Coleman Names Marcovitch as President, CEO

August 22, 2011 by · Comments Off on Coleman Names Marcovitch as President, CEO 

Robert F. Marcovitch has been named president and CEO of Wichita Kan.-based The Coleman Co. Inc., effective September 1, 2011.

According to a press release, Marcovitch joins Coleman from his current role as president and CEO of K2 Sports, a Seattle-based global manufacturer of skis, snowboards and related outdoor recreational products. Both companies are wholly-owned subsidiaries of Jarden Corp.

“Robert is an avid outdoor enthusiast, innovator, brand steward and effective leader of global teams,” commented James E. Lillie, CEO for Jarden Corporation. “His background and track record in building a global lifestyle company is a perfect match for leading Coleman as it expands its reach and innovation as The Outdoor Company.”

From 2003 to 2006, Marcovitch was President of the Ski, Snowboard, Skate and Bike Division of K2. For three years prior to that, he served as President of K2 Corp. of Canada. He was CEO and president of Ride Manufacturing Inc. from 1998 to 1999 and was senior vice president of Ride’s Apparel and International divisions from 1996 to 1998.

Prior to that, he held a number of executive and strategic positions in Canada with several leading global outdoor companies. Marcovitch began his outdoor career as a 16-year-old working in a ski shop in Montreal in 1973.


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RV Industry Report Card: Ups and Downs

September 13, 2010 by · Comments Off on RV Industry Report Card: Ups and Downs 

The future is a generally positive, albeit a mixed bag for the RV industry, the Goshen (Ind.) News reported today.

A series of recent studies, reports and projections from multiple agencies have cast that future in a hopeful but realistic light.

Industry business indicators from the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) updated at the end of July projected continued growth in shipments. They also suggested recovery would be slower than what occurred following previous recessions, a hypothesis it explained as a lag in sales due to “lingering effects on the ability of consumers to purchase RVs.”

“However, the desire to own RVs is as strong as ever, with basic demand rooted in family values, the enduring appeal of the natural environment, and people’s desire to instill in the next generation their cherished tradition,” the report said.

In fact, RV ownership has reached record levels according to the RVIA, which estimates 8.3 million American households now own an RV. That number is an increase of 16% since 2001 and 64% since 1980.

Camping’s ups, downs

In the results of a study done in partnership with The Coleman Co., The Outdoor Foundation reported both ups and downs in general camping. Those results, titled “Special Report on Camping 2010,” noted that while camping participation increased from 42.4 million in 2008 to 44 million in 2009, the average camper only went camping 13.2 days in the latter year, down from a 14.1 day average in 2008.

According to the report, RV camping dropped from 16.9 million people in 2006 to 16.2 million in 2007, but surged to 17.4 million by 2009.

In comparison, backyard and car camping (defined as camping within a quarter mile of the camper’s vehicle or home) dropped from 35.6 million in 2006 to 31.4 million in 2007, rebounding only to 34.3 million by 2009.

Between 2006 and 2009, RV campers used public campsites for 62.3% of the time, private sites 32.1% of the time, event sites 3.4% of the time and backyard sites 2.2% of the time.

During that three-year span, the median age of all campers 6 years of age and older climbed from 29 to 33. In a heartening trend, 87% of all campers reported they planned to spend more time participating in outdoor activities in 2010.

A slow end to 2010

Another release from the RVIA written by University of Michigan’s Richard Curtin, published in the fall issue of Roadsigns, predicted a hiccup in shipments beginning in the final months of 2010.

Curtin suggested total shipments would reach 239,000 in 2010, slowing in the second half of the year and recovering by the end of 2011, when he estimated shipments would reach 259,600.

That rebounding is the reversal of a declining trend in RV shipments that began after 2006, when 404,600 units were shipped. The following years saw shipment levels drop to 353,400 in 2007, 237,000 in 2008 and only 165,700 in 2009. Total shipments in 2010 had already reached 155,800 by the end of July.

“RV sales face continued challenges from the slowdown in prospects for economic growth,” Curtin said. “Uncertainty about future taxes, depressed home values and tight credit conditions will restrict motorhome sales, and lackluster income growth and high unemployment will limit gains in folding camping trailers and truck camper sales.”

Curtin argued that the industry’s best way forward was not by downsizing, but rightsizing. He described rightsizing as “delivering the optimal mix of size, convenience and features to meet the new constraints facing consumers.”

“While the challenges in developing new products will be as great as the economic hurdles now facing the industry, rightsized RVs will reap the long-term payoff from consumers,” Curtin said.

$8.2 billion industry

The most recent Travel Trailer and Camper Manufacturing Industry Report from Supplier Relations U.S. LLC, reported the RV industry’s revenue for 2009 was approximately $8.2 billion, with $390.8 million in imports from 45 countries and $1.4 billion worth of exports to 160 countries, calculating total domestic demand for the industry at $7.2 billion.

