said Johnny Sirpilla, chief business development officer for Camping World and Good Sam, in the press release announcing the new unnecessary meeting.
It would also be a good idea for suppliers to come prepared with plastic sheets, Vaseline and vegetable oil because I suspect somebody is gonna get screwed in that deal.
The Camping World staff will bring the whips and chains. It’ll be great fun. Register today!