The Recreational Dealers Exchange Co. (REDEX) will spend $200,000 advertising in RV-related consumer magazines and give away $4,000 a month in parts and accessories on the Internet to build brand name recognition. At the same time, the national buying group is reinforcing the REDEX brand with new products carrying the REDEX name.
The two-pronged initiative was outlined to members during the annual REDEX meeting, April 26-27, at the Biltmore Hotel, Phoenix, Ariz. The meeting was attended by 75 people representing 48 REDEX dealerships.
REDEX, managed by Wheeler Marketing Service Inc., Arlington, Texas, is a buyers consortium of 51 dealers who operate about 95 stores in 36 states. Collectively, REDEX stores expect to do about $2.6 billion in sales in 2005.
“The big theme of the meeting was continuing to develop proprietary products that will be branded ‘REDEX’ which allows our dealers to take advantage of membership in the group,” said Ron Wheeler, REDEX general manager and owner of Wheeler Marketing.
“You will see the REDEX name starting to pop up on branded items like warranties, insurance and certified used RVs,” Wheeler said.
In that regard, Wheeler said the rollout of REDEX’s first private label venture – the Venetian Suites fifth-wheel – exceeded expectations, with initial orders in excess of 140 units from more than 35 REDEX dealers. “This was the first time the majority of our dealers had seen it,” Wheeler said.
Privately labeled Venetian Suites fifth-wheels, built by Potomac RV LLC, Elkhart, Ind., will be available in four 34- to 38-foot floorplans with three or four slideout rooms, and will retail for a base price of around $60,000.
The Venetian Suites logo contains the words “Exclusively for REDEX.” The first units are expected to arrive on dealers’ lots in late June or early July.
Wheeler said the debut of Venetian Suites and the promotional and brand development efforts have taken REDEX to a higher level than initially anticipated when the group was formed in 1996. “The meeting was a watershed,” Wheeler said. “With the maturity REDEX has achieved, it’s gone to another level than what people thought it would be.”
REDEX was founded primarily to provide wholesale financing for dealers with annual revenue in excess of $15 million. Dealers are assured that no other REDEX member will be located closer than 100 miles from their dealerships.
Initially pegged to have 40 members, REDEX’s membership began to swell after restrictions imposed by a floor financing source were eliminated by shifting to a different company.
Currently, REDEX provides members with discounts on more than 20 different services, including commercial and retail banking, sales training, insurance, parts, supplies, package shipping and corporate management.