Recent Arrow Distributing Show Confirms Dealer Optimism

Recent Arrow Distributing Show Confirms Dealer Optimism

The Arrow Distributing show team.

Brett Thomas of Hughes Autoformers speaks with dealers. (Courtesy photos)

While the RV industry as a whole remains cautiously optimistic about 2023, dealers ought to expect a robust spring season if distributor shows are any indication.

That’s the message heard again during the recent Arrow Distributing Showcase, which concluded Jan. 11 at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas. Granted, much of the expected business will be service and parts. Nevertheless, dealers will generate income, and retail customers will be spending money.

Arrow’s two-day event offered educational seminars, new products, and what company officials describe as the “best pricing of the year.” The family-owned RV and MH distribution company, founded in 1980, operates 10 branches throughout the lower 48 states.

Poker Run winners Jim and Sharon Walter with Countryside Campers in Pana, Illinois, flanked by Elkhart branch manager Erica Baker (left) and inside sales rep Rachel Eminger (right).

Arrow Distributing Vice President Andrea Mullin told RVBusiness that her company hosted more dealers and vendors this year than during last year’s show, also held in Las Vegas.

“It was very positive,” Mullin said. “Everybody seemed happy. They were in a buying mood, and sales reflected that. Orders exceeded our expectations.”

Among the 100 vendors, popular products were hitches, repair and service items, sealants, chemicals and toilets.

Arrow traditionally incorporates an outside speaker into its show schedule. This year’s guest was Ron Wheeler, founder of Arlington, Texas-based Wheeler Advertising. The Wheeler agency was established in 1991 and is well-known in the RV industry, claiming to provide marketing services for over 150 RV dealerships throughout North America.

Dealers appreciated Arrow’s supplier-led seminars, such as this one by Lippert.

“He did a phenomenal job,” Mullin commented. “Wheeler had everyone’s attention. He was charismatic and energetic, and dealers, vendors, and our staff were very receptive.”

One of the show’s highlights was the Poker Run, a timed event in which dealer participants collect cards from participating vendors, and the dealer with the winning poker hand earns a cash prize. “Dealers enjoy it, vendors enjoy it, and people really get involved. It’s a lot of fun, plus someone goes home with an extra $1,500,” added Mullin.

When asked about her biggest takeaway from the show, Mullin offered, “For me, it’s seeing so many of our customers and vendors, plus the support we get from everyone. That means a lot to all of us.”

Arrow is already making plans for the 2024 Showcase, site to be determined.