Posted by Cristina Escarilla on 6/20/2012
TAMPA, Florida -- The gloves are off between RV retailing giant Camping World and RV dealer Lazydays. The fight is taking place at the Lazydays RV SuperCenter at Seffner. The contenders include Marcus Lemonis, big chief in Camping World parent-company, Affinity Group, and new owners of the Lazydays dealership.
Lazydays and Camping World have a contract going way back: Camping World has a store in the same compound as Lazydays, in fact, the land is still owned by Don Wallace who founded the dealership but sold out in 2006. In the covenant, Camping World agrees not to sell RVs within 50 miles, and Lazydays says it will buy all of its repair parts and RV maintenance items from Camping World.
Here's where it gets ugly: Lemonis says they've found out that Lazydays new owners are buying parts from other suppliers. But Lazydays has a complaint of its own: They say Camping World has violated the 50-mile "no sales" radius by rebranding an RV supply store, formerly known as Dusty's Camper World, and are selling RVs there at Bartow--a mere 42 miles away.
It may not be Louis and Schmeling but there's plenty of noise coming from the match. Camping World's Lemonis says in his view, Lazydays has defaulted on the contract. His answer to the problem is to drag in RVs from other Camping World-controlled stores and sell them right next door to Lazydays' operation. "We'll have everything they sell, but for less," brags Lemonis to the press. He further renders the opinion, "The nature of the Lazydays business now is dramatically different. I'm not going to mess around with these turkeys anymore."
Just how the "turkeys" will respond to the threat isn't clear yet, other than papers have been filed in court. Will someone please send for the playground referee?
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