By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Marcus Lemonis’ bold plan to expand his recreational territory isn’t playing out as well as expected. With Camping World stock sliding 40 percent this year alone, Lemonis announced Monday that CW will shut down somewhere between 27 and 37 of its stores that don’t directly sell RVs.
Evidently Camping World’s CEO feels the pain, and sees the need to get back to basics. In a statement Lemonis said, “We believe the sale and/or servicing of recreational vehicles is our core and most important offering.” Emphasizing the company’s determination to stick with the recreational vehicle lifestyle as a target, Lemonis added, “We will continue to operate our RV sales and/or service locations under three banners: Camping World, Gander RV and Outdoors, and Gander RV.”
The sell-off is a major retreat from the company’s 2017 trumpet call when CW pumped $100 million into buying up outdoor retailers Uncle Dan’s and Rock Creek, along with bankrupt Gander Mountain locations. At that time Lemonis touted the move would “give us access to a more diverse base of outdoor lifestyle consumers” and attract a “loyal customer following that we believe will leverage over time by cross-selling products and services.”
Company stock has tanked, recently hitting a $7.12 per share level, compared to its high point of $47 per share in December 2017.