OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — After a 15-year relationship that began with Stag Parkway and evolved into NTP Stag Coast, the ROUTE 66 RV Network has chosen to, effective immediately, resign their Network partnership with the parts distributor.
According to ROUTE 66 management, “The inability to secure competitive dealer pricing to enable our dealers to compete with today’s online retailers, as well as with NTP Stag’s own drop ship, online sales strategy, makes it necessary for us to abandon this partnership and develop other options that will better fit with the overall interests of our member dealers.”
ROUTE 66 is first and foremost a member dealer-centered organization established to serve both the bricks and mortar and expanding on-line opportunities for today’s RV dealership. All network partnerships must provide mutual benefit to the dealership, their customers and the Network partner.
In a phone call with Dave Francis of ROUTE 66 after the press release was issued, RV Daily Report learned that the intent of the release was not to stir up a hornet’s nest but rather to let the organization’s dealers know that they would not be present at NTP Stag’s upcoming show in Dallas. He explained that email open rates in ROUTE 66 emails to dealers can be rather low this time of year, and the organization viewed a press release as a means of further ensuring the information reached their dealer network.
“The perception was that we put on our boxing gloves here, and that was never the intent,” he says. “We wanted to let them know that the show was coming up and that there would not be a program at NTP Stag going into 2016.”
In response to the press release from RT 66 Corporation, NTP-STAG was asked to provide a statement. RV Daily Report reached out to Bill Rogers, at NTP-STAG who provided the following. “We worked in good faith to reach an agreement with ROUTE 66 Corporation for 2018 that was ultimately not accepted. This, however, will not in any way detract us from serving the needs of the dealerships that are part of the group and operate independently from ROUTE 66 Corporation. We will continue to support our customers as we always have, providing the industry’s best fill rates, training, delivery schedules and a host of marketing, merchandising and technology tools to help them grow their business.
He added, “Our wholesale business strategy has not changed other than to develop new programs aimed at pushing online business, which typically goes around our customers, into traffic and sales for their brick and mortar locations. The fulfillment services we offer to brick and mortar locations and dealers who have an online presence have not changed and are the same as all other parts distributors try to offer.” Bill concluded by adding, “We really tried and we are disappointed it came to this. We will be reaching out to these customers with direct programs geared toward providing the benefits they are accustomed to receiving tailored specifically for their businesses.”
SOURCE: Press release from ROUTE 66 and supplemental phone calls