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Opinion: Who is Lemonis trying to intimidate?

Opinion: Who is Lemonis trying to intimidate?

By Greg Gerber
Editor, RV Daily Report

We published a press release today from Camping World in which the company announced plans to open six supercenter stores in Michigan.

The only problem, the release lacked any details. You can read it here.

The release starts by acknowledging the two locations Camping World currently has in Michigan, but the release doesn’t list any pending acquisitions, or ground-breaking for new stores. Nor does it release a schedule.

Emperor Marcus Eralius Augustus Tiberious Lemonis, part-time CEO of Camping World and full time Hollywood star of his own reality TV show, The Profit, simply noted there were a lot of RV enthusiasts in Michigan.

Yet, there are a lot of RV enthusiasts in California, Arizona, Texas, Montana and even Rhode Island. But, we don’t see any releases about the company planning to open six new stores in those states.

“Based on current market conditions and the addition of new stores, expansion or relocation of existing stores, our goal is to have at least six full service supercenters with the full selection of Camping World and Good Sam products and services in the state of Michigan by the end of 2018,” Lemonis said.

So, why would a company announce plans in a press release to the industry that is void of any specific details? Why give the competition a chance to respond to counter that announcement?

My gut tells me that Emperor Lemonis is firing a warning shot across the bow of another big name retailer that operates in Michigan.

Could it be General RV, which is headquartered in Michigan and has six stores in that state already — plus one troublesome location two miles away from a Camping World store in Tampa, Fla.?

RV General has another store in Florida, as well as Illinois, Ohio and Utah, too. In fact, there is a Camping World six miles from General RV’s Ohio location; another one 20 miles from the Illinois location, and a store two miles from the Utah location. In fact, General RV’s other Florida store is just 20 miles from another Camping World in Jacksonville.

Hmmmm. Looks like the next RV Wars reality TV show will be played out in the state of Michigan.

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About Greg Gerber

Greg Gerber is the editor and founder of RV Daily Report. A native of Madison, Wis., he moved to Phoenix in 2009 to escape the endless winters and wicked humidity of the six-week "summer" season. He's a DODO -- Dad of Daughter's Only -- who would crawl across the desert on his hands and knees for an In-N-Out Double Double. He has visited every state except Hawaii and is anxiously waiting for some RV company to host a conference in the Aloha State.

3 comments

  1. Michael McCracken

    The more I read about Liemonis the less I like him. I am not a big fan of Camping World, Too many negative comments on the way RVers are treated when trying to obtain repair work or service on their RV’s. I might add though, that getting service, seems to be a problem throughout the industry. Most RV service centers are understaffed and overwhelmed with the number of RV requiring service. Most are booked several weeks out. This has become a frustrating situation for us full timers. I fault the RV dealerships for not hiring more techs and expending their service areas. With the excessive number of RV’s on the road and being sold each year, when is this going to change? Use some of those sales dollars to benefit the buyer in the service departments!

  2. I’ve seen for a long time that Lemonis is only interested in making himself richer and could care less about RV’er or the RV industry. The only reason he bought Camping World was because he saw a growing industry where he could make a lot of money. I quit shopping or using the service department at Camping World shortly after he took over when I realized this fact. There are no bargains there anymore and you can go almost anywhere and get RV related products and services cheaper. The RV community needs to boycott Camping World and teach him who really controls the RV industry.

  3. I too have boycotted Camping world. Lemonis is a jerk, (also stating he hates RV’s)! He’s only in it for the money. You can get cheaper and better stuff locally, or Amazon. Even Walmart beats CW’s prices.
    The RV industry doesn’t want to service RV’s. They want to sell them and will not put any steps to further the industry with good qualified mechanics. They make the most money on sales. The last time I had my RV in for warranty work, took 3+ weeks. You’re in the back of the line……GO FIGURE! Maybe someday the market will crash, and someone will get the hint. The more we hound the dealers, the more the word will hopefully get to the top! Don’t sell something that you can’t service!

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