Trivia: note that the MHProNews home page looks like that miniature iPad screen, just moments before the weekly recap is published. We can get our share of typos, but when it comes to evidence, trends, facts, and reports – we sweat the details – all for thousands of industry readers like you. When faced by a menacing Goliath, it’s human nature to react with a level of fear.
Fear can be paralyzing. Fear also can keep the mind from seeing weaknesses in a threatening behemoth.
There are others, of course, that see the Clayton brand as friendly or benign. But even they don’t want to cross them…do they?
The ‘800-pound gorilla’ in the manufactured housing room is Clayton Homes. Not many in the industry are willing to publicly name them, unless it is to praise them. A trade media competitor admitted in writing to MHProNews that we write about the topics – like Clayton and their monopolistic moat – that others talk about at the bar, or during a private professional meal.
That aside, here’s a multiple layered surprise.
Clayton has closed about 100 retail stores net in about 7 years. That’s a surprise to many. But it is part of one of several Daily Business News stories from this past week.
Keep in mind, that Clayton is still buying MH retailers, even as they are closing their own failing retail sales centers. Think about that data-point for a few moments. The industry is slowly growing, and Clayton Homes are closing manufactured and modular home retail stores?
We plan a special report on that topic in the days ahead. But keep that factoid in mind – given to us courtesy of Kevin Clayton, and Berkshire Hathaway – because it is a reminder that they are big, but not invincible. They may have a moat, but not everything that Clayton touches turns to gold.
Then, keep in mind who is dominating MHI? Why would the independents of the industry support and follow the association that’s led by the company that’s closed more retail locations than perhaps any other retailer in the last 5 years?
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With no further adieu, let’s dive into the headlines and topics for the week in review.