Retail Shows Update: Good News Continues
Encouraging comments about the season’s first retail RV shows continue to filter back from the show sites.
Anthony Tedesco, show manager for the just completed 22nd Annual North Carolina RV & Camping Show held in the Greensboro Coliseum and sponsored by Affinity Events, said attendance totaled about 12,000 and topped the 2010 show. Initial reports from the 14 participating dealerships are very positive.
“We had strong reports from multiple dealers having significant sales,” Tedesco said. “One dealer doing the show had his best show in 22 years.”
“Another thing to note from the dealers. The feedback they got from talking to the attendees was a lot more positive than last year, which could be a sign things are improving with the economy. They seemed to think last year attitudes were down in the dumps. There was more upbeat vibes from the attendees this year.”
Despite the frigid temperatures and multiple threats of snow, the show was a great success with the largest number of exhibitors in the history of the show, he said.
Robbie Booth from Americamp RV Sales agreed, “The strong attendee traffic continued on from last year, resulting in a positive future outlook in RV sales.”
The show was sponsored by Affinity Events, a division of Affinity Group Inc. (AGI), parent company of RVBUSINESS.com.
Here are comments on the Ohio RV Supershow, held Jan. 6-9 at the I-X Center in Cleveland, from Sid Johnson, director of marketing at Jayco Inc.
“There was very, very heavy traffic, extraordinarily heavy traffic. Sales generated didn’t match the traffic but were good, better than last year’s show.”
Interest was across the board, from entry-level towables and other towables and up. “There was a lot of interest with motorhomes and high-end towables. It seems like there were a lot of current RV owners who are ready to trade in after being out of the market during the recession.”
Any surprises? “Class C motorhomes did better than I thought they would do.”
Winnebago Industries Inc. has been in seven retail shows already this year and reported increased sales at five of them compared to last year, reported Roger Martin, vice president of sales and marketing. “We saw increased retail sales at five of seven shows this past weekend (vs. last year).”
Attendance was up at three of seven shows (plus-20% in one case and plus-35% in another). Attendance was consistent with 2010 at another three of seven shows.
Of particular interest trafficwise and saleswise were new floorplans for 2011 especially the Winnebago Vista and Itasca Sunstar 35F and the Winnebago Tour and Itasca Ellipse 42QD, he said. Both floorplans are unique to Winnebago Industries.
“Overall, we are sensing dealers being a little more conservative with their show marketing dollar resulting in their taking fewer units and reducing display sizes. In some cases dealers are electing not to go to regional shows that haven’t produced cost-efficient results,” he said.
The Houston International Boat, Sport & Travel Show got underway Jan. 7 at the Reliant Center in Houston. RVs are a small part of that show, featuring towables from six dealerships in the greater Houston area, but “traffic is good, steady and busy on the first weekend; a lot of people are shopping,” said Desi Cryer, sales manager at Topper’s RV Center, a Route 66 dealership in Houston.
The show continues through Jan. 16.
As reported earlier by RBUSINESS.com, the 14th Annual Camping World RV Supershow, held Jan. 6-9 at the state fairgrounds in Syracuse, N.Y., was the best in years, the sponsor said.
“The show was great, traffic was fantastic,” Kevin Bostrom, regional vice president of Camping World, told RVBUSINESS.com. The show featured some 350 units from Camping World stores in Syracuse, New Jersey and New Hampshire.
Snowy weather held down traffic on Friday “but Thursday, Saturday and Sunday surely made up for it,” he said.
Sales more than exceeded the 2010 show, and that show was a good one, he noted.
The Syracuse show has always been a good one for towable sales, he said, “but we sold a great selection of new motorhomes as well, from 21-foot Class C’s to 42-footers with tag axles.”
A host of shows get underway this week in Tampa, Fla., Pittsburgh, Denver, Chicago, Kansas City, Mo., St. Paul, Minn., Grand Rapids, Mich., St. Louis and Indianapolis.
Camping World and Affinity Events are affiliated with Affinity Group Inc. (AGI), parent company of RVBUSINESS.com.