DOVER — Although Indiana has long been king of the recreational vehicle manufacturing market, Florida continues to rank high among the nation's leaders when it comes to shipments and sales.
The state is second to California in number of dealerships, and sites along Interstate 4 in the Seffner-Dover region are proving to be lucrative grounds for retailing. New York-based RV One Superstores is the newest dealership to join the local competition with the Jan. 2 opening of Tampa RV.
RV One Superstores purchased Bates RV, located at 4656 McIntosh Road in Dover, and changed the name of the store that was founded in 1986 by Frank and Dorothy Bates.
Tampa RV will compete with the likes of Lazy Days, Camping World and General RV all in the Seffner-Dover area.
"This is another new opportunity for RV One Superstores to show who we are in a new market and I couldn't be more excited about the challenges of opening the store," said Matt Strollo, manager of the company's Orlando RV store, in a release. "It should be a little bit easier than it was five years ago given the rate at which our industry has recovered."
According to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association, RV shipments in 2014 are expected to reach 335,500 units, a 6.1 percent increase from the projected total for 2013 which would mark the fifth consecutive year of growth for the industry. According to Statistical Surveys Inc., the Florida RV industry is growing. Motor home registrations were up 29 percent through May 2013, compared to the previous year.
Tampa RV is scheduled to be open seven days a week. It is a second-generation company that has been in business for more than 30 years with four dealership sites including Winter Park and Orlando, which has been open for five years. The Orlando store generated $44.1 million in sales in 2012 and Statistical Surveys Inc. ranks it as the third largest volume retailer in units sales for Florida through September 2013.
Lazy Days, founded in 1976, added a Better RVing Store in March, at 6130 Lazy Days Blvd., in Seffner.
Camping World expanded in August, opening a new RV sales and RV accessories store at 4811 McIntosh Road, Dover. For the eighth consecutive year, Camping World RV Sales, the nation's largest recreational vehicle retailer, was announced as America's No. 1 seller of towable and motorized RVs by Statistical Surveys for 2012.
General RV Center, nationally recognized as the nation's largest family-owned RV dealer, in September announced its plans to open a second Florida location in Tampa. The 83,000-square-foot facility will be built on 30 acres adjacent to I-4 between the McIntosh and Forbes roads exits in Dover and is scheduled to open in the fall with a full RV service center, as well as a parts store, showroom, and sales floor. It will be the second Florida location for the Michigan-based company.
Buddy's takes over Blockbuster space
Buddy's Home Furnishings will open a new store in the former home of Blockbuster at 901 W Brandon Blvd. The building has been vacant since Blockbuster's owner, Dish Network, closed it as part of a nationwide brand closing that saw the remaining 300 non-franchised stores vacated.
According to its website, the store will be the first in Brandon and fourth in the area, joining locations in Seffner, Valrico and Plant City. Its business model is centered on preapproving every customer regardless of credit history and offering free delivery and setup of your furnishings.
Buddy's Home Furnishings was founded in 1961 as Buddy Bi-Rite. Since then, the company has grown its reputation as the largest independent "Rent to Own" dealer in the country with 103 locations nationwide.
Visit www.buddyrents.com to locate your nearest store and view the latest sales.
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