Call it brand extension if you want, but Camping World Holdings Inc. is branching far beyond its sales and service of recreational vehicles. The company recently made its fifth acquisition in the outdoor recreation market in just nine months, and it shows no signs of quitting.
The Motley Fool reported that Camping World is deepening its foray into the outdoors with purchases of what could generously be termed ancillary businesses that support its primary operations. While its RV business offers trip planning services and products related to the RV lifestyle, four of its acquisitions reside fully in the sporting goods camp and may be useful to those who live life on the road, sometimes for months at a time.
There’s good reason for wanting to expand beyond the narrow confines of the RV market. According to the market analysts at Freedonia Group, the RV market is expected to have closed out 2017 with nearly 5% growth to $10.7 billion. Following the collapse of the industry during the recession, the U.S. RV market has since expanded, benefiting from a combination of a growing economy, favorable interest rates, low gas prices, and growth in U.S. tourism and travel.
Yet for all of those tailwinds, RVs pale in comparison to spending on the outdoor recreation market, which the Outdoor Industry Association pegs at around $887 billion annually. In 2016, nearly half of all Americans participated in at least one outdoor activity, or some 144 million people participating in 11 billion outings.
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