A look to campground stores for a new distribution channel

Posted: 11/17/2011


Businesses are always looking for new distribution channels. But one place they often overlook is campground stores.

Many campgrounds, RV parks and resorts have on-site stores that offer everything from firewood and pre-packaged foods and beverages to holding tank treatment products.

But while some parks have well developed campground stores with a variety of products, there is a huge potential to expand their product offering, particularly with RV aftermarket products and services.

Campers patronize campground stores because they forgot something or because they want to avoid a trip into town to pick up what they need. So the better stocked we can make these stores, the better we can serve the camping consumer. So why not consider expanding your distribution channels to include campground stores?

Campgrounds have hundreds of people walking through their stores each day during their peak seasons. Wouldn’t you want these shoppers looking at your products?

You might even consider cross-promoting campgrounds in your market area. If you agreed to promote campgrounds in your market area, they might be inclined to refer their customers to you for products they don’t carry. Imagine the referral relationships that could be built between campgrounds and major automotive suppliers and repair shops.

And if your company does not have the time or resources to contact individual campgrounds, consider using ARVC as a potential cross marketing partner.

ARVC has over 3,300 affiliated campgrounds, RV parks and resorts. They represent a significant marketing opportunity, not only individually, but collectively. We just negotiated an agreement with Just in Time Communications, Inc. that will deliver huge savings on DirecTV cable service to ARVC-member campgrounds, while also bringing Just in Time Communications and DirecTV business they might otherwise lose to competitors. This agreement is unprecedented in the campground business. And we’re going to be announcing more agreements like this in the coming weeks involving other companies.

So if you’re serious about expanding your sales channels for RV aftermarket products and services, why not contact me.

I’m certainly interested in exploring new cross-marketing opportunities on behalf of our members. And, even in this day and age, campground stories remained one of the most untapped retail channels in the country.

Paul Bambei
President & CEO
National Association of RV Parks and Camprounds