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2010 Special Report on Camping Published

September 9, 2010 by · Comments Off on 2010 Special Report on Camping Published 

In partnership with The Coleman Co., The Outdoor Foundation has published the “2010 Special Report on Camping,” which provides an in-depth look at participation and overall trends.research.camping.2010

According to a news release, the research gives activity information by gender, age, ethnicity, income, education, and geographic region. In addition, the study looks at “crossover” participation to find the activities that camping participants most often and least often enjoy.Camping is part of the very fabric of American society – accommodating just about every lifestyle from luxury experiences to close-to-home overnights to rustic adventures. Despite economic uncertainty, camping participation has continued to increase. In fact, this activity is one of the most popular outdoor pursuits, attracting 44 million participants in 2009.

These participants averaged 13 camping days each for a total of over 580 million days. This special report gives an overview of camping in the United States, presenting detailed information on participation by gender, age, ethnicity, income, education and geographic region.

Data is also provided on common barriers to entry as well as popular “crossover” sports for this important group. Also, for the first time, the report looks at how far campers travel and the most preferred type of camping experience.

To read the entire report, click here.

Highlights follow.

Annual Outings

  • In 2009, camping participants made 580.7 million annual outings. For some participants, this meant getting out once a season and for others, once a month or week.
  • The average camper went camping 13.2 days in 2009, down from 14.1 days in 2008.

Geography of Camping Participants

  • Pacific: Participation rate: 18.5%; percent of all U.S. participants: 18.6%; percent of first-time U.S. participants: 15.1%.
  • Mountain: Participation rate: 26.9%; percent of all U.S. participants: 12.2%; percent of first-time U.S. participants: 10.9%.
  • West South Central: Participation rate: 14.4%; percent of all U.S. participants: 10.4%; percent of first-time U.S. participants: 15.9%.
  • West North Central: Participation rate: 18.1%; percent of all U.S. participants: 7.7%; percent of first-time U.S. participants: 5.9%.
  • East North Central: Participation rate: 16.6%; percent of all U.S. participants: 16.4%; percent of first-time U.S. participants: 12.7%.
  • East South Central: Participation rate: 15.7%; percent of all U.S. participants: 6.0%; percent of first-time U.S. participants: 3.7%.
  • South Atlantic: Participation rate: 12.0%; percent of all U.S. participants: 14.9%; percent of first-time U.S. participants: 21.6%.
  • Middle Atlantic: Participation rate: 11.0%; percent of all U.S. participants: 9.5%; percent of first-time U.S. participants: 9.9%.
  • New England: Participation rate: 13.5%; percent of all U.S. participants: 4.1%; percent of first-time U.S. participants: 4.2%.

Camping: A Gateway to the outdoors

Over three-quarters of camping participants participate in multiple outdoor activities (80.2% down slightly from 84.3% in 2008). Only a small percentage participates in camping alone.

First-time Participants in Camping

  • 8.2% of campers tried the activity for the rst time in 2009.
  • 25, the median age of first-time campers in 2009.
  • 25.8% of first-time campers in 2009 are ethnically diverse compared to 14.1% of all campers.

What Types of Campsites Do Campers Choose?

  • 62.3% of RVers chose public campgrounds, 32.1% chose private campgrounds, 2.2% chose their own backyards and 3.4% chose special events.

Camping Participants’ Time Outdoors

  • 45.0% of camping participants say the economy impacts how often they participate in outdoor activities.
  • 87.0% of camping participants plan to spend more time participating in outdoor activities in 2010.

Camping Among Households With Children

  • Adults 18 and older with children in their household participate in camping at higher levels than adults without children despite the responsibilities and time commitments often associated with having younger children in the home.
  • 18.4 percent of adults age 18 and older with children ages 1 to 17 in their household participate in camping, while only 11.7% of adults without children in their household participate.

Note: During January and February 2010, a total of 40,141 online interviews were carried out with a nationwide sample of individuals and households from the U.S. online panel operated by Synovate. A total of 15,067 individual and 25,074 household surveys were completed. The total panel has over 1 million members and is maintained to be representative of the U.S. population. Oversampling of ethnic groups took place to boost response from typically underresponding groups.

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Camping World Announces New Coleman Collaboration

November 3, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

Camping World logoCamping World, the nation’s largest camping and outdoor retailer, announced the launch of a new line of affordable towable Coleman travel trailers and fifth-wheels. 

The Coleman RVs are being produced by Thor Industries Inc. and are expected to be available in Camping World stores by December.

The product offering will include several models of Ultra Lite travel trailers, full size travel trailers and mid-profile fifth-wheels. The new towables will be offered exclusively to RV dealers with Camping World wholesale and retail affiliations within defined territories across the U.S. and Canada.

“The Coleman Co. Inc. has been the leader in outdoor product for over a century. We are excited about the launch of the new towable lines under such a strong brand,” said Marcus Lemonis, chairman and CEO of Camping World. “For Camping World, Coleman has been a longstanding and trusted partner with a reputation among our current retail store customers of attention to detail and quality.”

The Coleman RVs will include many of the amenities typically charged by other manufacturers as an upgrade. There are several floorplans and price point options to choose from. The first model is scheduled to come off the assembly line by the end of 2009.

