Three dealers interviewed today (Sept. 13) said their retail sales are continuing at a normal pace but that the national crisis has made them more cautious about ordering new product from the manufacturers.
“Our sales manager made some follow-up calls to customers last night (Wednesday), and no one is talking about not buying,” said Alan Libove, vice president and co-owner of Hitcharama RV in Turnersville, N.J. “The country is very resilient, we want to hold on to our lifestyle.”
However, Libove added, “We will be a little more cautious about ordering from the manufacturers.”
Meanwhile, Matt Margetta, vice president, general manager and co-owner of Paw Paw’s Camper City, a five-location dealership with stores in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, said they sold five units on Tuesday, the day of the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C.
“We also sold our normal four or five (units) on Wednesday, so we’ve felt no impact yet,” Margetta said. “But gas-price gouging could hurt the market.”
The behavior of the stock market, once it re-opens either Friday or Monday, also will have a significant impact on the near-term performance of the retail market, Margetta said.
Some people might say, “It’s time to sell everything, buy an RV and go to the mountains,” he added.
However, Margetta said he will not order new product from the manufacturers “for a week or so,” until the future becomes more predictable.
Thompson & Sons Trailer Sales in Davenport, Iowa, also reported basically normal retail volume this week, said Ann Thorndyke, customer advocate and sister of the dealership’s owners, Mark, Tim and Brad Thompson.
“Not many people came in (to the dealership) on Tuesday, but we sold two (units) on Wednesday, which is normal for this time of year,” Thorndyke said. “People are trying to continue as normal.
“But I’m sure we’ll be more cautious in ordering (new product),” she added.