English retailer Richard Baldwin Motorhomes is cashing in on the boom in the leisure industry and has converted a former scrapyard into one of the UK’s top dealerships, according to a report in the Halifax Evening Courier.
And after only seven years, the dealer has earned recognition from its customers who voted the firm top dealer in the northern England.
“We recently won the Motorcaravan Motorhome Monthly magazine Northern Dealer of the Year Award and got silver in the Dealer of the Year category,” said owner Richard Baldwin.
He noted the recognition was sweeter because it was voted for by customers and before endorsing it the magazine sent secret shoppers to check out his showroom.
The business was founded in 1999 when Baldwin recognized the industry’s growth potential.
“It is a growth area and motorhomes are increasing in sales 16% year-on-year,” he said.
His original site quickly outgrew the company’s needs and Baldwin bought a former scrapyard, investing thousands to convert it to one of the largest dealerships in the UK.
“Our customers are drawn from all ages and backgrounds, but many are more mature and having retired want to travel,” he said. “Some, whom we call full-timers, sell their homes and go off for a year or two, while we are also seeing more younger families who enjoy the freedom of a motorhome.
“Commonly, owners replace their motorhome every two or three years, so there are a lot of repeat customers.”
Akin to the U.S. market, Baldwin said coaches now sport amenities that rival residential homes.
“The top-of-the-line models have everything you would have at home including plasma television, microwaves and freezers,” he said.
Looking to expand his product offerings, Baldwin said he is considering converting unused space at the showroom into an outdoor clothing store.
“We already have every accessory for motorhomes, so it is a natural extension,” he said.