More details about the Coleman RVs can be found at

Founded in 1966, Camping World bills itself as America’s largest direct marketer and specialty retailer of recreational vehicles and outdoor camping accessories and services. The company grew from a single point location in Bowling Green, Ky., to operating successful nationwide Supercenters.
Over the last five years, Camping World has progressively expanded its products and services offerings and, according to the Lincolnshire, Ill.-based company’s press release, currently operates a “one-stop shopping destination” for RV sales, rentals, service and collision repair and sales of more than 8,000 RV & outdoor accessories. Camping World also includes performance and tow centers, detail and refurbishment centers known as RV Spa, a President’s Club customer loyalty program, campground reservations and directories, RV finance and insurance, RV tours and travel and a nationally distributed magazine called RV View.
As an international leader in the innovation and marketing of outdoor products, the release states, The Coleman Co. Inc., headquartered in Wichita, Kan., today markets its legendary lanterns and stoves, as well as coolers, tents, sleeping bags, airbeds, backpacks, furniture, and grills under its Coleman and Exponent brands. Additionally, the company provides flotation devices, towables, rainwear, waders, hunting and fishing gear as well as safety and survival equipment under its Stearns, Sevylor, Sospenders, Hodgman, Mad Dog Gear, Nevin and Helium brands. Founded in 1900, Coleman is a wholly owned subsidiary of Jarden Corp. Travel trailer and fifth-wheel RVs are manufactured by a third party under license.

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New Report: RV Camping Increased by 2% in 2008

September 2, 2009 by · Comments Off on New Report: RV Camping Increased by 2% in 2008 

As budget-minded Americans return in droves to the outdoors this summer, The Outdoor Foundation, in partnership with The Coleman Co. Inc., today (Sept. 2) released the Special Report on Camping — a new research report detailing important information and trends on car, backyard and RV campers in the US.

Among other findings, the report reveals a sizable 7.4% increase in car and backyard camping and nearly a 2% rise in RV camping last year.

“In today’s economy, people are returning to simpler lifestyles — the ‘less is more’ ethic,” said Christine Fanning, executive director of The Outdoor Foundation. “Reservations for campsites and sales for camping gear are up. Camping provides fun, affordable opportunities for families to enjoy time together.”

The Special Report on Camping uses the latest participation data collected annually by The Outdoor Foundation to present detailed information on participation by gender, age, ethnicity, income, education and geographic region — critical information needed by businesses, communities and non-profits working to connect Americans with the outdoors.

As Americans enjoy camping trips in backyards, state lands and our national parks this summer, camping plays an important role in helping Americans rediscover the outdoors. As the Special Report on Camping reveals, camping is an important gateway to increased participation in outdoor activities and a healthy active lifestyle. Research shows that a large majority of camping participants take part in multiple outdoor activities — over 84% of campers.

Key findings:

  • 33.7 million Americans ages 6 and older participated in car and backyard camping in 2008 — an increase of 7.4%.
  • 16.5 million Americans participated in RV camping in 2008 — up from 16.2 million in 2007.
  • Camping participants made more than 597 million outings in 2008, averaging 14 camping days per participant.
  • More than 84% of camping participants participate in multiple outdoor activities.
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Stat Surveys: January Towables Down 49.2%

March 20, 2009 by · Comments Off on Stat Surveys: January Towables Down 49.2% 

January towable retail sales declined 49.2%, according to the latest report from Statistical Surveys Inc.

The results came on top of December’s survey that showed towables declined 39.9%.

According to the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based firm, in January:

  • Travel trailer retail sales decreased 48.1% to 3,496 units.
  • Fifth-wheel trailers fell 50.2% to 1,947 units.
  • Folding camping trailer sales fell 49.3% to 285 units.
  • Recreational park trailer sales fell 60.4% to 111 units.

January was the eighth straight month that retail sales have outpaced wholesale shipments, indicating that RV dealers continue to lower inventories aggressively.

Thor Industries Inc. continued to maintain its market position with 28.2% of the travel trailer market and 40.2% of the fifth-wheel market share. FTCA Inc.’s Coleman Camping Trailers brand held 38.9% of the folding camping trailer market. Chariot Eagle Inc. gained the top spot in recreational trailers with a 15.3% market share.

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Union Workers Forge New Contract With FTCA

March 19, 2009 by · Comments Off on Union Workers Forge New Contract With FTCA 

Workers at Somerset, Pa.-based FTCA Inc., which builds folding camping trailers under the Coleman brand, approved a new four-year contract that provides annual wage increases, restores incentive pay and creates a new pension plan, the United Steelworkers said Wednesday (March 18).

The Tribune-Review reported that USW Local 2632, which represents about 200 workers at the plant, said the contract restores 10 paid holidays, vacation pay, shift differential and incentive pay and gives workers coverage under a previous health insurance program.

The union has been bargaining for a new contract since last fall.

FTCA was formed when Blackstreet Capital Partners LLC, a private equity firm based in Bethesda, Md., bought the former Fleetwood Folding Camper Trailer division from Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. on May 12 for an undisclosed sum. The purchase included the 430,000-square-foot plant in Somerset.

As part of a buyout, FTCA announced in early August that it had reached an agreement with The Coleman Co., Wichita, Kan., for use of the brand name.

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