Sources who retail homes produced by CMH and/or are connected to Clayton Homes in other ways have told MHProNews about wholesale customer experiences that have caused independents concerns.
Anecdotal stories will illustrate the various concerns of independents who sell CMH product.
‘I get [retail] customers who shop us, and have or will shop a Clayton owned company retail store,’ said an experienced manufactured home seller to MHProNews.
‘They [retail customers]see the Clayton brand on our display home, and obviously also the Clayton[vertically integrated] dealership. Some say nothing, but some will ask, ‘Why should I buy this [Clayton] home from you when I can get it directly from Clayton Homes?’
Another anecdotal instance further exemplifies a related point. This one is as or more common than the first.
‘Clayton [says a retail customer to an independent] has me approved with Vanderbilt [Mortgage and Finance], and the terms they’ve offered me are better than what you have [with 21st Mortgage].’ Commenting on that example, the retailer tells MHProNews, ‘How do you compete with them [Clayton] on financing and on price or products, especially if you carry some of the same brands?’
An interesting point. A fair follow up question is, how many sales do retailers in such a circumstance lose monthly? Would such independent retailers be better off with a producer that they aren’t in direct vertical retail competition with?
State Execs Viewpoint
State association executives come in several types. Some are MHI-Clayton-21st toadies. Others may ‘play their game,’ but will provide MHProNews with useful news tips, feedback, and insights – all of which are valued and yield a better news product for Daily Business News readers.
Among the latter group of state executives are those that point out that between Clayton, 21st, and VMF, some 60 to 70 percent of the new HUD Code sales flow in various states. ‘That’s dues leverage that they have to get what they want,’ some execs have said to MHProNews.
It’s a very similar point to the “Gold Rules” prior tips.
Independent retailers, communities, suppliers, financial and other service providers, this is your latest wake up call.
This is part one of yesterday’s presaged two part report – Who are you going to do business with? But what may be the far starker concern for some independent retailers are those who floorplan with 21st. Watch for that report.
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