Camping World on Wednesday reported first quarter earnings, announcing that revenue increased 0.6% to $1.07 billion and gross profit decreased 1.2% to $298 million, according to a company press release.
Revenue in the RV and outdoor retail segment, which includes its retail operations, increased 0.4% to $1.02 billion in the quarter, while same-store revenue fell 11% to $848 million. At the end of the quarter, the company operated 226 locations in the segment, with 147 selling new and/or used RV vehicles, according to the company.
Income in the RV and outdoor retail segment decreased a whopping 101.5%, leading to a loss of $0.4 million. "The decrease in profitability was attributable to a combination of changes in product mix and the impact to certain inventory optimization programs," CFO Melvin Flanigan said on a call with analysts, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript. Products, service and other revenue in the segment increased 24.8% to $205 million as same-store revenue decreased 9.6% to $113 million.
Despite an acquisition spree of several outdoor retail companies, Camping World remains laser-focused on the RV market, with outdoor retail a minor portion of its portfolio.
"To be candid, I'm pleasantly surprised as we have pivoted more severely away from thinking about Gander as a retail business and more as an RV company assisted to Camping World," CEO Marcus Lemonis said on a call with analysts when asked about the performance of Gander Outdoors locations.
The company, and Lemonis himself, came under fire in October from shareholders who claimed that they were giving out misleading information about how well the Gander Outdoors integration was going. However well the stores are currently performing, Lemonis isn't afraid to shut them down — or change their focus — to keep the company profitable.
"I think the marketplace can expect that as we think about our 200 plus locations going forward, we wake up every day and we know that we have an edict to make every one of those locations profitable, regardless of what they're called, regardless of what their assortment is," he said, noting that the company "will not hesitate" to close locations that aren't profitable.
Amazon is another channel the company is testing out for the retail side of its business, according to Lemonis.
"It's the start of the relationship. I can't speak to what will happen in the future but, at this time it's only the commodities retail products that will be sold on Amazon," he said.
Despite a tough first quarter, Lemonis said the company had an "unusually terrible" third and fourth quarter last year and expects a "much easier hurdle as we get deeper into the year." He also turned attention to several executive appointments, including a new senior vice president of strategy, merchandising and product development, a new vice president of e-commerce and a new head of supply chain to improve performance.